Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders tonight at 6 PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.
Is Steph Curry better now than he was during the 2015-16 season?
Let's compare the Warriors star's numbers pre-All-Star break:
-- 2015-16: 29.8 points, 6.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 50.8 percent shooting overall, 45.4 percent from 3-point range (10.8 attempts per game).
-- 2018-19: 28.6 points, 5.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 48.8 percent shooting overall, 44.4 percent from 3-point range (11.5 attempts per game).
The statistics would say he was better during his unanimous NBA MVP campaign. But Curry disagrees with the analytics.
“I definitely feel like I’m better than I was three years ago,” the soon-to-be 31-year old told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. “It’s a good feeling knowing successes I’ve had personally don’t get in the way of progress with the team, getting better and finding ways to expand your game.
"Experience, more maturity and being challenged in new ways definitely helps.”
Three years ago, Curry and the Warriors had a huge chip on their shoulder, as many in the basketball world diminished their championship from the prior season. They were in "prove all the haters wrong" mode. That squad treated every regular-season contest like an NBA Finals game.
While the ultimate goal of winning a championship remains the same, the mindset and approach to the process is very different today.
Curry now shares the floor with Kevin Durant, and doesn't have to carry the team night in and night out. Curry's numbers aren't as gaudy as some of his peers, and as a result, he isn't an MVP front-runner.
“Everybody can come up with certain narratives,” he told Yahoo Sports in reference to the MVP award. “It’s clear who the best guys in the league are, who’s helping the team win.
"Comparing numbers and styles … beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know why I can’t (win again), but I feel confident in knowing what type of player I am. I’m sure KD would say the same thing.”
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller