After a couple of years of being dormant and banged up, the Golden State Warriors are back, and they are once again NBA champions.
Since June 2019, they had to deal with the departure of Kevin Durant and major injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but in the meantime, they took the opportunity to acquire and develop new, young complementary talent.
But the Warriors still go as far as Curry takes them, and it will always be that way.
After putting up MVP-caliber numbers in the 2020-21 season, Curry’s efficiency took a significant dip this past season, but there is reason to believe it was merely an aberration.
There seems to be a good chance that Curry will be vintage Curry again this coming season.
Curry Was A Bit Off The Mark This Past Season
During the 2020-21 campaign, Curry averaged a league-high 32.0 points per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from 3-point range.
With Thompson out that year due to an Achilles injury, Curry had to pretty much do it all for Golden State, and he nearly carried it to the playoffs in spite of a weak offense.
This past season, the two-time regular season MVP shot just 43.7 percent overall and 38.0 percent from downtown.
Although it gave him a very robust 60.1 true shooting percentage, it was subpar by his standards.
For his career, Curry has made 42.8 percent of his 3-point attempts, and he has shot over 40 percent from that distance in all but two of his 13 NBA seasons.
The month of January 2022 was particularly bad for him, as he made only 32.9 percent of his treys and 38.5 percent of his overall shot attempts.
After getting off to a red-hot 29-7 start, the Warriors struggled following the return of Thompson in early January, and they really did poorly in March, as they went just 5-11.
That was the month in which Curry suffered a foot injury that forced him to miss the rest of the regular season.
After the Warriors finished just third in the Western Conference, they were some doubts about whether they could mount a deep run in the playoffs.
He Looked Like His Old Self In The Postseason
Curry first came off the bench in the first round of the playoffs versus the Denver Nuggets, but it wasn’t long before he returned to his customary spot in Golden State’s starting lineup.
He played well in his four games coming off the pine, and although he struggled in the second round against the Memphis Grizzlies, he took off from there.
In the Warriors’ five-game triumph over the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, Curry shot 43.9 percent from 3-point land, and it would only get better from there.
He was the unquestioned best player on the floor during the NBA Finals versus the Boston Celtics, and in that six-game series, he only had one bad or subpar game.
With the Warriors trailing 2-1 and looking ripe for the picking, Curry put forth one of the better Finals performances in memory: 43 points on 14-of-26 overall shooting and 7-of-14 from downtown, plus 10 rebounds in the team’s 107-97 win.
In an epic Game 4, Stephen Curry turned in a legendary performance, putting his team on his back with a 43-point masterpiece. The Warriors showed their championship grit with a gutsy win on the road to even the series at 2-2. pic.twitter.com/wzKmex1yjV
— NBA (@NBA) June 12, 2022
In Game 6, Curry sent the Celtics home to lick their wounds for the summer with an efficient 34 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.
For averaging 31.2 points on 48.2 percent overall shooting and 43.7 percent from deep in the championship series, he was awarded his first Finals MVP award.
Stephen Curry wins his FIRST NBA FINALS MVP 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Gdm9M2KI5a
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 17, 2022
Curry got himself on a very positive trajectory late in the postseason, and with no real readjustment ahead for the Warriors, he should be able to do his thing again on a regular basis all through the 2022-23 campaign.