Golden State Warriors

Steph Curry bests Michael Jordan, Larry Bird in one career 50/40/90 shooting metric

Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry is the NBA’s newly crowned 3-point king after his recent record-breaking performance against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. But as the basketball world knows, he can do much more than shoot from beyond the arc.

He’s already in the “50/40/90” club after his unanimous MVP season in 2015-16, but his shooting prowess, obviously, extends far beyond that year alone. (The 50/40/90 stat refers to 50 percent shooting from the field, 40 percent shooting from 3-point land, and 90 percent free-throw shooting.)

Curry has the most games in NBA history with 40 or more points while hitting those shooting percentages, according to Twitter’s Real Talk, who appears to have gotten their stats from Stats Muse.

Any time Curry brushes shoulders with the great Michael Jordan, it’s certainly news to me. The other players on the list, highlighted by Celtics great Larry Bird and ex-Warriors forward Kevin Durant, are heavyweights in their own right, too.

But Curry’s elite shooting skill sets him apart as a unique scoring machine. His shot is so deadly — from anywhere and at any time — it sets the table for the rest of his game to brilliant effect. A mere head fake or hesitation move near the 3-point line will have his defender shook and at his mercy, and Curry can either take the distance shot, drive to the rim, or pass the ball to a teammate, who will likely be wide open thanks to all the attention Curry demands.

With defenders often severely off balance when guarding him, Curry gets some of the best looks at the hoop a shooter could ever ask for. When that doesn’t work, often due to double and triple teams from the defense, the Warriors’ motion offense serves as the perfect system for Curry to move without the basketball and get open shots in a completely different way.

It’s almost as if Curry is two different players: one that dominates off the dribble and one that dominates off the ball. It all adds up to greatness good enough to surpass the great Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, at least on this occasion, and for dang-well certain from beyond the 3-point arc.

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