Daily MVP Film Breakdown: Steph Drops 42 and Game Winner

Steph Curry tops the short list of MVP candidates this year, and bolstered his case with 42 points and a game winning shot over the Clippers.

Los Angeles shot a remarkable 18/23 from deep, but they had no answer for Curry. He shot 55% from the floor, 40% from three, and 92% at the stripe, topping the gold standard 50/40/90 efficiency of his unanimous MVP season and has flirted with every year since. This year, it’s 49/47/94.

 

Steph started the game not by drilling shots from outside, but by getting to the basket. It’s something he does at a very high level, both with the ball and without it.

Curry has set a high bar for his outside shooting, so 6/15 from deep seems like an off night for him even though it’s well above league average for both volume and accuracy. His balance, quick release, and ability to create openings for himself are all unmatched in the history of basketball.

Of course, Curry’s legendary ability to shoot from anywhere opens up a ton of opportunities for him to take advantage when the defense overcommits and get easier buckets closer to the basket.

The defense needs to be absolutely perfect when guarding Steph at the arc. He can let it fly if he has even an inch of space, and if he gets a few feet you can forget about it. He shoots more accurately from the corner than most big men do at the rim, and that’s not hyperbole.

Steph Curry three pointers are incredibly common, and anyone blocking them is extremely rare. He came into this game with zero blocked treys on the year, a credit to his timing and lightning-quick release. Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got him in this game, joining a fraternity even more exclusive than the Blocked a LeBron Dunk Club.

Still, Steph got his revenge on the rook and used his defensive aggression against him later in the game.

It would not be the last time that Steph capitalized on some over-eager defending. Close and late in the fourth quarter, Curry lost Avery Bradley on a screen and sprinted to the arc. Nobody can stop on a dime and rise straight up for a perfectly-balanced three ball like him, and Bradley made the mistake of hi-fiving him in the air.

The game stayed close, and Bradley made a fairly spectacular play on the offensive end to tie the game at 127 with 20 seconds left.

However, this is Steph Curry’s building, and this was Steph Curry’s night. He dribbled the air out of the ball 35 feet away from the basket, and Draymond Green came up to set a quick screen to get Montrezl Harrell switched onto Steph. Curry got past the big man with a behind-the-back crossover, took him all the way to the rim, protected the ball with his body, and laid it up and in for the win.

Just another incredible performance from one of the best players in the game.

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