One of the distinct advantages of being an Orlando Magic fan is that my team is so bad—as in 7-34, the worst record in the entire league kind of bad—that it leaves me with plenty of time to watch other teams who actually win games.
To that end, because I spent my entire adult life in Phoenix prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2014, I have a vested interest in watching the Suns and Clippers flourish. (But fuck the Lakers.) I’ve also developed an affinity for teams like the Boston Celtics—sorry, I’m a Jayson Tatum apologist—Brooklyn Nets, and the Philadelphia 76ers. Because who doesn’t want to watch players like Kevin Durant or Joel Embiid commit domestic terrorism on the basketball court?
But while each of these teams, and plenty of other talented players, have made NBA League Pass a must throughout this global pandemic, for years now, my favorite team to watch is the Golden State Warriors. But with his 34th birthday looming, while mired in a Smush Parker-esque, career-worst shooting slump, is Steph Curry beginning to lose his superpowers?
In December, we covered our eyes—and peeked through our fingers—as the three-time NBA champion hurled clunker after clunker during his quest to usurp Ray Allen as the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers. His mission might’ve been a success, but in the time since, his continued violent onslaughts against basketball rims throughout the league could have him facing a class action lawsuit—and aggravated assault charges.
This season, the Davidson demigod is shooting a career 42 percent from the field (his career average is 47.4 percent) and a shockingly bad (for him) 38.4 percent from deep. And if you really wanna throw up your lunch, shall we gather around the campfire and take a gander at how Steph has shot from behind the arc since December?
Look, I’m sorry. Maybe I should’ve included a trigger warning or something before showing y’all that. But what the fuck is happening here?
“He’s obviously the greatest shooter of all time, but it happens,” Steve Kerr explained to reporters earlier this month. “I’ve been around some of the great players of all time in my life, in my blessed basketball existence and I’ve seen it with everybody. Every great player has tough nights, it’s just part of it.”
OK, sure. But this damn many?
What’s scary about this slump is that even though Steph has inexplicably transformed into Dwight Howard, he’s still putting up 27 points a night—good for sixth in the league. Will the spacing (and rest on the offensive end of the floor) that Klay Thompson’s return provides allow the man we all know and love to regain his status as the undisputed fulcrum of the Warriors offense?
“The ball’s just not going in,” Curry told reporters last week. “Body of work over the course of this year has been pretty solid. This last stretch has not been great, not even to my standards. So you’ve just got to stick with the program. Never been reactive in terms of tough shooting nights or whatever. Same process, just understand the big picture of what we’re trying to do and what I’m trying to do, and then it’ll come around.”
Ayesha, what have you been feeding this man?
I’d like to see Steph finish stronger at the rim and get off the ball more so he can free himself up, but I ain’t the coach. So I’ma need Steve Kerr to sprinkle some Jesus on this situation post-haste, because the rest of the congregation is beginning to lose faith in our savior.