Steph Curry is not of this world. Anyone who watched the Warriors star's historic April can see he's a one-of-one.
All of that makes Curry special, but New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball believes there is something else that helps set Curry apart from the rest of the top guards in the NBA and has been a key to the two-time MVP's success.
“Between him (Curry) and Dame [Lillard], they’re probably the toughest two guards you have to face in this league,” Ball said following the Pelicans' 108-103 win over the Warriors on Tuesday. “A lot of credit goes to his conditioning. I don’t think a lot of people talk about it enough. He’s constantly moving. He can shoot it from anywhere. It’s a tough challenge, but you got to step up to the plate and do what you can."
Ball is a great on-ball defender and constantly is tasked with guarding the opponent's best player.
For the past two nights that has been Curry, who lit up the Pelicans for 41 points on Monday before pouring in 37 in Tuesday's loss.
After missing all but five games last season, Curry spent the offseason working on getting stronger to be able to finish better at the rim. That increased physicality has helped him deliver arguably the best season of his legendary career.
"He’s actually being more physical as a ball-handler on the perimeter," Curry's trainer Brandon Payne said on "Warriors Pregame Live." "He’s actually playing with leverage and that’s allowing him to get additional driving opportunities, and then when he gets into the lane, he’s now strong enough and explosive enough to create controllable contact and to put the defender where he wants to put them so he can finish the ball opposite of where the shot blockers are.
"You’re seeing a guy who defenses don’t really have many answers for because if you play him tight on the perimeter, then he’s going to get really physical with you out on the perimeter and he’s going to create driving opportunities for himself to finish at the basket."
With Curry leveling up this year, there's only one way for Ball and the rest of the NBA to stop him.
"You hope he misses," Payne told Tom Haberstroh.
Best of luck.