Stephen Curry couldn’t singlehandedly deliver the Warriors to a win over the Knicks on Wednesday night, despite a breathtaking 54-point performance that amounts to his coming-out party on the national stage as a NBA star.He tried, really. 

Curry has matured from reticent star-in-the-making to a guy who nearly won the game for the Warriors, but he won over the fans in Madison Square Garden with a 54-point performance Wednesday in Golden State’s 109-105 loss to the New York Knicks.

That shooting display was awesome in the face of a Knicks’ defense that chased Curry around the court like teams did when he became a collegiate superstar at Davidson. When teams start double-teaming Curry, he is able to show his true skill … making great decisions to find an open teammate. It’s rare for a scorer like Curry to be so willing and so good at sharing the ball.

Curry has a huge night in Indiana on Tuesday, but not so much for his big scoring night. When David Lee got into a scuffle with gigantic Roy Hibbert, Curry went after Hibbert like a much, much too small bulldog trying to help a teammate.

Hibbert’s 7-foot and … he’s monstrously big. Curry’s not that tall and not that big. But, when Hibbert shoved him away … Curry bounced right back up and went back at Hibbert. A Pacers player pulled Curry back and Hibbert pushed him again. Curry went right back at Hibbert.

I don’t think there’s any good place for fighting in the NBA or anywhere else. But, in order to lead a team, a guy has to be willing to protect his teammates, fight for them when necessary … if it means going after a guy a foot taller and hundred pounds heavier.

Curry’s not the passive shooter who might or might not want to be the lead guy in the Warriors run to a playoff berth. He is clearly aware that he is The Man who must, at times, put the Warriors on his back and do whatever is necessary to show his mates that losing isn’t an option … even if a loss is the ultimate result.

We’ll remember the 54 points in the Garden, but we might remember Curry doggedly going after Hibbert because that’s what leaders do even more clearly somewhere the down the line.

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  1. Brad

    With Jarrett Jack and Curry, the Warriors have two players (who play the same position, interestingly) who are unafraid to take the big shot – and who can create their own shots. Let’s hope Curry’s emergence is paired with the return of Andrew Bogut, which will make the Warriors as skilled on offense (they can put four outstanding passers on the court at the same time) as any team in the league.

    February 28th, 2013 2:19 pm

  2. overtime

    Brad…Agreed on all counts. Bogut’s return is imperative because teams rarely achieve the level of success the Warriors did early without somebody to protect the rim and provide some offense around the hoop. TED

    February 28th, 2013 2:23 pm

  3. Jackie

    I am delighted the the country is recognizing the brilliance of Steph Curry. Not since Jerry West have I seen such a skill set. To score 54 on the sports most important stage is an achievement which becomes larger then it might be if done in another venue. The Warriors are on the cusp of becoming relevant for the first time in 20 years. And Curry is the driving force behind that renaissance

    February 28th, 2013 6:12 pm

  4. overtime

    Jackie…Thanks for reading. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

    I’m not so sure Curry and Jerry West should be mentioned in the same breath yet … and I’ve loved Curry and his game since his Davidson days. I would be sincerely interested in what “skill set” you’re focusing on when you compare Curry to West. His defense? His rebounding? His toughness? His ability to get to the hoop?

    You’re a Warriors fan so I’d love to hear from you again. TED

    February 28th, 2013 9:50 pm

  5. Jackie

    The one area Curry is not reminiscent of West is defensively. West was the best while Steph is adequate. Areas where he does remind me of West are
    His build
    Long range shooting
    Mid range scoring complimenting long range shooting ( west never had the benefit of the three point shot)
    Curry, like former great marksman as West, Barry, Bird & Gervin, force the defender close and then are able to drive to the rim dispute the perceived lack of great speed
    Both know how to finish at the rim
    Like West Curry’s ball handling and passing abilities are underrated

    Both players are clutch
    Both men make their teammates better,
    West & Baylor, Curry & Lee
    Curry is old school, he knows how to play the game and excel within a team concept. He does not need to draw attention to himself through antics, only by his play. Like West he represents all that is beautiful about the game in concept. There is nothing ugly about either man or their games

    March 1st, 2013 10:48 am

  6. overtime

    Jackie…Those are well conceived thoughts and I really appreciate you sharing them. Thanks! I hope readers see them and give them thought. TED

    March 1st, 2013 12:12 pm

  7. Oliver Small

    Totally agree with Rick Barry, curry needs to take more shots for this team to reach it’ potential. one way to do that is to play him with Jack, as a 2 for maybe 10-15 minutes a game. What do you think?

    March 1st, 2013 12:59 pm

  8. overtime

    Oliver…Thanks for the input. I think Curry off the ball getting shots is their best team. Jack’s a veteran point guard who I’d like to see facilitate for Curry, Thompson and Lee more than getting his own shots. I like Thompson…and realize I’m in the minority…and wouldn’t mind seeing him split time at the small forward slot with Barnes and Green if it gets Curry off the ball more often. TED

    March 1st, 2013 1:26 pm

  9. Oliver Small

    Thompson is going to grow into a solid high teen scorer. There is much to like. My comments are not a criticism of Thompson, rather an acknowledgment that Curry is the straw that stirs the drink

    March 1st, 2013 2:03 pm

  10. overtime

    Oliver…I like Thompson and don’t know exactly what people expected of him this year. Curry has emerged and that should take some pressure off of Thompson to develop more quickly than we have reason to expect. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. TED

    March 1st, 2013 6:46 pm

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