Coming into the 2009 NBA Draft, all the talk about Stephen Curry focused on the negatives: he was a liability on defense; he wasn’t strong enough or fast enough to match up with either guard position; he turned the ball over too much; he was a chucker; and he didn’t show up when being guarded by more athletic defenders. Everyone forgot he could shoot the lights out. Everyone remembers that beautiful stroke now and he is a Rookie of the Year candidate. Curry has increased his scoring each of the last five months, averaging 9.8 pts in November, 13.5 in December, 19.1 in January, 21.5 in February, and currently is averaging 21.8 in the month of March. Oh, and did I mention Curry currently ranks 4th in total steals (120) behind defensive specialists Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd, and teammate Monta Ellis and is 6th in steals per game (1.82). So much for being a defensive liability.
Last night Curry once again shined as the Warriors took on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. His line: 29 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal. This kid is really starting to come into his own and I can’t wait to see what he does next year with a year under his belt. He’ll come into camp strong, faster, and hungrier. I don’t know if it’s the Curry genes or if Monta Ellis’ comments in the beginning of the season about not wanting to play with Curry fueled the fire, but whatever it was, it worked. With an 18-48 record and no chance to make the playoffs, Curry can use the last 16 games of the NBA season to continue to grow and compete for the Rookie of the Year award.