ROUNDBALL DAILY

Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter alive

Steph Curry's stroke was perfect at MSG on Wednesday night. (Getty Images)

Steph Curry’s stroke was perfect at MSG on Wednesday night. (Getty Images)

David Stern is smiling wider than a Cheshire cat right now.

The NBA is better than it’s ever been since Jordan retired, and it’s not just because of LeBron and Kevin Durant. It’s because of second-tier stars like Steph Curry, who lit up Madison Square Garden like a Christmas tree on Wednesday night.

Curry went for 54 points on 11-of-13 shooting from three-point range. He was hotter than my phone after I leave it on the blacktop in July. (Unfortunately for the Knicks, they didn’t get a Temperature Warning. OK, I’ll stop).

Curry is one of the most unique and spectacular players we’ve ever seen in basketball. When else has there been this kind of a baby-faced assassin? This kid who could pass for a high schooler, coming up a penny shy of a double nickel in the Garden? Like, for real?

The kid was pulling up from anywhere… everywhere….and knocking everything down. He needs 0.00003 seconds and 0.00003rds-of-an inch to get his shot off. He releases it, and its arc sends it up into the Heavens, where God presumably pushes it down into the basket. When he catches fire, there are few players in history who can get that hot. It’s like old-school NBA Jam. He does not miss.

Here’s the list of opposing players who have scored 50 at MSG: Wilt, Elgin, Kobe, Rick Barry, MJ, LeBron, Richard Hamilton, Stephen Curry.

That’s it. Nothing against Rip, but you take him out, and that’s some pretty special company.

The best thing about Steph going off is when he starts feeling it. He pulls up from 35 feet on fast breaks. He goes behind-the-back, through-the-legs, right in front of a defender and starts cashing J’s. He launches from Jimmer range, drilling those high-arcing J’s with a release so quick it doesn’t even look real. He could get his shot off in a phone booth with Larry Sanders inside.

Curry did the exact same thing at Davidson in the NCAAs in 2008, when he became a national darling and balled out on the biggest stage possible. Some things never change. There will be more on this later, but for now, just bow down and appreciate one of the greatest shooters of our time:

This is why I love basketball.


 

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