With Kevin Durant gone and Klay Thompson set to miss a second straight season with injury, all of the Warriors’ offensive attention will be on Curry. After all, he’s the system, and it won’t be any more obvious than this season, which starts on Tuesday.
But can Curry actually win his third MVP, five seasons after winning his last? ESPN color commentator Jeff Van Gundy thinks so.
“You know who I think has an outside shot, and I didn’t mention it yesterday when I was talking about the MVP, it’s Steph Curry,” Van Gundy said Friday night during the preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers. and the Phoenix Suns. “Steph Curry, because of their injuries, he’s going to have the opportunity to come up with huge numbers. Now, I’m not sure Golden State is good enough to win enough to be in this conversation, but I think Steph Curry is gonna bounce back with an amazing year. ”
Download and subscribe to the Dubs Talk podcast
If the Warriors’ three preseason games are any indication, Curry will be a heavily used player for them this season. After a 10-point below-average performance against the Denver Nuggets in his first game in nine months, Curry fell in a consecutive 29-point effort against the Sacramento Kings.
In those two games, Curry took a combined 26 3-pointers and made it 11. With Thompson out, it’s safe to assume that Curry will bombard far from far. If he averaged 15 3-point attempts per game, Curry could display some garish stats and even potentially lead the NBA in scoring.
But leading the league in scoring doesn’t guarantee a player will win the MVP. Just ask beleaguered Houston Rockets star James Harden, who led the league with nearly four full points last season but didn’t receive a single MVP vote for the top spot.
Van Gundy is right. Warriors must win for him to be considered MVP. But if Golden State returns to the top of the NBA Mountain, a lot of it will be because of Curry. This would naturally generate an MVP buzz for him, regardless of the numbers he displays.
RELATED: ESPN Predicts How Steph Will Make MVP Voting
As much as Curry would love to win a third NBA MVP, he would much rather have a fourth NBA Championship.
Either of those accomplishments this season would silence Curry skeptics and detractors.