Game recognizes game.
Contrary to the degree of counter-current from former players who’ve suggested the success of the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors is little more than the result of the forgiving nature of modern day rules and lackluster defense, former Detroit Pistons shooting guard and NBA Hall of Famer Dave Bing cut straight to the chase when it came to describing unanimous MVP Stephen Curry.
“He is absolutely the best shooter that has played the game,” Bing said at the Charlie Sanders Foundation golf outing in West Bloomfield on Monday. “Nobody’s close, except his teammate.”
That teammate in question would be Klay Thompson, who connected on an NBA playoff record 11 3-pointers during his team’s Game 6 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
For Bing, explaining Curry’s dominance extends well beyond his ability to knock down spot-up 3-pointers with consistency. While Curry is rightfully prolific—he broke his own single season 3-point record this year by over 100 makes—it’s his ability to create and fire under duress, in the narrowest of openings, and in previously low quality situations that place him head and shoulders above the rest.
“Curry, he has the ability to get free. I mean, he’s a great ball handler,” Bing said. “He can play one-on-one and he gets free because he handles the ball so well. Klay Thompson doesn’t handle the ball like that, but he’s probably got equal depth. He’s got the range also, but he can’t get free like Curry.
“Curry can get free on his own and he makes the rest of his teammates, he makes them better.”
Both Curry and Thompson have been relatively quiet through the first two games of the 2016 NBA Finals, averaging close to 14 and 13 points per game, respectively. However, their ever-lasting presence as the world’s best decoys have paved the way for a dominant showing from their supporting cast, including Saginaw native Draymond Green, who scored a game-high 28 points in pushing the Warriors out to a 2-0 series lead following a 33-point blowout of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.