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Hot start pushes Curry to forefront of MVP

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So far, fomer two-time MVP winner looking much like his 2015-16 self

Sekou Smith

Sekou Smith NBA.com

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Nov 2, 2018 11:06 AM ET

Stephen Curry is shooting an astounding 52.9 percent on 3-pointers this season.

When Kevin Durant raised the Finals MVP trophy in the air in June — his second straight, mind you — it was supposed to be over for Stephen Curry.

The prevailing wisdom said there was no way the former two-time Kia MVP winner Curry would be able to contend for a third Maurice Podoloff Trophy playing alongside Durant (a former Kia MVP himself).

Their individual brilliance would be muted by the collective strength of their partnership as the two best players on the best team in the league. This notion they would continue to split Kia MVP votes made sense given their super team required all of its stars to sacrifice personal glory for the greater team good.

That was the thinking before the first nine games of this season … and then Curry decided to attack things as he did in 2015-16. That season, he went nuclear — averaging 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 50.4 percent overall and 45.4 percent on 3-pointers — becoming the NBA’s first unanimous MVP winner as the Warriors won an NBA-record 73 games.

Stephen Curry and the Warriors were in a zone in the 2015-16 season.

Durant was still toiling for the rival Oklahoma City Thunder then, sharing the spotlight with another eventual Kia MVP in Russell Westbrook.

Curry’s opening salvo this season, though, has been nothing short of staggering.

His pace right now — leading the league in scoring while shooting nearly 55 percent overall and 53 percent on 3-pointers  — could top that 2015-16 season. Doing all this with teammates who could make their own compelling cases for Kia MVP honors makes Curry’s start even more mind-boggling.

Both Durant (check out his 25-point fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden) and Klay Thompson (who topped Curry’s 3-pointers made record Monday in Chicago) are taking turns showing out, all of which speaks to the Warriors’ mastery of a situation that easily could have overloaded these three stars.

Curry’s consistent brilliance sticks out in a sea of transcendent scoring performances in the early stages of this season.

On Oct. 24, Stephen Curry scored 51 points against Washington.

He was the one who dropped 51 points in 32 minutes in a win over Washington, making 11 of his 16 3-pointers. He went 6-for-11 on 3-pointers en route to 29 points when Durant worked the Knicks for 41 points at MSG. When Thompson was in the zone against the Bulls, Curry scored 23 points (on 7-for-9 shooting) in just 25 minutes.

And when the New Orleans Pelicans showed up to Oracle Arena Wednesday night, Curry lit them up for 37 on 12-for-20 shooting and a 7-for-11 night on 3-pointers.

That’s all why Curry sits atop the first Kia Race to the MVP Ladder this season. And if he keeps this up, there’s no reason Curry won’t be in the thick of this season’s MVP conversation when the dust settles

 

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