Why Steph Curry Is Overrated

Updated on June 14, 2019
JesseUnk profile image

I'm a lifelong sports fan. I grew up watching the Browns, Cavs, and Indians. I know winning and losing, and that stats tell all. Argue on!

Steph Curry is Overrated

Steph curry has always been a great shooter, and that's all.
Steph curry has always been a great shooter, and that's all.

Why Steph Curry is Overrated

If you've watched basketball anytime after 2010, you are probably aware of superstar Stephen Curry. He's one of the two "Splash Brothers", he's a two-time MVP and one of them was unanimously voted, he's a 3-time champion and has two other finals appearances. He is the single greatest shooter in NBA history, with stats that make Ray Allen's career look mediocre. All of these accolades are incredible, so how could he be overrated?

This article will dive into the perfect storm that created Steph Curry's greatness and fame. It will cover his luck on the side of injury through the years, his playoff performances that were lackluster, and his team that kept him afloat so often. Before we can fully accept those facts, we must have a background as to who Steph Curry is.

Steph Curry as a Kid

Steph sits with his father, Dell, at a basketball game.
Steph sits with his father, Dell, at a basketball game.

Steph Curry's Brief History

Steph Curry was born in Akron, Ohio in 1988, the same hospital that his future rival LeBron James was born in. Steph's father, Dell Curry, was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers at the time. He spent most of his childhood in Charlotte, North Carolina while his dad played for the Hornets. This is why he is an avid Panthers fan to this day.

Steph eventually made his way to Davidson where his shooting skills were witnessed for 3 seasons. He lost his first season in the NCAA tournament to Maryland as a 13 seed, lost to the championship Gonzaga Bulldogs the following year in the Final Four, and his junior year his team recieved a 9 seed in the NIT bracket, failing to get an NCAA bid.

He was drafted 7th overall by the Golden State Warriors in 2009.

Reasons Why Stephen Curry is Overrated

Steph Curry has been extremely blessed with a team around him that simply could never be matched. While he is the greatest shooter of all time, he also has been blessed to have a teammate in Klay Thompson who is the 2nd greatest shooter of all time, a defensive player of the year in Draymond Green, and an MVP winner and all-time scoring titan in Kevin Durant. Curry has been able to avoid double-teams most of his career, he's had Klay and Draymond to defend the opposing team's best players, and he's been free to soak up all the fame that comes with the accolades that a perfect team accumulates and project his face into the reason it happened.

Steph Curry Stats

Steph Curry Stats
Points Per Game
Rebounds Per Game
Assists Per Game
Field Goal %
3 Point FG%
Player Efficiency Rating
Steals Per Game
Turnovers Per Game
Career
23.5
4.5
6.6
47.7%
43.6%
23.8
1.7
3.1
Playoffs
26.5
5.4
6.3
45.1%
40.3%
23.1
1.6
3.5
Finals
27.1
5.8
6.3
42.2%
38.9%
N/A
1.6
3.6
Unfortunately, I can't find the PER for just Finals games, and can't fill in the equation myself because it is incredibly complicated.

Steph Curry Isn't Clutch

When you look at the stats above, it may appear that Steph improves in the clutch because he scores more. However, his shooting percentages drop from both the two and three range. In fact, in the Finals, Curry's FG% drops a whole 5.5% and 4.7% from three. His efficiency rating also slightly drops in the playoffs and his turnovers increase. Steph simply takes more shots and misses more in the playoffs and Finals. To be fair, statistics don't always tell the entire story. There are other clutch moments to be had that aren't derived from a simple box score. Below are some situational statistics.

Steph Curry is 4-15 or 26% on shots to tie or win with 24 seconds or less left in a game. All 4 makes were to tie, all shots to win were misses. His record in these game is 6-8. Steph has taken 9 shots to win a game in the playoffs in his career, all of which were misses.


The Warriors are the Perfect Team

The 2019 Warriors had 5 hall of fame players in their starting lineup.
The 2019 Warriors had 5 hall of fame players in their starting lineup.

The Warriors Ruined the NBA

Despite Curry's regressed playoff stats, they're still impressive. The question is, how much of that is Curry's greatness, and how much is it the team around him? Steph has played with two other hall of fame level players since 2012, he's had three hall of fame level players with him since 2017, and in 2019 he had four total hall of fame level players to play on his team.

Klay Thompson is an all-time shooter, 5x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, and 1x All-Defense player. Draymond Green is a Defensive Player of the Year, 3x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, 1x Steals Leader, and 5x All-Defense. Kevin Durant is an MVP Award winner, 4x scoring champion, 10x All-Star, 9x All-NBA, and won Rookie of the Year. Finally, Demarcus Cousins is a 4x All-Star and 2x All-NBA. All four are likely Hall of Famers.

Before Steph was part of a Big 3, Big 4, or Hall of Fame lineup, he played 3 seasons. In those seasons he never averaged more than 20 points per game. His teams averaged 27th in defense each year. It wasn't until Draymond arrived and he had two other elite players that Curry began to succeed. Curry led those teams but had great defensive help from his supporting cast and another shooter that needed to be respected. Once they added a former MVP and multiple scoring champion in Kevin Durant, it was all but over for the rest of the league. Despite all of this, in 2019 when KD was out for the Finals and Klay went down in Game 6, Curry lost and missed a crucial potential game winning 3 in the proces. If this wasn't enough, Steph and the Warriors were gifted with another bounty of luck throughout their years.

Why the Warriors are the Luckiest Team in the NBA

The 2015 Warriors were the luckiest champions in NBA history.
The 2015 Warriors were the luckiest champions in NBA history.

Why the Warriors are so Lucky

Since the beginning of Steph and the Warriors dynasty, they have been riddled with luck; injuries to key opponents, health on their part, and, in Steph's case, not having to face a key defender. Below is a list of playoff injuries to opposing players during the Warriors run from 2015-present.

In 2015 the Warriors won their first championship. In the Western Conference semi-finals, the Warriors defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 4-2. The Grizzlies were missing Mike Conley, arguably their best player, due to a facial fracture. They also were missing Tony Allen, their best defender and one of the better defenders in the league, due to a hamstring. Both of these players likely would have spent time defending Curry. After beating the Grizzlies, the Warriors went on to defeat the Rockets 4-1. In this game, their best defender, Patrick Beverley, was also injured due to a torn ligament in his wrist. He would have been the primary defender on Steph Curry in this case as well. Finally, the Warriors won the Championship against the Cavaliers 4-2. This was the luckiest series of all. The Cavaliers had just lost Kevin Love for the series due to Kelly Olynik pulling his arm out of its socket and required shoulder surgery. At the end of game 1, Kyrie Irving broke his kneecap and wouldn't be able to play the rest of the series. Both Irving and Love were the second and third best players on the team, and with their injuries, the Cavs had to run an 8 man rotation. This led to the team being gassed quickly and what started as a competitive series couldn't be maintained.

In 2016 the Warriors lost to a fully healthy Cleveland Cavaliers, but in 2017 the injury lucky struck again. The Warriors swept the Jazz 4-0 in the Western Conference semi-finals. In this series, George Hill, the primary defender of Steph Curry, was out with a toe injury. In the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors swept the Spurs this time. They had two of their main pieces out with injuries. Tony Parker, the primary defender of Steph Curry, was out with a torn quad. More importantly, even was the injury to Kawhi Leonard during game 1. He rolled his ankle and was no longer able to play. At that point in the game, the Spurs were up 25 points. Kawhi is well known as one of the greatest defenders in the league. With him gone, the Warriors breezed to the finals. Now, this isn't to say that the Warriors wouldn't have won the Finals in 2017 as I implied for their 2015 season, but they certainly wouldn't have swept through to the finals. They were given plenty of rest throughout the playoffs that other teams didn't have simply because they had little to no opposition. More games could have led to their own fatigue or injuries that could have changed their paths, but we'll never know because their path was gifted along with their extreme talent after adding Kevin Durant that offseason.

In 2018 the Warriors had a relatively normal playoffs until just before the Finals. The Rockets had been dominant and gave the Warriors all they could handle while leading the series 3-2. It wasn't until the end of game 5 when Chris Paul, the primary defender of Steph Curry and future Hall of Famer, went down with a hamstring strain. He wasn't able to play in games 6 or 7 and the Warriors ultimately won both to go on to the Finals. The way the Rockets had been playing was phenomenal. The Warriors seemed to be destined to watch from home, and that injury completely changed the tide of the series in their favor.

So clearly the key injuries through Steph Curry's three rings were paramount in his success. While it can't be said that any team would have definitively beat them had they been healthy, it's logical to think that the 2015 Cavs, 2017 Spurs, and 2018 Rockets all had a strong chance to contest them! The injuries were a huge factor and Curry could easily have lost two of those seasons if not for them.

Why Steph Curry is Famous

Curry losing to the Cavs.
Curry losing to the Cavs.

Why Steph Curry's Legacy is Tarnished

In conclusion, this article is not trying to say that Steph Curry isn't a good basketball player. He's the greatest shooter to ever live. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer. However, he is still overrated. Steph Curry is a three-time champion who lucked into one ring for sure, and possibly a second. He has been surrounded by at least two hall of fame players, and as many as four throughout his career. He's made the Finals a total of five times and has never received a Finals MVP award because he consistently disappears, or simply gets outplayed.

The hype around Curry really came from a combination of many things. It started with his awe-inspiring three-point shooting. People couldn't believe the rate that he was making threes and it was changing the game. Kids started to try to make more threes, they started yelling "Curry!" instead of "Kobe!" when they shot the ball. Couple that with his first ring that he earned. At first people may have thought the Cavs would have won if they were healthy, but eventually, they moved on and forgot. The next season the Cavs won and a rivalry was born through trash talk. Fans who hated LeBron saw Curry as a force to stop him and latched on. Then he had a beautiful family with a wife who ran her own cooking show, and a daughter who sat in interviews with Steph to make the world melt while they watched her play. It was a perfect storm of this marketability matched with his team around him, and Steph was able to capitalize in the spotlight. Steph is an all time shooter and a great player, but he isn't as good as people make him out to be. While he's portrayed as a top 5 player, he's probably closer to ten. He's never been able to beat a fully healthy team without the help of Durant and friends, and should the Warriors break up after 2019, I think he'll be exposed.

Do You Think Steph Curry is Overrated?

Where does Steph Rank in the NBA?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Jesse Unk

    Comments

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      • Ty Tayzlor profile image

        TT 

        2 months ago from Anywhere

        Doesn't look too good. I don't think DeAngelo Russell will have the impact experts say he will and even Draymond's skills on defense are deteriorating

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        2 months ago from Ohio

        TT,

        Im interested to see how he does with just draymond this season.

      • Ty Tayzlor profile image

        TT 

        2 months ago from Anywhere

        Totally agree. When you look at the Warriors run of late, they always seemed to catch every break imaginable.

      • EstX Neyo profile image

        Mikey Karlovsky 

        2 months ago

        Jesse,

        Don't really have anything as of yet, but keep it up man

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        2 months ago from Ohio

        Chokeland,

        My fanship doesnt change any of the facts or stats that i addressed above. Perhaps you should read past my bio before commenting on my article.

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        2 months ago from Ohio

        Mikey,

        I appreciate the support! Are there any other sports questions or players youd like to see covered in the future?

      • profile image

        Chokeland 

        2 months ago

        A Cleveland sports fan claiming Steph Curry is overrated and effectively a Mark Price with 3 lucky rings. Funny.

      • EstX Neyo profile image

        Mikey Karlovsky 

        2 months ago

        Love the content bro, and I agree Steph is a good player, but he is not clutch at all.

      • JesseUnk profile imageAUTHOR

        Jesse Unk 

        3 months ago from Ohio

        Wow,

        His statistics and success without an all star cast around him must be on crack as well.

      • profile image

        From the world 

        3 months ago

        Approved by the author. Yah.

      • profile image

        Wow 

        3 months ago

        You are on crack buddy.

      • profile image

        Ron Unk 

        3 months ago

        Great article with a lot of facts and nuggets of information to make you say " you know he's right "

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