Steph Curry’s Game 7 Was One Of The Worst Choke Jobs In NBA Finals History
As great as Lebron James was on Sunday night, that's how pathetic Steph Curry was. The supposed "face of the NBA" looked woefully disinterested in defending the title for the Golden State Warriors, while James seemed like every dumb Skip Bayless rant about his ineptitude ran through his head on a continuous, infuriating loop. James was so much better than Curry when it mattered most that it leaves you wondering how the script could ever possibly have been flipped in the reigning NBA MVP's favor.
It wasn't just the eye test that Curry failed, either. His performance in Game 7 of the NBA Finals was historically disappointing statistically. Since the 1983-84 season (the year from which full stats are available on BasketballReference.com), a star of Curry's caliber has never performed so poorly in a loss in a game that deep in the Finals.
That may be hard to believe. Or not. Either way, the numbers don't lie. Since that 1983-84 season, there have only been 48 times that a starting player attempted 10 or more field goals and scored 17 or fewer points in a Game 6 or Game 7 that their team lost in the NBA Finals. Of those 48, only 14 had a worse field goal percentage than Curry's .316.
And I think it goes without saying that Steph Curry's 30 points per game during the regular season was far higher than the averages of any of those 14 guys below him on the list. The closest comparison you can make to a superstar like Curry was Patrick Ewing's 17 points in Game 6 of the 1994 NBA Finals in which he was 6 of 20 (.300) from the floor. Ewing averaged 24.5 points per game that year, so 17 points in a game of that magnitude was presumably a disappointment. However he also contributed a game-high 15 rebounds that night while matched up against Hakeem Olajuwon; so his impact was definitely felt elsewhere, whereas Curry's was most certainly not.
In fact, it's hard to argue that any of those other 47 performances were put on by players that were the kind of pure shooter that Curry is. But even Hall of Fame players who had rough games point-wise managed to make their presence felt in other ways.
Check out these two games on the list from Larry Bird and Magic Johnson for example:
They both shot .375 or below from the field and each scored just 16 points. But Bird had 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks, while Magic had 5 rebounds, 15 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. The best Curry could muster was 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block to compliment his meager shooting percentage. Plus it's worth noting that the basketball that Bird and Magic played in the 80's came before the high-octane shooting of guys like Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson began changing the game into what it is today.
Curry won his second of consecutive MVP Awards this year and led his team to the best regular -season record of all time. At the end of the day, that forces us to hold him to a higher standard. Heading into this series, people had fully embraced him as the consensus best player in the NBA. Comparisons to Michael Jordan were being tossed around more casually than they'd ever been with Lebron James or Kobe Bryant. He was being given every benefit of the doubt that he would rise to the occasion in the NBA Finals.
Win or lose, Curry was expected to play his ass off.
If he had put up 28 points and hustled until the final buzzer went off, this would be an entirely different conversation; one that focuses on Lebron's redemption rather than Curry's descent. But that's simply not what happened. Curry was mediocre on a night when a true legend should have been extraordinary; or at least looked like he was trying. Stephen Curry's Game 7 performance will go down in the annals of basketball history as one of the most disappointing showings ever.
The good news is that he has plenty of time to redeem himself. (See: Lebron)
Be the first to know
Want FREE Fantasy and Gaming Advice and Savings Delivered to your Inbox? Sign up for our Newsletter.