As the NBA season progresses toward the halfway point, one thing is becoming increasingly apparent. Steph Curry is no longer the star that many people already believed he was.
I know, at first glance it is quite a bold statement, but it is one that holds true.
While there has been much talk about Russell Westbrook, James Harden, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and even Giannis Antetokounmpo so far this season, Curry seems to have gotten lost in the mix among the league’s best players.
When Curry is on his game, there is no one like him in all of the NBA. However, with the addition of Durant on the Warriors, performances like what we saw from Curry over the last two seasons happen quite less frequently and it begs the question, how good is Steph Curry?
Last season it seemed like every SportsCenter or any other sports talk show led off with some topic that involved Curry and his something incredible he did that night.
Now those highlight reels and conversations about Curry are seemingly disappearing faster than the Warriors 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals.
His statistics this season are not all that different than what the two-time most valuable player put up last season. Last year Curry averaged 30.1 points and 6.7 assists on 50.4 percent from the floor and 45.4 percent from beyond the arc.
So far this season Curry is averaging 24.6 points and 5.8 assists on 46.9 percent shooting from the floor and 39.9 percent from beyond the arc. While those numbers are impressive, they are down from what Curry produced in 2015-16.
The obvious answer to that drop-off is the addition of Kevin Durant to the Warriors this offseason.
But it is Durant who now gets scrutinized when the Warriors do not win, not Curry.
Curry has now become second fiddle on his own team, a role that he will not say is affecting him but his body language recently says otherwise. Having to hand the ball off to Durant in the final moments cannot be easy for a player like Curry, who has spent the last few seasons in the role of last second shot maker for Golden State.
While his shooting is quite a valuable asset to the Warriors, Curry does not offer much else. If teams can neutralize the shooting of Curry and knock him off his game, like LeBron did in the finals last season, the Warriors will have a difficult time winning any game.
A power struggle seems to be developing among the Warriors best two players and that is the last thing that team can afford to have at this point. The aforementioned power struggle is what may have caused there to be some late game miscues by the Warriors, such as blowing a 14 point lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day and more recently a 24 point lead to the Memphis Grizzlies at home.
Let’s go one step further; Curry is one of the top athletes that Under Armor sponsors while Durant is a Nike guy. With the addition of Durant to the Warriors that means arguably the top Under Armor athlete in the NBA is now getting overlooked for a player that is sponsored by Nike.
This situation is less than ideal for the higher ups at Under Armor, who see Curry as their big money maker and would prefer him in a market where he is the top player and does not have to take a back seat to a player like Durant. In their current situation Durant is seen as the bigger star, while Curry is having to conform to his new role on the Warriors and this cannot be the best situation for Curry in the eyes of Under Armor.
That whole situation is clearly speculation on my part, but it is not as farfetched as one might think.
Curry will still have his moments where he dazzles and electrifies the crowd, but I think we all need to step back and realize Curry may not be the player so many thought he had already become. After all he is not even the best player on his own team anymore and the sooner he realizes that the better.