Will Stephen Curry Win NBA Finals MVP Award?
The 2018 NBA Finals is only two games old, yet it is already filled with many significant storylines.
The refs changed a Kevin Durant charge into a LeBron James blocking foul in the waning moments of Game 1, giving the Golden State Warriors two free points and drastically changing the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
J.R. Smith inexplicably held onto the ball with only a few seconds left, after grabbing an offensive rebound in a tied Game 1, resulting in overtime, where the Cleveland Cavaliers ran out of gas.
James is averaging an amazing 40.0 points, 10.5 assists, and 8.5 rebounds on 55.8 percent shooting from the field and 45.4 percent shooting from long range. He may be leading the Finals MVP race despite his Cavs facing a 2-0 deficit.
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Stephen Curry (Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
But somehow the outstanding play of Stephen Curry has gone seemingly unnoticed.
Now it would be difficult to argue that a two-time league MVP and five-time All-Star is underrated. Yet, heading into this Finals series, most talk centered around James and last year's Finals MVP Kevin Durant.
Curry, despite being a two-time NBA Champion, has yet to take home the Finals MVP trophy. It was awarded to Durant last year and Andre Iguodala in 2015.
That fact may be on Curry's mind, as the 30-year-old has put on a show thus far.
After two games, Curry is averaging 31.0 points, 8.5 assists, and 6.5 rebounds, all of which surpass his regular-season stats. He is shooting 44.9 percent from the field and an impressive 50.0 percent from the three-point line.
He also drained an NBA Finals-record nine three-pointers in Game 2.
But really this is nothing new for the sharp-shooting guard, as Curry has been making his presence felt in the postseason for the last six years.
In his playoff career spanning the last six postseasons, Curry has shot a strong 41.0 percent from downtown. But it's his playoff totals that are truly jaw-dropping.
Curry has made 370 three-pointers in his playoff career, which puts him second on the all-time list.
Leading in postseason threes is future Hall of Famer Ray Allen, who nailed 385 three-pointers throughout his playoff career. In third place is Curry's Finals opponent LeBron James, who has made 369 three-pointers in the playoffs, trailing Curry by just one.
Allen needed 171 playoff games to reach 385, while James took 237 games to get to 369.
Curry? No big deal, he made his 370 threes in a mere 88 postseason games...
The feat gets even more impressive when you move further down the list and realize Manu Ginobili needed 218 games to hit 324 threes, and Reggie Miller, considered to be possibly the greatest shooter of all-time, accumulated 320 three-pointers in 144 games.
Curry has displayed awe-inspiring brilliance just about every time he has stepped on the court for a playoff game.
Prior to Golden State's stretch of Finals runs over the last few years, the most three-pointers made in a single postseason was 58 by Miller in the 2000 Playoffs, which took him 22 games. To put that into perspective, Curry has drilled 56 three's so far this postseason, despite sitting out the Warriors' first six playoff games (he's appeared in 13 games).
Curry and his fellow Splash Bro, Klay Thompson, are currently tied for the most three-pointers made in a single postseason at 98, a record that will likely stand for a very long time (unless one of the two breaks it themselves).
With at least two games remaining in this year's Finals, Curry has a legitimate chance at breaking Allen's playoff record this season. And while he still trails Allen by 844 threes on the all-time list, it won't be long before he eclipses that record as well, barring something unforeseen.
The Cavaliers are certainly not completely out of it yet. With King James playing like he is, Golden State knows they cannot sleep on this Cleveland squad.
But if Stephen Curry continues to shoot like a magician from the three-point line, it may not matter what unworldly stats James puts up. When Curry is on, Golden State is just about unstoppable.
If Games 1 and 2 are any indication, then Curry will be hoisting the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award for the very first time before too long.
Matt Citak is a contributor for CBS Local Sports and a proud Vanderbilt alum. Follow him on Twitter.
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