The maelstrom of basketball in the United States is reserved in the spring for the University League (NCAA). It is the catwalk to collegiate glory, where aspiring NBA players present their credentials. Just during the first days of April when the famous March madness with the triumph of Baylor, the first of the University of Waco (Texas), another madness began, that of Stephen Curry.
The Golden State Warriors guard displays followed one another, somewhat unnoticed because it has become routine to hit six or seven 3-pointers and more than 30 points in each game. Someone raised an eyebrow when he went to 41 against Milwaukee, one of the favorites, that day defeated, something surprising even despite the loss of his star Giannis Antetokounmpo. Days later, Curry added 53 points against another favorite, Denver, and surpassed the legendary Wilt Chamberlain as the Warriors’ top scorer with 17,783 points. Now it exceeds 18,000.
At 33 years old and in his 12th season he was used to competing for the maximum, with three titles and five finals between 2014 and 2019, MVP in 2015 and 2016 and top scorer in 2016. Now he has embarked on a challenge of another dimension. It’s about returning the Warriors to the playoffs, a feat if it is put into perspective because, after the final they lost to Toronto in 2019, Kevin Durant left them to join the Nets and they suffered a plague of injuries that have left Klay Thompson without playing since then and Curry himself absent for most of the previous season. The team concluded it with the worst balance in the League: 15 victories and 50 defeats. If little was bet this year on them, even less after losing the contest of pivot James Wiseman, the number two in the last draft, injured. It is added to a list of more specific casualties such as those of Bazemore, Damion Lee and Eric Paschall.
“This season has required something a little different. I’m trying to adapt to it. It’s a fun way to play basketball, just trying to score wins. And I have supreme confidence, “says Curry. “I have been blessed with a very special set of skills that I try to hone and improve to get where we want to go.” During the 14 games he has played in the last month his numbers are amazing, even for him: he linked 11 scoring more than 30 points, he has added 85 triples – James Harden had the peculiar record with 82 – and he averages 37.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 35.2 minutes, 6.5 triples with 47% accuracy and 57% in shots of two. The Warriors have won eight of those 14 games and have reached the tenth place in the table, a position that would be worth it to play the play-in, the novel eliminatory that will define the last two places of each Conference to dispute the playoffs.
The tie has been criticized by many players and coaches who consider it unfair that after an intense regular season – although with ten games less than the usual 82 -, the seventh and eighth classified are not guaranteed a place in the playoffs as happened until now. “We have the opportunity to make this season mean something down the stretch thanks to play-in if we reach peak performance at the right time, “argues Curry. His coach, Steve Kerr, begins to be stunned by the achievements of the man who leads the list of top scorers with an average of 31.3 points: “I seem to have run out of ways to describe his game. I’m going to stop trying. I do not know what else to say. It’s just amazing and mind-blowing, but I’ve already used those phrases. “