Breaking Down Stephen Curry's Superstar Season by the Numbers

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Breaking Down Stephen Curry's Superstar Season by the Numbers
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Stephen Curry entered Wednesday night needing just two three-pointers versus the Portland Trail Blazer to break Ray Allen's single-season record of 269.

Considering he's averaged 3.5 threes per game this season, 2.5 per game over his four-year career, and an astounding 4.6 over his last 14 games (via Basketball-Reference.com) it figured to be a matter of when, not if, he would set the new standard for NBA marksmanship.

And that's exactly how things played out. His three-pointer at the 6:49 mark of the second quarter Wednesday night sealed the deal:

Curry connected on 4-of-11 three-point attempts against the Trail Blazers, setting the new perimeter benchmark at 272.

And to think, this all came from a player not selected for the 2013 All-Star Game.

Whatever lingering doubts the voters clung to when they denied him his first appearance on All-Star Sunday, Curry has all but erased them with a season for the ages.

But 272 is hardly the only notable number of Curry's year.

 

45.3: Three-Point Percentage

Curry hit a career-high 11 3-pointers during his 54-point night against the New York Knicks on Feb. 27.

In and of itself, Curry's lofty success rate from beyond the arc impresses.

Only two players—Jose Calderon of the Detroit Pistons and Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks—connected on a better percentage from beyond the arc this season (46.1 and 45.7, respectively). The two, however, combined for a total of 319 three-point makes, just 47 more than Curry.

Only two other players made at least 200 threes on the season. Curry's teammate Klay Thompson (211) barely cleared the 40 percent mark at 40.1, while New Orleans Hornets forward Ryan Anderson (213) made just 38.2 percent of his tries.

But in order to truly appreciate Curry's perimeter performance, we must look back on the player who set the bar that the Warriors star eclipsed.

Allen, who set the record with the Seattle Supersonics in 2005-06, finished the year with a 41.2 three-point percentage. Dennis Scott, the previous record-holder, shot 42.5 percent when he set the benchmark playing for the Orlando Magic in 1995-96.

And for the record, Allen, the career leader in made three-pointers, has only shot better than 45.0 percent from deep one time in his career (45.3 percent with the Boston Celtics in 2011-12).

 

 595: Three-Point Attempts to Eclipse Allen's Mark

Curry has made the most of his 3-point looks all season.

Curry didn't exactly pass up three-point chances this season. Given his ludicrous success rate, why would he?

His 600 three-point attempts are 43 more than the next closest competitor (Ryan Anderson, 557), eclipsing Kyle Korver's 414 attempts by 186 and Calderon's 282 by 318. They weren't, however, the most in league history, ranking as the 10th-most attempts in a single season. George McCloud holds that mark with his 678 long-range efforts for the 1995-96 Dallas Mavericks, a season in which he shot just 37.9 percent from distance.

For a better comparison, though, how do Curry's numbers compare with Allen's record-setting year? Let's just say there's a bit of a gap there as well. Allen needed 653 attempts from deep (second-most all time)—or better than 0.5 more attempts per game than Curry this season.

 

43.8: Success Rate 25-to-29 Feet from the Basket

Curry's season shot chart courtesy of NBA.com.

The NBA three-point arc measures 23.75 feet away from the hoop at its longest and trickles down to 22 feet in the corner. Suffice to say that there haven't been many freebies to bolster Curry's lofty numbers this season.

He's done most of his damage from either wing or at the top of the key, not from the shorter, more efficient corner looks. That's largely due to the fact that, as the point guard, he's initiating so many of the Warriors' offensive sets from those spots on the floor.

If his defender blinks for a second on a pick-and-roll, or the opposing big man fails to hedge, Curry's rapid release grants him more than enough time and space to pull the trigger. When the Warriors get out on the fast break, Curry often hangs back a bit so that he can slide in behind the ball-handler for an open look at the basket.

But he's done a significant amount of damage courtesy of off-ball screens. Mark Jackson prefers to send both Curry and Thompson through a series of figure-eight screens built to bring either player a clean look from the wing.

Coach Jackson also utilizes what is called the "elevator," a variation of the flex offense that results with a capable passer receiving the ball on the wing while Curry slips between a double screen from his bigs for a free look at a straight-away three, captured below (via Ethan Sherwood Strauss of WarriorsWorld.com).

Two years at the Warriors' helm has let Jackson maximize Curry's talents.

 

78: Games Played

The only ankles Curry is damaging this season are those of his defenders.

Warriors fans will rightfully celebrate Curry's record, but nothing has Golden State beaming more than the fact that he's been healthy enough to appear in all but four games this season.

Just last year the Davidson product suffered through a lost season (26 games played) thanks to ongoing ankle issues dating back to the 2010-11 campaign. But after back-to-back summers rehabbing from surgical procedures, the young guard is back and better than ever.

Not only has he returned to the floor this season, Golden State coach Mark Jackson has had a hard time getting him off of it. He's logged a career-high 38.3 minutes per game, tops on the Warriors and sixth among all players this season.

 

47: Warriors Wins

The Warriors reacted after clinching a playoff berth with a 105-89 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 9.

The Warriors have seemingly made a habit of wasting Curry's monstrous outings this season.

His 54-point outburst against the New York Knicks in late February put him in exclusive company in Madison Square Garden's storied history. But in the end, it resulted in nothing more than a 109-105 Warriors loss.

His majestic 47-point, nine-assist, six-rebound and three-steal effort against the Los Angeles Lakers last Friday was similarly squandered, that one a 118-116 Warriors loss.

But the Warriors haven't spoiled Curry's breakout year entirely. With 47 wins, Golden State will be making just its second trip to the postseason in 19 years.

David Lee may have been the Warriors' lone All-Star representative, but no player has had a larger hand in reversing the organization's fortunes than its sharp-shooting guard.

 

$44 Million: Curry's Contract Extension

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Curry will have even more reasons to smile when his new contract kicks in next season.

Both parties rolled the dice a bit when Curry inked his four-year, $44 million contract extension at the beginning of this season.

No matter what kind of superstar potential he had managed to show at that point, a remembrance of Curry's non-contact injuries was hard to shake.

And from Curry's standpoint, this deal could become one of the league's great bargains if he could stay on the floor. Essentially the money slotted him right in the middle of Philadelphia 76ers floor general Jrue Holiday (four years, $41 million) and Denver Nuggets point man Ty Lawson (four years, $48 million). Neither player has offered even a glimpse of Curry's promise thus far.

If his ankle woes are indeed behind him, Curry could be the most valuable asset in a league with a long history of overpaying for talent.

 

Four: NBA Seasons Played to Date

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Curry may just be scratching the surface of his superstar potential.

It's incredible to think how far Stephen Curry's come since his three-year stay at Davidson College. And even more amazing to think just how far he could go from here.

Allen didn't even surpass the 200 mark in made three-pointers until his fifth season in the league. Prior to his 10th year in the pros, he topped 210 threes only once.

Then again, this is precisely what Curry was born to do. His father, Dell, enjoyed a 16-year NBA career during which he made 1,245 threes on a career 40.2 perimeter percentage.

Curry has already established himself as the premier long-range shooter in the game today. He's the focal point of opposing defenses, and even though the entire arena knows where he wants to get his shots, he still found a record number of threes this season.

If he can stay healthy, Stephen Curry has all of the necessary tools to make a run at another one of Allen's records down the line.

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