Stephen Curry’s hot streak cooled, but ignition for another battery of brilliance might be in the offing with Golden State scrapping hard for a postseason berth.
“It was a great run,” Curry said on the heels of a rough shooting night (7-of-25 from the floor and 2-of 14 from deep) Wednesday in a 118-114 loss to the Washington Wizards that slammed the brakes on his 11-game streak of 30-point performances.
“It was going to end at some point,” he said. “Now, you’ve got to start another one.”
That’s imperative for improving Golden State’s chances of returning to the playoffs, as well as Curry’s burgeoning prospects for capturing a third Kia MVP award.
Curry checks in at No. 5 in this week’s edition of the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder, and Denver’s Nikola Jokic maintains a firm grip on the top spot, as we head into the final month of the regular season.
Appearing on the Rex Chapman Show — which aired on Thursday — Curry became the latest of potential MVP candidates to lay claim to the award. In doing so, he joins the likes of Joel Embiid and James Harden. Asked by Chapman if he was the MVP, Curry didn’t hesitate.
“I mean, I’ve got to be,” Curry said, somewhat in jest. “I’ve got to be. I probably won’t get it, but whatever. I like to be dramatic sometimes. So, I’m just setting the table.”
Realistically, Curry faces difficult odds in making a legitimate case to win this year’s Kia MVP, especially when considering how a team’s win-loss record affects a player’s candidacy. The NBA expanded to 16 teams for the 1984 playoffs, and since then there’s never been an MVP playing for a team that finished the regular season seeded seventh or lower in their conference, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Even when Russell Westbrook won MVP in 2017, Oklahoma City finished that season 11 games over .500 and earned the sixth seed for the postseason. If Golden State managed to run the table the rest of the way, it would finish the season 12 games above .500.
To date, the Warriors are 29-30 (.492).
Only two MVPs in history played for teams with records below .500. Bob Pettit won the 1955-56 MVP leading a 33-39 St. Louis Hawks squad, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar captured the award in 1975-76 playing for a 40-42 Los Angeles Lakers team.
Curry faces off against Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Friday at the Chase Center, which will allow fans to enter the arena for the first time this season.
“We’re going to enjoy the atmosphere,” Curry said. “It’s definitely noticeable if you have even just 1,000 fans in the seats. It makes a huge difference in the atmosphere.”
SOURCE: NBA NEWS