UA-59049186-1 Court Kings: LeBron James Vs. Steph Curry Pt.2 - Good if it Goes

Court Kings: LeBron James Vs. Steph Curry Pt.2

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Previously on Court Kings, we discussed the NBA landscape following the NBA Finals. In regards to the face of the NBA, LeBron James and Stephen Curry are considered the top two players in the league. With back to back final appearances for both players, the title of league’s best player is up for grabs as the rematch of the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers went underway.

At the conclusion of part 1, we examined LeBron’s career up to his rematch vs. the Golden State Warriors lead by the reigning MVP Curry. In part 2, we will discuss the same for Stephen Curry as he rose from an injury prone point guard to one of the most dominating offensive players in NBA history.

In 2009, Curry was drafted by the Golden State Warriors seventh overall.  Although he was considered a very skilled player, some within the NBA were concerned about his professional career. Curry came from a smaller program in Davidson and did not see the same type of basketball competition in the college ranks. His lack of high level competition combined with his slender frame (6 foot 3, 185 pounds) made for many scouts to doubt his NBA future. He initially proved critics wrong during his rookie season as he averaged 17.5 points, 5.9 assists, and 1.9 steals per game, finishing second in ROY voting. He finished his sophomore season averaging 18.6 points, 5.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game and shot a franchise and league best 93.4 percent from the free throw line. He also won the NBA skills challenge at All-Star weekend and won the NBA Sportsmanship Award.

His third season brought all the critics back to the forefront as Curry endured a series of ankle injuries after having ankle surgery the summer prior to the season. He ended up playing 26 games (during the lockout season) because of his ankle and even re-aggravated the injury just before the start of his fourth season. This did not stop him from having his best season up to date. He averaged 22.9 points, 6.9 assists and had his career high of 52 points that season while also earning the name “Splash Brothers” with teammate Klay Thompson. The following season, Curry was selected as an All-Star starter for the Western Conference, averaging 24 points and  8.5 assists.

The 2014-15 season is the year that really started the argument of who the best player in the league would be. With Kevin Durant coming off of injury and LeBron returning to Cleveland after four straight final appearances, the landscape was shaped for LeBron to continue his reign as NBA’s best player. This was also the first year Curry was coached by Steve Kerr, who opened up the offense specifically to highlight Curry’s offensive skill set. During the season, Curry had a 51-point game in a win over the Dallas Mavericks. On April 9th, he broke his own league record for 3-pointers made in a season. By the end of the season, Curry led votes for All-Star game selection, earned a 3-point contest championship and the lead of the Warriors to a 67 win season. With 23.8 points, 7.7 assists and 2 steals per game Curry was voted the NBA Most Valuable Player solidifying his stamp in the NBA as one of the league’s best players.

In the playoffs, Curry was matched with the best player of the decade in LeBron as they battle for the NBA Championship. With a injury plagued Cavs team, LeBron fought valiantly but Curry and the Warriors depth were too much as the Warriors won the series 4-2. During the series,  Curry averaged 26 points and 6 assists but was not crowned the finals MVP as Andre Iguodala received the honor. With a league MVP and championship to match in a season, Curry began the debate of who is the league’s Alpha Dog. The following year tilted the scale closer to Curry as the Warriors began a historic run during the 2015-2016 season.

This is where we will get to those last 2:00 minutes of the NBA Finals. Stay tuned..


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