The Perfect Teammates: Stephen Curry and Draymond Green

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are the perfect teammates for each other. 

Stephen Curry has now cemented himself as the greatest shooter ever after surpassing Ray Allen on the three-point list with 2,977 and counting. The stage was set at Madison Square Garden on a Tuesday night against the New York Knicks, with Curry only needing two more to break the three-point record.

Curry accomplished this historic feat early in the 1st quarter off an assist from Andrew Wiggins and did it in 511 fewer games than Ray Allen. 511 games is a little more than six full 82 game regular seasons just to put this historic feat into perspective.

Allen averaged 2.3 3 point makes per game on 5.7 attempts for his 18 season career, while Curry averages 3.8 3 point makes per game on 8.7 attempts per game for his 13 season career. This season, Curry is attempting 13.4 3 pointers while connecting on 5.4 per game, both would be career highs.

After the game Curry was asked who the greatest shooter is and stated this:

"“I never wanted to call myself the greatest shooter until I got that record. I’m comfortable saying that now.”"

Curry draws so much attention from the defense because even the threat of him shooting will cause the defense to shift and leave teammates open to make plays. His gravitational pull is singular in basketball and truly unique to his skillset. Curry’s value is not only through his shooting, it’s also about how he opens up the game for his teammates.

The joy that he plays with extends to his teammates and to all those who have witnessed his greatness. His sincerity, relatability, normal stature, and less than elite athleticism make him look more like the fans that watch him and less like the behemoths of the game like Giannis, LeBron, and Embiid.

Curry can also get to the basket and finish with a number of clever moves which doesn’t allow the defense to just key in on his shooting. Curry’s ball-handling wizardry makes him even more difficult to guard because he can get to where he wants to on the court. Curry can slither by defenders into a window of open space and make the correct play depending on the defense. With the ability to pull up from logo range, catch and shoot or create space off the dribble, Curry has mastered the art of shooting. Curry’s off-ball movement also makes him a threat without the ball because his teammates set a maze of screens for him to get open and he only needs a split second to fire away.

Besides what Curry does for the Golden State Warriors, he’s also revolutionized the way basketball is played at all levels. Due to his influence, the three-point shot has become a staple of every offense and a large emphasis has been put on creating shots either at the rim or the three-point line. The midrange shot is not a shot that teams want to take regularly because it’s less efficient and doesn’t provide as much spacing as a three-point shot.

Curry will soon get his splash brother Klay Thompson back from injury to form an even more potent attack, without him the Warriors have a 23-5 record and are tied for first atop the Western Conference. The Warriors are also expecting James Wiseman to return from injury shortly, the second pick from the 2020 NBA Draft. The Warriors are third in scoring, averaging 111.82 points per game and first in defense, allowing only 100.21 points per game. Curry has improved his defense this season and provides decent effort on that end for such a game-breaking offensive player.

Draymond Green has been leading their elite defense with his rejuvenated play this season. Green is the heart and soul of the Golden State Warriors and continues to get better. Coming off a Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics withs Team USA, Green continues to show what makes him such a valuable member of the Warriors. Green is the epitome of a player that can affect the game without scoring. Green has the record for most assists to Curry for three-pointers with 479 and counting, having been teammates with Curry for his entire career. Green is a great passer, a tenacious and versatile defender that gives his best effort which trickles down to the rest of the players.

Green has seemingly gained a more mature perspective this season and the Warriors are benefitting from his improved focus and intensity. While Stephen Curry has been ridiculous to start the season, Green is the main reason why the Warriors have the top-rated defense. The Warriors play offense and defense as a team and it’s beautiful to watch. Green has put more of an emphasis on taking care of his body because he has largely cut out drinking and is building better health habits.

Green has also lessened his outbursts on the court which have resulted in fewer technicals, with only five on the season and this is intentional as Green explained:

"“A point of emphasis for myself was simply to control what I can control. That means on the court, that means with the referees, that means off the floor. That’s just a step in my life and it shows on the basketball court.”"

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With a more balanced and focused Green, the Warriors are poised to compete for an NBA Championship. While Curry may get most of the accolades, the dirty work and intangibles that Green brings to the game are just as important to winning.