Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry will be named the Most Valuable Player for the 2014-15 NBA season, according to Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area. The news caps off what was an incredible regular season for Curry, who led the Warriors to the league’s best record and now hopes to reach similar heights this postseason.
The award will officially be announced later this week. James Harden of the Houston Rockets will be named runner-up, according to Poole.
Curry, 27, has emerged as the NBA’s most gifted shooter the past few years . The league leader in three-pointers attempted and made over each of the past three seasons, Curry is willing to fire it up — and make it — from pretty much anywhere on the court.
Improving his ballhandling and understanding of the game over the past couple seasons, Curry has become almost impossible to guard. He can use a dribble-drive to blow right by a defender if he gets too close, and will make you pay with the jumper if you give him too much room.
The result was a dazzling performance from Curry during the 2014-15 season as everything came together. The star guard averaged nearly 24 points, eight assists and two steals over 80 games, and helped lead Golden State to a franchise-record 67 wins. This year’s Warriors are one of the best teams in recent memory, and Curry has been the driving force behind that ongoing domination.
Curry’s shooting numbers might be most impressive, though. The 6’3 shooting guard took 8.1 three-pointers per game and hit 44 percent of them. Nearly half of his 16.8 shots per game came from behind the arc, and yet he still managed to shoot nearly 50 percent on the season.
Nobody in the league can match those numbers, and his 63.8 true shooting percentage — which seeks to boil various shooting numbers down to a single figure — was sixth among players to play 50 or more games. The guys ahead of him were a pair of big men who do little else but dunk (Tyson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan), a pair of guys who didn’t play much (Brandan Wright, Luke Babbitt) and arguably the best non-Curry shooter of the generation (Kyle Korver). None of those guys were being asked to run the offense and take nearly 20 shots a game, either.
So it’s pretty easy to see what made Curry’s season so special, and now the voters have rewarded him with his first NBA MVP. He had to beat out several other impressive candidates, including LeBron James, James Harden, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, but it’s hard to disagree with the choice.
Curry is also the first member of the Warriors to win the award since the franchise moved to San Francisco. Wilt Chamberlain won MVP as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors in 1960, two years before their move.