Does Stephen Curry's Near Quadruple-Double Validate Him As ROY?

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IApril 8, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 15: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after hitting a three-point shot against the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA game at Oracle Arena on March 15, 2010 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Even if Sacramento Kings' guard Tyreke Evans wins the NBA's Rookie of the Year award, one would be hard-pressed to discredit Golden State's Stephen Curry for that same honor, especially after his virtuoso performance on Wednesday night.

The Warriors' made coach Don Nelson the winningest coach in NBA history and Curry delivered a pure gem of a game which included 27 points, 14 assists, eight rebounds, and a career-high seven steals.

For those keeping track at home, Curry fell two rebounds and three steals short of accomplishing a very rare quadruple-double, and at the same time staked his claim as the NBA's best rookie.

Those kinds of numbers would be impressive for any player, but considering Curry is a rookie, and this is only his second year since high school playing point guard, it raises the feat to legendary status.

In a year where the positives have been hard to find for the Warriors, Curry continues to give loyal Golden State fans hope for the future, while simultaneously establishing himself as the team's best player.

That designation used to belong to backcourt mate Monta Ellis, but many would argue that Curry has surpassed Ellis as a complete player now, and the potential for his future is far beyond the realm of Ellis' comprehension.

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When comparing Evans and Curry in terms of statistics, Evans has a slight advantage in scoring at 20 points per game and rebounds at five per game, while Curry counters with 16.9 points per game, and 4.3 rebounds.

They are virtually even in assists, with both players averaging about six per game, but Curry shoots for a higher percentage from the field, the free-throw line, and long distance.

The Rookie of the Year award is usually based more on a player's numbers rather than the total impact they have on a team, and if that is true this year, than Evans may have already won the award.

But to understand what Curry brings to the Warriors, you have to delve a little deeper than the raw numbers, and look at his future potential as a point guard in the NBA.

Evans and Curry are both scoring point guards, but where Evans is limited by his range, Curry's is almost limitless, and he may have the purest shooting stroke in the game right now.

Evans shoots 45 percent from the field, which is a decent number, but Curry shoots 46 percent from the field, and the majority of his points come from the perimeter, while Evans prefers to dominate in the lane.

But the major difference lies in their future as point guards, and Curry may be more suited to play the position, whereas Evans may find himself eventually playing the shooting guard position.

Although Evans and Curry have comparable assist numbers, Curry seems to have an edge in court vision, and he appears to understand the nuances of guiding a team better than Evans.

Some will point out Evans' superior scoring average, but he did that as the primary offensive focus of his team, especially since former teammate Kelvin Martin spent most of his season injured and was eventually traded to the Houston Rockets.

Curry was never the first offensive option on his team, and his ability to play the lead guard position was scrutinized before he ever took a shot or played an NBA minute.

Even Curry's own teammates and coaches doubted his ability, but once he settled down and became comfortable with the speed of the NBA game, he quickly ascended to one of the game's better play-makers.

Which brings us back to Curry's magnificent performance on Wednesday night, which may be the best game played by a point guard this season, and rivals any performance from any player, regardless of position.

That one game perhaps describes best why Curry should win the award this year, because this type of performance, as remarkable as it was, has the potential to become commonplace for Curry.

He still makes rookie mistakes, and in his eagerness to excel Curry sometimes presses, which leads to turnovers and rushed shots. But the positives in his play-making abilities far out-weigh the negatives.

Imagine the possibilities for Curry once he has a year of experience under his belt, and a season of confidence built into his repertoire?

The sky is truly the limit for Curry, and barring some unforeseen calamity he should enjoy a long, successful NBA career that is marked by various awards and All-Star appearances.

In fact, Curry's first steps to greatness should begin when this season concludes, as 2010's NBA Rookie of the Year, because in a season that has glistened with spectacular rookie guard play, Curry has shined the brightest of all.