Let’s Just Send the Larry O’Brien Trophy to the Bay Area Already
Yesterday, the NBA announced that Stephen Curry won his second straight NBA MVP award, which makes him only the 11th player to win it back-to-back, and the first ever to win it unanimously. On Monday, Curry came back from a two week absence due to a MCL knee sprain to steal a game away from the Trail Blazers in Portland, add some much needed juice to the postseason, and put some fear in the hearts of his opponents. The way the events played out almost felt like they were scripted.
The Golden State Warriors' win during Monday’s 132-125 overtime classic didn’t come easy. Portland competed throughout the game and were fearless on offense. The only questionable part of their game was their defense against Curry. To everyone’s confusion, they left him open multiple times. Lucky for them, his shot wasn’t falling in the first three quarters. They kept giving him those looks, and, eventually, those shots started splashing through the net. I guess he wasn’t warmed up yet.
But let’s talk about the rest of the Warriors and what makes this record-breaking 73-win team so indomitable. Andrew Bogut’s crafty defensive acumen, Harrison Barnes’s out-of-nowhere scoring spurts, Andre Iguodala's swiss-army versatility, Draymond Green’s do-it-all prowess, and Klay Thompson’s All-Star game and overall shooting ability. They’re a really good team without their MVP, as they’ve already proven by moving on to the semi-finals without Curry. Sure, the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are worthy opponents, and people are already crowning the Cleveland Cavaliers as Eastern Conference Champs for breezing through the East, but if the Dubs have a confident and healthy Curry heading into the next rounds, they’re going to be a fucking nightmare.
Steph Curry is one of the scariest basketball players I’ve ever seen. Early-aughts Shaq, mid-aughts Kobe and LeBron from a few years ago reached that level. His scariness doesn’t come from sheer physicality; it’s straight from the combination of his impeccable skill set and his deadly jumpshot, which is arguably the deadliest one in league history. He keeps the defense in a constant state of panic because if you double him, his passing is good enough to find the open man, and if you don’t, he’s quick enough to get to where he wants to on the floor against anybody. Oh, and he can shoot it from anywhere. Like it’s nothing.
Unless you’re a Warriors Hater or a Steph Hater (if you are, the fuck’s wrong with you???), it is utterly impossible not to enjoy the display we’re seeing from Curry on the court. He’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and I’m not positive we’ll get to see another player like him. The man is changing the game before our eyes, so much so that he’s leaving former NBAers and people across the world alike speechless solely based on his on-court wizardry. To miss two weeks, come back and drop 40 points, including an NBA-record 17 points in overtime, is unreal and insane. I’ve never seen that happen before. But what I love the most about that is that it’s how an MVP should perform in critical games.
Kenny Smith said what everyone was already saying, “The NBA playoffs missed Steph Curry". I’m sure the Warriors did too, because they know they can’t repeat as champions without him. Steph came back like he never left. Literally. As he was sucking the soul out of 18,000 people at the Moda Center, Steph was boasting that he was indeed back, and here to stay. If that’s the case, (and let’s all hope it is since there’s nothing better than this) Adam Silver should just FedEX the Larry O’Brien trophy to Oakland. It ain’t going nowhere else.
written by The W