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Is Stephen Curry a choker?

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Is Stephen Curry a choker?

I have lots of respect for Stephen Curry. The guy is a two-time MVP and became the first unanimous MVP in NBA history last year. Curry has developed into one of the finest shooters in NBA history and people are already calling him the best ever shooter in NBA history (Curry is only 28 years old and still in the prime of his life). 

The man has broken countless NBA records and will remain in the history books forever, and his career isn’t near over yet.

Steph deserves a lot of respect.

He has one major problem with his game, though, but nobody’s perfect.

Nowadays in the NBA the biggest rivalry is between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This matchup is the one everybody circles on their calendar and sets aside time to watch the game.

We’ve seen the two teams meet in the NBA Finals two years in a row now and we’re likely to see these two forces contend once again in the Finals for the third time in three years (Let’s face it, who’s going to beat either of these teams in a 7 game series during the playoffs).

We got our first look at the new and improved Warriors team vs the Cavs on Christmas day and for most of that game, it seemed that the Warriors were going to leave Cleveland with the win. That wasn’t the case though as the Cavs overcame a 14 point fourth-quarter deficit to win the game 108-109. Kevin Durant had a great game for the Warriors putting up 36 points, 15 rebounds and 3 assists. Meanwhile, Kyrie, LeBron and Love all got the job done for the Cavs in the end.

One player who didn’t show up for his team when they needed him most? - Stephen Curry.

Curry put up 15 points on 4-11 shooting (36.4%). It’s okay stats for a role player on a team but for a two-time Mvp who should be in the prime of his life? - It’s awful!

Curry disappeared when his team needed him most. He played 37 minutes of that game (one minute less than KD who had an outstanding performance) and in that time he only recorded two three-pointers out of 7 attempts. This isn’t the first time though that we’ve seen Curry disappear in the ‘spotlight’. Curry is an amazing player but sometimes he seems to crumble under the pressure. 

In the past two years we’ve seen the Warriors face the Cavs quite a lot of times and in 80% of these battles, Curry has been quiet on the scoreboard, letting his team down. Let me break down some numbers for you:

Game 1 NBA Finals 2016

Steph stats: 11 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 turnovers, 27% field-goal percentage.

Kyrie stats: 26 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 32% field-goal percentage.

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Game 5 NBA Finals 2016

Steph stats: 25 points, 4 assists, 7 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 38% field-goal percentage.

Kyrie stats: 41 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 71% field-goal percentage.

Game 7 NBA Finals 2016

Steph stats: 17 points, 2 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 32% field-goal percentage.

Kyrie stats: 26 points, 1 assist, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 44% field-goal percentage.

Christmas Day matchup 2016

Steph stats: 15 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 36% field-goal percentage.

Kyrie stats: 25 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 41% field-goal percentage.

"Stephen Curry rarely shows up in the all important moments... except against the Thunder"

These stats and figures show how Curry seems to disappear against the bigger teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers. Against Kyrie Irving, Curry has had one or two good performances but usually he just doesn’t show up and has an average night - not what the Warriors want from their two-time MVP against the only other dominant force in the league.

If Curry could show up more at these big games then maybe the Warriors could have won that game 7 against the Cavs to take home the NBA title for the second year in a row. If Curry had a decent performance on Christmas day the Warriors could have easily walked away from the Quicken Loans Arena with the win - but they didn’t. Curry didn’t play great and the rest of the team had to try to fill in for him which ultimately led to losses for the team.

The fact I’m making is that Curry is a top 3 point guard in the NBA and he’s undoubtedly one of the best shooters in NBA history, Curry’s one problem though is that he crumbles under the spotlight.

Whether it’s a big Christmas day matchup or the NBA Finals, Curry just rarely shows up in the all important moments.

Sure Curry has had some good moments in the Finals like in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals where he dropped 30 against the Cavs on a 40% shooting night but we need to see more of these moments from Curry and not just ‘the odd one’.

Especially now that the Warriors have lost most of their bench in the Summer in exchange for Kevin Durant, the Warriors need Curry to step up now more than ever in those All-important games.

If Curry can work on this one problem then we can definitely see this guy go down as one of the All-Time greats to have played in the NBA - until then though Curry will be remembered as one of the greats who just disappeared when the important times came.

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