Why Steph Curry will win NBA scoring title, according to ESPN analyst

Why Steph Curry will win NBA scoring title, according to ESPN analyst

During the 2015-16 season, Steph Curry won the scoring title -- and became a unanimous MVP -- when he averaged 30.1 points per game.

Kevin Durant then joined the Warriors the following summer and Curry's scoring output dipped to 25.3 points in 2016-17, 26.4 in 2017-18 and 27.3 points a night last season.

KD is no longer Curry's teammate, and Klay Thompson is expected to be out until at least mid-February as he recovers from a left ACL tear. So should we expect the six-time All-Star to lead the league in scoring for the second time in his career?

On the most recent episode of "The Lowe Post" podcast, ESPN's Zach Lowe reminded everybody of the following:

-In 2017-18, when Steph Curry was on the court with Draymond Green -- and KD and Klay were on the bench -- he averaged 45 points per 36 minutes.
-In 2018-19, when Steph Curry was on the court with Draymond Green -- and KD and Klay were on the bench -- he averaged 43 points per 36 minutes.

"I think he's gonna win the scoring title," Lowe declared. "Forget the MVP, I think Curry's gonna win the scoring title."

ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz then said that as long as Curry appears in 66 games, he will capture the MVP and scoring title.

While it is entirely possible that the 31-year-old puts up massive numbers this season, his shooting percentages might dip in the process. During Curry's historic unanimous MVP season, he shot 50.4 percent overall and 45.4 percent from beyond the arc.

It will be extremely difficult for him to match that type of efficiency without his fellow splash brother on the floor. Teams will be able to send more traps and doubles and force other guys to beat them.

New addition D'Angelo Russell should be able to make the defense pay, but he might not share the floor with Curry for long stretches. Coach Steve Kerr most likely will stagger the guards to ensure one of them is on the court at all times.

Likewise, we know that Kerr traditionally has kept Curry and Draymond on the court together for as many minutes as possible. But with the roster turnover and lack of depth, he might not have that luxury this year.

During the regular season, players aren't laser-focused each and every possession like they are in the playoffs. Defenses aren't as sophisticated and teams don't scheme as intensely. But you should expect to see some "gimmicky" stuff thrown Curry's way (more box-and-one?) to keep him guessing.

Ultimately, Curry's good enough to overcome the challenges that lie ahead and it wouldn't be wise to bet against him.

Furthermore, Lowe offered his thoughts on the Warriors as a whole:

"I think they are going to make the playoffs. Let me just say that. When I list my eight playoff teams -- which I will do -- they are going to be on it. I just get nervous when teams, no matter how good their top-end talent is, have to play a lot of bad NBA players.

"It's bad. Here's their starting lineup: Curry, Russell -- I don't worry about the redundancies on offense at all; I think Russell will have a really good year there; if you can shoot and you're playing with Curry and Draymond Green, you're gonna have a good year.

"Draymond, (Kevon) Looney presumably at center. I am of the school of thought that Looney's maybe a little overrated -- he's got the Warriors' pixie dust sprinked on him -- who's the fifth guy?! It's like Alfonzo McKinnie, or Damion Lee is gonna get a look maybe, or Alec Burks or Glenn Robinson III. Those are starters.

"That means all those other guys are coming off the bench. That's scary. That's scary to me."

If those role players aren't able to make open shots and keep the defense honest, Curry is going to have even less room to operate and work his magic.

[REWINDCurry's one-word answer when asked if Dubs make playoffs]

As for Lowe's final thoughts:

"These guys have been to five Finals in a row and are coming off three years in which they could just loaf every single regular season game. They can't (do that now). They have to play every game.

"Are they ready to do that? Are they mentally ready to do that? Are they physically ready to do that? I believe that they probably are because I respect those guys so much.

"But I am less convinced that they are a stonecold lock for the playoffs than most people."

The margin for error is pretty thin, and these are fair comments, questions and concerns. The fun part is that we will get the answers soon ...

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Steph Curry believes Sabrina Ionescu has basketball 'in great hands'

Steph Curry believes Sabrina Ionescu has basketball 'in great hands'

Two Bay Area legends were in attendance Friday night at Haas Pavilion when the University of Oregon women's basketball team played Cal. One was on the floor, and one was in the seats. 

Warriors star Steph Curry brought his two daughters, Riley and Ryan, to watch Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu. The Walnut Creek native recorded her 25th career triple-double as the Ducks downed the Bears, 93-61.

On Saturday, Curry paid his respects to Ionescu, who is a huge fan of the two-time NBA MVP.

"The game is in great hands," Steph wrote on Instagram, with a picture of him and Ionescu after the game.

View this post on Instagram

The game is in great hands 💪🏽

A post shared by Wardell Curry (@stephencurry30) on

Ionescu dropped 17 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in what was her seventh triple-double of her senior season. She is nine rebounds away from becoming college basketball’s first 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound, 1,000-assist player.

"The competitive nature that she has, you can't teach that," Curry told Pac-12 Network's Kate Scott. "She could be blessed with all the talent in the world, but if she didn't have that, she wouldn't be who she was."

Ionescu, who starred at Miramonte High School in Orinda before going to Oregon, is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft. She is averaging 17.1 points, 8.8 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game for the Ducks.

[RELATED: Curry says March 1 has 'always been' intended return]

While she's dominating on the floor, Ionescu certainly is excited for Curry's return to the court. Steph participated in his first live scrimmage at Warriors practice Saturday, after breaking his hand in the fourth game of the season, and he's eyeing a March 1 return to Golden State's lineup.

Basketball is in better hands when the two Bay Area legends are healthy and putting on a show in their sport. 

Watch Anthony Edwards, top NBA draft prospect, throw down poster dunk

Watch Anthony Edwards, top NBA draft prospect, throw down poster dunk

Anthony Edwards can get up and throw it down.

The Georgia shooting guard proved that Saturday, when he put Vanderbilt freshman Braelee Albert on an eye-popping poster with this ferocious slam.

Edwards scored 19 points to go along with his rim-rattling dunk, in an 80-78 comeback win over the Commodores. Georgia improved to 14-13 on the season with the victory, which came on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

Edwards, a freshman, again showed why he could be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He shot 7 of 16 from the field and also grabbed five rebounds. 

What really stood out, though, was Edwards' athleticism and vision on this play. 

Edwards, who doesn't turn 19 until August, has been questioned about his shot selection, but he's carrying the load on a Georgia team that isn't exactly full of NBA talent. It's just another reason why he could be an intriguing option for the Warriors in the June draft.

The majority of mock drafts currently have Golden State selecting Edwards with a top pick. He isn't a positional fit like Memphis center James Wiseman would be, but Edwards' athleticism and upside could be an instant boost. 

[RELATED: Should Warriors keep Wiggins if they win NBA Draft Lottery?]

Entering Saturday, Edwards was averaging 18.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. That's nearly what he dropped Saturday, as the 6-foot-5, 225-pound guard put his skills on display.

The Warriors surely have their eyes on every top draft prospect right now. Edwards' performance in a win over Vandy could vault him up their draft board, too.