Steph Curry did his version of the death stare last night which was appropriately directed at all the media members who didn’t have the reigning MVP as a legitimate repeat winner of the most prestigious regular season award AND didn’ t even have Curry in the top 5.
ESPN asked 26 of their basketball writers who they thought was going to win MVP. Anthony Davis: 10 votes. Kevin Durant: 7 votes. LeBron James: 4 votes. Russell Westbrook: 2 votes. Chris Paul: 1 vote. Steph Curry: 1 vote.
Las Vegas Bovada Casino released their odds (in descending order): LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook
USA Today’s blog, The Big Lead, asked their experts: Anthony Davis: 3 votes. LeBron James: 2 votes. James Harden: 1 vote. Russell Westbrook: 1 vote. Steph Curry: 1 vote.
CBS Sports asked their experts: Blake Griffin: 1 vote. James Harden: 1 vote. Kevin Durant: 1 vote. Anthony Davis: 1 vote. Steph Curry: 0 votes.
So, like, what’s a brother gotta do around here to get some MVP love? Score 40 on opening night?
Let’s start here. Steph is the reigning regular season MVP. But he didn’t win the NBA Finals MVP. He is the first regular season MVP who won the title and wasn’t the Finals MVP since Magic Johnson won the Finals MVP over regular season MVP winner Kareem Abdul-Jabaar in 1980. But no one held that against Abdul-Jabaar.
Curry’s NBA Finals was good, not great. The first two games Matthew Dellavedova got into his head a little bit and he was obviously off his game. But once he got to Cleveland, Curry rebounded. It was the last thing we all saw, but we also saw Steve Kerr changing his lineup and inserting Andre Igoudala which made an enormous difference.
Curry has always been counted out because of his size, and exponentially downgraded. He and Steve Nash were the only MVP’s not consdered high school phenoms. He doesn’t dominate physically; he’s not wowing with spectacular in air reverse dunks. He’s a dominant jump shooter making shots with a quick release. His shots are just as unguardable as LeBron James running the lane for a throw-down monster dunk.
There’s the Doc Rivers theory of the Warriors being lucky that people attach to Curry because he is their engine that makes them go. But there’s nothing lucky about what Curry did to the Pelicans and media darling Anthony Davis in that first quarter last night. Like all great shooters, Curry has figured out how to get himself open. Be quick. Be fast. Release.
40 points in game one on a night when most NBA champs pretty much mail it in because they got their rings and they are feeling so happy and arrogant and full of themselves. But Curry played angry- well as angry as Curry can be. And when the night was over the Warriors destroyed every fabric of the New Orleans Pelicans.
That’s how you win the MVP. It’s for an individual’s performance over time but it is also what a team can do collectively to another team in the spotlight.
40 points. 7 assists. 6 rebounds. Say you’re sorry media for the disrespect.
Steph will be in this MVP race all the way to the end.
photo via llananba