Friday, April 19, 2013

Stephen Curry Breaks Ray Allen's 3-Point Season Record

Stephen Curry is the new record-holder for most 3-pointers in a season. (

Record Tying 3-pointer: Double screen on the left wing. Curl hard. Don’t give the defender space to get over the top. Pass received. Three hard dribbles to the right. Post man shows trying to help the screened defender. No problem. He doesn’t commit. Doesn’t want to get beat off the dribble, so he throws a half-hearted hand out before running into his own man. Perfect. Wide open. Let it rip.

Rattles home.

Even with Ray Allen now. Got to get one more.

Record Breaking Three: No more waiting. Pass is on its way. Grab it and just let it go. Forget the defender. He’s out of position. Don’t think. Just shoot. Catch and release. Like a million times before.


And just like that, Stephen Curry held the record for the most 3-pointers made in a single season.

There have been many truly sensational 3-point shooters that have graced an NBA court. The likes of Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash and Ray Allen have all consistently watched a long ball nestle itself into the nylon. The engaging and compelling debates of “who’s the best” are never ending and will more than likely never be decided. However, every now and again a new player will throw his or her name into the discussion. By passing Ray Allen for most 3's in a single season, Golden State Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry is the most recent player to do so.

During his time at Davidson University, Curry was a dynamic scorer and a brilliant shooter.  Averaging more than 20 points a game throughout his college career, Curry exemplified what a scorer should be. He shot at least 45 percent in each of his seasons, and nearly 90 percent from the charity stripe. He also showed good defensive prowess, picking the pockets of his opponents twice per contest. The one thing that separated Curry from other guards was his jump shot and that has continued to be, among his many assets, his most lethal weapon.

Curry has a lightening-quick release that would challenge even Allen’s and a fearless demeanor that makes any shot seem like a good one for Curry. This same attitude helped him lead his Wildcats to the Elite Eight before falling to the Kansas Jayhawks in a tightly contested game in 2008. After having a career year in the 2008-09 season, where he averaged nearly 29 points a game, six assists a game and more than two steals a game, Curry left for the NBA. And this is where his path to true greatness as a shooter began.

Curry hit the ground running in his rookie season. He established himself as a lethal shooter from downtown, firing more than 43 percent from behind the arc. He led the Golden State Warriors from the point guard position with a combination of scoring and passing that quickly led to the discussion of where he ranked in the league among the position’s best. He was named to the Rookie All-NBA first team and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans. He made 166 3-pointers his rookie season, more than Allen, Miller and Bird did in their respective rookie years and each of them played full seasons, albeit Miller coming off the bench. While it is still early in his career, Curry has yet to shoot less than 43 percent from long distance, something none of the other names mentioned did. To bring things full circle, in Allen’s recorded setting year, when he made an astonishing 269 threes in a season, he shot 41 percent from downtown, an impressive number to say the least. However, Curry not only broke his record, he did with more efficiency. In conjunction with his 272 made 3-pointers, Curry shot a blistering 45 percent from behind the arc. He not only took Allen’s record, but did it in fewer shots and with more precision, something nobody could have believed would happen.

I do have an admission I must confess: I did not expect Curry to be a starter in the NBA, let alone the player he has become. I saw a skinny, undersized shooting guard who would get pushed around by the larger, stronger athletes at his position in the NBA. Not only has he proved me wrong, he’s made me look like a complete fool. While he is arguably the deadliest shooter in the NBA, he is also a dynamic point guard who creates opportunities for his teammates consistently. He grabs rebounds, racks up assists and, of course, shoots it as well as anyone in the game today. He is lightning quick on his feet, an exceptional ball-handler and a leader for his team, even though he is only 25 years old. To top it all off, now he has inserted his name into the record books, passing one of the greatest shooters to ever pick up a basketball, and his career is just getting started.

So let’s start up those debates again, and discuss who’s the bet from behind the arc.

This time, add Curry’s name to the list.

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