Stephen Curry is losing a little bit of his magic. The current reigning 2-time MVP has seen a dramatic downturn in his shooting touch recently. And the consequences are showing in the Warriors’ Win-Loss column. They are now 2-5 in their last 7 games, the worst regular season stretch of the Steve Kerr era. Even though the last loss against the Spurs saw Curry take a day off, this is looking like a cause for concern.
In that stretch, Curry – who had a record breaking season last year, making over 400 three-pointers for the first time in history – has been missing the bull’s eye. On three-pointers, he’s only 18-of-65. That’s a 28% clip, a massive drop off from this season’s 39.3% and last season’s 45.4%. What’s going on with the Chef?
No Durant, Big Problem
It may not be coincidental that the Warriors’ woes begun when All-Star Kevin Durant got hurt in a Wizards game. Zaza Pachulia accidentally fell into his knee, causing a hyperextension and sidelining him. Durant might not see the court again until the Playoffs – if no further complications arise.
Initially, the Warriors seemed confident that they could manage without their top scorer for a few weeks. this was, after all, composed of the same core that won 73 games last season, and a championship before that. As long as Stephen Curry was there – along with Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala, things would be okay… right?
Wrong. The Warriors soon dropped games to the Bulls, and suffered a three-game losing streak against the Celtics, Timberwolves, and Spurs. San Antonio in particular, has the Warriors’ number this season, beating them for the second time.
Durant’s 25.3 points and 8.2 rebounds are certainly missed. Over the course of the season, the former OKC Thunder star has proven a valuable addition to the Golden State Warriors. At the expense of being a little top-heavy, the blue-and-gold have thrived. They held on to the league’s best record for a majority of the season. Power rankings everywhere from ESPN to Bleacher Report consistently gave them the top spot.
Without the all-around firepower of Durant, defenders have managed to collapse upon Curry and Thompson. As a result, their arsenal has been reduced to their three-point game. So far, that’s not working out as well for them as it did last year. And with Kawhi Leonard and James Harden sprinting for the MVP Awards, it’s now no certainty that the Warriors will hold on to the top spot.
Another thing that may fly under the radar, however: Curry is now 0 of 5 on go-ahead shots in the last ten seconds. This is surprising, considering how clutch Curry was last year (8 of 15 on the season).
The issue manifested itself when he (and Thompson) failed to score in the 4th quarter in the Celtics game. That game saw the Warriors held to their lowest-scoring quarter all season, with only 12. And against the Wolves, Stephen Curry missed a jumper just inside the baseline which would have otherwise won them the game (though, to be fair, he was well-guarded by Ricky Rubio).
Some say that clutch is just a matter of mentality. In this case though, Curry’s mind seems to be wandering a little off the mark right now. The Warriors aren’t going to be easy targets in the Playoffs no matter what. But unless Stephen Curry can find that magic touch once again, they may be looking at a WCF Game 7 in Texas rather than back home at Oracle Arena.