But it isn’t just hope of days to come. This is happening now, as the Warriors' playoff run is underwritten by the abilities of its pair of young guards.
In Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs, Curry scored 44 points and hit six three-pointers. In Game 2, Thompson was 8-of-9 from three-point range and scored 34 points (29 of which came if the first half).
No one expected this. Not now. Not this soon.
The future has sprung quicker than expected. But no, the plan to pair these two marksmen wasn’t anything overly complicated. It took some guts, but that’s about it.
Four years ago, the Warriors snatched Curry out of Davidson with the No. 7 pick. They knew what they were getting: an instinctual scorer with the best jump shot in the 2009 draft.
Two years later, it became clear that the backcourt of Curry and Monta Ellis wasn’t working, and the team drafted Thompson out of Washington State with the No. 11 overall pick. The 6’7” wing was the best pure shooter in the draft at the position the Warriors needed to invest in.
When the team traded Ellis as part of a package to the Milwaukee Bucks last season, it cleared room for Thompson and Curry to be the team’s definitive starting backcourt.
The Warriors haven’t looked back.
This past season, the master shooters paired to hit a record 483—yes, close to five-hundred—three-pointers. The previous high from a starting backcourt was the 435 Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott set in '95-96. Not only that, but Curry set the single-season record with 272 three-pointers made, topping the 269 Ray Allen bottomed in the '05-06 campaign.
The “Splash Brothers” are rolling in the postseason from behind the arc. Curry leads the playoffs with 31 three-pointers and Thompson is second with 20.
None of this is new—the Warriors as a team shot 40.3 percent on three-pointers in the regular season, and they are shooting 40.7 percent in the postseason. The only difference is that they are shooting more now, taking five additional three-pointers per game in the playoffs.
But it’s more than just shooting. There is no better, complete pair of guards remaining in this postseason.
The move to the traditional backcourt of Curry at point and the bigger Thompson at the off-guard allows the Warriors to defend better than it could previously with Ellis. Thompson is just now gaining more notice for his top-notch defensive abilities. He is able to use his long arms and equally long strides to challenge opposing guards and wings.
The success of the two was the most significant element in Golden State first-round series against the Denver Nuggets, and it’s currently proving successful again versus the Spurs.
The "greatest shooting backcourt in the history of the game," as Warriors coach Mark Jackson likes to call it, is the foundation for what could be a perennial powerhouse in the Western Conference.
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