Head Men's Basketball Coach – Pratt Cannoneers
After examining James Harden’s shot selection in my last blog, I thought it would only be natural to take a look at what kind of shots Stephen Curry took in that same game. After all, he is the one whose postgame comments inspired the question.
That video is of 22 shots Stephen Curry took in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, a 110-106 win for the Warriors.
Let’s take a look at the type of shots Curry takes.
By my count, 6 come in transition situations (4/6 FG), 4 came in scramble/spot up situations (2/4 FG), 4 came off screens (3/3 FG, 1 foul), 1 is off a closeout advantage (1/1 FG), 6 were in isolation situations (2/6 FG) and 1 was in a ball screen situation (1/1 FG).
Examining further, I determined that 11 of Curry’s shots were contested (4/10 FG, 1 foul), 2 were semi-contested (2/2 FG), and the remaining 9 were uncontested (7/9 FG).
Lastly, looking at where on the court Curry’s shots came from show us that 12 were 3-pointers, 5 were at the rim, 2 were floaters from the paint, 1 was a pull-up jumper below the free throw line and 2 were long 2-pointers. Curry was 6/11 with a foul from 3-point, 3/5 around the rim, 1/2 on paint floaters, 1/1 on FT line pull up jumpers and 1/2 on long 2-pointers.
My big takeaways from this data, is that while Curry and Harden are both prolific scorers and finished first and second in the MVP voting, respectively, Curry find his points/baskets in much easier and more efficient ways.
In 1 fewer attempt, Curry took 6 shots in isolation situations, compared to 8 by Harden. Curry took 3-times as many 3-pointers (the most valuable shot in basketball), but only 2 long 2-pointers (the least efficient shot in the game), as compared to 5 from Harden.
Finally, Curry took 11 shots that I designated as contested, compared to 18 by Harden and Curry was able to take 9 completely uncontested shots, compared to only 2 by Harden.
Harden is a special player for sure, just like Curry, the man he lost the MVP voting too, but it’s great to see Curry is practicing what he preaches in his postgame interviews.