Warriors

Steph isn't in MVP conversation right now, but he should be

Warriors

Sublime. Ridiculous. Unfathomable. 

Steve Kerr is running out of words to use to talk about Steph Curry, but he mustered up those three to describe his point guard following Curry's performance Saturday night. 

Curry scored his eighth career 50-point game against the Dallas Mavericks, finishing with 57 points and 11 made 3-pointers. Yes, the Warriors lost, but that doesn't take away from his pure dominance. 

What it does do is take away the national and league-wide recognition he will get. 

Curry is putting up MVP numbers right now, but nowhere in any conversation about the award is Curry's name. Plain and simple, it's because the Warriors are losing. But that shouldn't be why Curry is left out of the race. 

Looking at Curry's numbers, he's playing some of his best basketball. 

He has hit at least four 3-pointers in 10 consecutive games. He's shooting 50 percent from deep over those same 10 games. 

Think back to the 2015-16 season, when Curry won his second MVP award. That year, he entered the exclusive 50-40-90 club. He was the first player in NBA history to do it while averaging 30 points per game.

Five years later, Curry is averaging 28.3 points, 6.1 assists and 5.5 rebounds on a 47/41/93 percent shooting split. 

Efficiency always has been part of Curry's game. His 31.4 points per 36 minutes currently lead all players who have played in 20 games this season -- a stat category that's widely looked at to gauge a player's impact.

 

When it comes to defining what makes an MVP, everyone has their own criteria. If it's simply the best player on the best team, no, Curry wouldn't be in the running because the Warriors aren't the best. But in my mind, it's not that simple. 

Looking at the three names at the top of the MVP candidate list -- Nikola Jokic, LeBron James and Joel Embiid -- the biggest similarity I find is that all of their teams are worse without them, and opponents cannot approach them like any other player in that position. Curry is the same. And frankly, Curry may disrupt other teams' defense the most. 

Opponents throw double teams at Curry. It doesn't work. Triple teams. Nope. Hell, they've started box-and-1 sets. Still doesn't do the trick. 

"It's very demoralizing," Andrew Wiggins said on what it's like to go up against Curry. "You can play good defense for 20 seconds, and then with one or two seconds left he might hit a jumper from 30-feet out. Two hands up, it doesn't matter."

That's what happened Saturday night in Dallas. 

The difference between Curry and the other players in the race for MVP is that Curry's team isn't a winning team. The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers are in first and second place in their respective conferences. And while the Denver Nuggets sit in the middle of the pack right now, they're expected to be a team on the rise. 

The Warriors, on the other hand, are in recovery. They're trying to work their way back from their worst season in 10 years while waiting for the return of Klay Thompson.

But that's not a reason to ignore what Curry has been doing this season. 

RELATED: Why Steph had 'mixed feelings' after 57-point game vs. Mavs

Twelve years in the league and it's still hard to find the words to describe Curry when he catches fire. Some adjectives just don't feel like they do him justice. 

But no matter what word you find, right now one of them -- well more like three of them -- should be Most Valuable Player.  

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