Stephen Curry Should Be NBA MVP


Stephen Curry is the best player on the best team in the NBA for the 2015 season. He is well positioned in the Most Valuable Player race, but he has competition for the spot. Also angling for the vote are Anthony Davis, LeBron James, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook. So why should you vote for Curry over these guys? Let’s look at each of them.

Curry vs. Westbrook

Curry are Westbrook are both scoring point guards. Both are key cogs in playoff teams. Westbrook has better scoring per game (27.7 to 23.7) and more assists per game (8.7 to 7.9). He also has more rebounds per game. So why take Curry over Westbrook?

The answer is durability. Curry has three hundred more minutes than Westbrook this year. His production has been good for longer. Curry is looking for close a 90-50-40 year (FT%-FG%-3P%), Nashian numbers as a shooter, and has better percentages over Westbrook in all of them. That is despite playing more games than Westbrook.

The final stat is the one stat that Curry has less of than Westbrook over the course of the season, turnovers. Despite playing three hundred more minutes, Curry has thirty-five fewer turnovers. He also has a better assist to turnover ratio, 2.5 to 1.9. Curry is less likely to make mistakes.

Curry vs. Davis

Curry and Davis play on polar opposite sides of the court. Davis is the League’s most versatile big man while Curry is a deadly shooting point guard. Davis has better efficiency numbers, lower turnovers, and much higher rebounds and blocks with slightly (24.7 to 23.7) scoring. So why take Curry over Davis?

First is team output. Davis is collecting stats for a team that will not make the playoffs. He was not good enough to push his team into the playoffs this year despite his output.

Second is longevity. Curry has played twelve more games than Davis at scoring levels that are basically the same. He has been just as good longer. This was similar to his standing against Westbrook. Do Davis’ numbers hold up if he plays 71 games instead of 59. I don’t know, but I where Curry’s are after 71.

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Curry vs James

LeBron James once made raves when he went to see Davidson play in the NCAA Tournament when Curry was there. So how do the two look now?

LeBron James impacts the game in so many ways. He is often the best passer, scorer, and top defensive dog on his team. With minutes between him and Curry almost even (2295 to 2292), we cannot use the durability argument for Curry here. LeBron also shoots a better percentage from the floor by the barest of margins.

So how do we measure impact?

To determine impact let’s assume every assist leads to two points. For equality, we’ll assume that blocks, steals, and defensive rebounds also lead to two points (denial of opposing chances which would have been two points). I guess we’ll have to include turnovers as well as a negative feature.

Impact Rating formula = POINTS + Blocks*2 + Assists*2 + DREB*2 + Steals*2 – Tos*2

Impact Rating/Minute

Curry = 1.395
James = 1.313

Through this formulation, Curry impacts the game more than LeBron does. Remember that both of these guys play on talented rosters with good teams. There is no over usage going on that would favor one over the other.

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Curry vs Harden

Finally is James Harden, who is the closest thing to Curry on this list considering his role with the Rockets as a shooter. Harden has played two more games and more than three hundred more minutes. Like every player on this list not named Davis, he has more turnovers than Curry but he is the closest match in terms of total assists.

His impact should be like Curry’s, so how does the impact formula like Harden?

Curry = 1.395
Harden = 1.327

Harden’s point totals were greater, but his additional minutes to compile them caused his impact number to be lower than Curry’s. Harden’s Rockets team still does not have the same number of wins that the Warriors do.

Next: Stephen Curry Named MVP

The numbers say that you should support Davidson product Curry to be NBA League MVP. Now go vote!