Why Stephen Curry is the greatest offensive player ever
What are the main factors to look at analyzing a player’s all time offensive impact? The first thing to look at is their individual scoring output/efficiency. This will cover anything from points per shot to points per touch, points per minute, EFG% and other efficiency stars such as TS%. The next thing that I look at is their impact on their teammates and the overall capabilities that a system ran around that player has and what it means for other stars and role players in that scenario. The last thing to look at is their isolation ability, which tells you a lot about the clutch scoring ability a player can produce. This category isn’t too important for someone like Curry because he is so productive in the first two categories. He rarely ever allows a game to get into clutch situations when his team is fully healthy. Since 2015, Golden State hasn’t lost a playoff series with all 5 starters.
Curry’s output in terms of efficiency is insane. He’s usually shooting above 45% every year from the field on a very high number of threes made per game. This means that more of his shots are worth an extra point. So, he needs less shots to score more points. FG% undervalues the impact of threes made because it treats all made shots as equally valuable when a made three pointer actually counts for an extra point. 3 point percentage also doesn’t show how MANY of your shots are worth 3 points which will add up to more points in less shots total. The stats that look at how many SHOTS you take along with how many points you score are EFG% and TS%. This will give The extra point for every made 3 pointer it’s proper value and it will illustrate how it really impacts the game in terms of the end score and deciding the winner. It’s not even arguable, curry has the best mix of volume and efficiency with EFG% and TS% (TS% adds in free throws). Curry is the most efficient volume scorer, in both EFG% and TS% by far in both the playoffs and regular season.
Curry is also one of the quickest scorers ever. His production of points and assists is done so at a very fast pace with very little time of possession leaving more ball time for his team mates to produce on top of the efficient scoring chunk curry gives you in such little time that curry actually has the ball in his hands. This means curry makes the most out of his help around him and the most out of his own production in a small amount of time he gets with the ball. This makes the full teams production skyrocket to the max which is why producing more in such little time helps a team so much, the help gets to produce more and help the super star even more. Curry is so efficient and scores so quickly because he can play off the ball and shoots it usually from anywhere which is a very quick method of offense. Curry’s teams also have more possessions per game because his style of play is fast paced and he’s able to have many possessions per 48 minutes since he’s able to produce so quickly in such little time. Curry is the fastest paced super star ever. This gives the team an advantage with runs, increases variability which helps three point shooting teams and also gives you more time to build on your lead or come back if your team operates quicker.
Curry is by far the most efficient volume scorer and the quickest producer and scorer ever in terms of seconds and minutes with the ball in his hands and how little of it he needs to do what he does. This has an incredibly positive impact on his team and makes his teammates more impactful as they contribute more. Curry playing off the ball also helps him score very quickly since he’s such a good off ball shooter and can play in motion offense which is usually really quick. His fast pace gives his teams that deadly run and comeback advantage after a few missed FG’s or turnovers by the opposite team. The fast pace is mostly due to how quickly curry produces in such little time and off ball play. This gets the most out of your teammates which makes the team as good as possible if you add super star + help contributions, u get a lot of help when you use the ball less and you still aren’t sacrificing your own production if you’re super efficient with it. Even with less ball time curry can still produce 25 Ppg which is super efficient and allows the rest of the team to produce more which gives you the best team production overall. The faster pace helps with runs and comebacks, Curry being fast paced has to do with him being so effective at scoring in little time.
Curry has the greatest impact on his teammates by far. His ability to shoot off the dribble, be a pure shooter off the catch and play like a Trae young/klay Thompson hybrid gives him the ability to play in motion offense and still produce like a superstar. We know most super stars cannot play in motion offense because it doesn’t allow the ball to stick, which wouldn’t allow a star to make their full impact. Some stars can play in a motion offense but what the team does is they take turns with that star producing and then motion offense being ran. Curry is probably the first super star ever that fits into motion offense as the centrepiece and elevates it and integrates into it while maintaining his super star impact. He compliments it and makes an already super efficient offensive system even more deadly at creating good shots for a team. Curry being able to operate within it gives his team that super star scoring boost and also allows the team to have that insane contribution from the help because the help is able to get the best shots possible from ball movement and extra passes. So curry allows his team to get the best of both, and his team mates get to play at their most efficient level by taking their most efficient shots.
Curry is able to run motion offense and screen action that is fast paced with a high volume of three point shooting. Curry can take the best offensive system ever and operate within it and add a super star scoring impact to the offense already being produced by the rest of the system. He also makes it better. Curry makes the system work better because he creates even MORE space for his teammates while they are making all these extra passes because curry is such a threat from such a far distance out that he’s constantly shifting the defense when he’s away from the ball and it’s moving amongst other players. He’s constantly causing matchup issues and miscommunications because motion offense is hard enough to guard but when you add curry integrated into that it’s too easy to make miscommunications and he requires too much help and attention. This causes him to space the floor like crazy while he’s off the ball which makes ball movement even more successful in producing the best shot for role players.
Curry’s spacing has a profound impact on his teammates. In games when Curry sits entirely and doesn’t play at all, Klay Thompson shoots 10+ EFG% worse. on average every second curry sits on the bench even for a small break with klay on the floor, klay is about 8% less effective, and in similar scenarios draymond is 7% less effective without curry, and KD went for, 62.8 to 54.4 EFG without him. and A similar even more impactful trend is seen with the rest of his teammates. There isn’t one player that doesn’t have a significant drop in percentage when curry sits on the bench. No other super star in the league has this feat for this stat. This stat tracks every single second of play time with a certain individual on the bench throughout the entire season, even 1 minute breaks are tracked. Curry has amazing floor spacing ability off the ball but he’s also got an amazing on ball impact on his teammates as he’s a good passer and has good handles and usually creates opportunities on the floor from dribble penetration and finding a man open. he’s got the spacing impact of a shooter like Ray Allen, and an on ball impact on teammates like a cp3/rondo. The combination of the two has never been seen before. No player who poses this much of a pure shooting threat has ever had an elite handle and passing like Curry. And no player with an elite handle and passing ability has ever had a ray Allen/klay type spacing impact away from the ball.
This is why Curry has the biggest impact on his teammates by far of anyone of all time. We didn’t even mention his selfless nature and IQ, we don’t even need to add to the ray Allen/cp3 hybrid of a spacing/passing/ball handling impact. His teammate impact and the motion offense with screen action combined with a 26 PPG caliber impact that doesn’t disturb the system and makes it better, clearly means Curry has the greatest impact on his teammates of any super star who ever played. He also has the greatest team system impact of anyone of all time. The on off stats show this too, curry has the best playoff and regular season on vs off +- on a team that has been referred to as a super team and even praised for their coaching. If a team is good with a lot of options and coaching it becomes even harder to have a good on/ off impact because they can produce without you, yet curry still leads in this category over any super star ever. This is due to teammate impact on ball and off ball with spacing combined with the system he allows his team to run combined with his team system impact in making that system a lot better just with his presence. Players who play in that system get a motion offense on steroids pretty much with a good passer/playmaking super star who has a good handle.
Finally, Curry’s isolation scoring and impact is pretty good when it is called upon. Obviously, he lacks some mid range isolation flow and versatility which may hurt him in the clutch. It is easier to game plan for players in the clutch on one spot over many when it comes to scoring the basketball in isolation. Team offense doesn’t work as much in the clutch when defense gets tighter and is able to put maximal effort for the last few minutes. Curry’s isolation scoring is still at the top of the league and he can create three point shots off the dribble, but it’s not ideal in the clutch when in most situations you don’t need the extra point from the three. Taking a three doesn’t have much benefit yet it’s still a less effective shot. 3’s are only justified when you’re down three. The reason I don’t think Curry’s lack of iso clutch scoring is because he’s so effective in the previous categories I listed that when his team is healthy the games are almost never close. There was really no need for a closing scorer. He had his fair share of clutch moments, too. He just hasn’t taken over a 4th QT quite like KD or Kyrie have in the past 3-4 years. He’s too good of an offensive player that most games are blowouts and there’s never really a clutch because it’s usually garbage time blowouts. This is why his lack of isolation scoring doesn’t hurt him and is still the greatest offensive player ever.
To conclude, Curry is the most efficient scorer of all time, has the highest capabilities of running the best team system impact out of any superstar ever. He’s also got the insane impact on that system because of his insane spacing mixed with ball handling and passing skill. He has the best teammate impact of all time, and he’s the least ball dominant, quickest producing superstar of all time. He’s so good that games are rarely ever close when his team is fully healthy. This is why he is the greatest offensive player ever.
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