It’s a bit challenging to categorize Steph Curry into just one basketball position. So, if you’re asking whether Stephen Curry is a legitimate point guard for the Warriors, we’re right there with you. He has the skills of an all-time great point guard but are the Warriors really using him as one?
Is Stephen Curry a Shooting Guard or a Point Guard?
It’s a fair question to ask what basketball position does Stephen Curry play. He seems to be able to play both the shooting guard and point guard positions in the traditional sense of these positions. But, before we establish what Steph Curry’s position is, it’s crucial to establish some context on what point guards and shooting guards actually do on the court. So, we checked out the official USA Basketball website for their definition.
According to the site, a point guard is a team’s primary ballhandler. He initiates the offense and directs the offense. It’s no coincidence that point guards are also called floor generals as they’re tasked to call plays depending on the on-court situation to give their teammates a good scoring opportunity. On the other hand, shooting guards are generally good scorers who initiate attacks from the perimeter. They’re typically good at shooting, cutting, and driving to the basket.
Steph Curry is officially listed as a point guard. However, because he’s a scoring threat wherever he is on the court, the defense often overplays him with a double team or tight defense. So, you’ll often find him off-ball going through screens, cutting, and trying to find an open spot for a catch-and-shoot opportunity.
So, the short answer is yes. Steph Curry is the primary ballhandler and playmaker for the Golden State Warriors. However, opposing teams try to get the ball out of his hands so hard because he’s such a scoring threat the minute he steps onto the front court. So, a lot of the time, Curry has to play shooting guard and leave the playmaking duties for other players like Draymond Green.
So, when we ask what position Stephen Curry plays, it’s fair to say he is a Golden State Warriors point guard. He brings the ball up the court, sets up his teammates, and has the green light to score when needed.
What Position Did Stephen Curry Play in College?
In college, Curry initially played shooting guard because of his natural shooting talent and size. And it paid off for the young player who averaged 21 points as a freshman. However, in his junior year, his college coach, Bob McKillop, decided to utilize Curry’s point guard abilities to win more games.
As a point guard, Stephen had the ball for most of his team’s offense. However, his shooting ability drew defenses onto him, which opened up a lot of shots for his teammates. In the process, Curry doubled his assist average from 2.9 to 5.6 within one season. He also increased his scoring average up to 25.9 points per game. If the opposing teams didn’t send him double teams, Curry’s ballhandling and decision-making took over as he started driving and cutting towards the basket more often.
How Many Points Does Curry Average Each Game?
If you want to follow his journey as an NBA player, you will want to look at Steph Curry’s career points. It shows how quickly he rose from a young bench warmer to a bona fide superstar. Curry’s points per game have increased every year since his rookie season. In his debut year, he averaged 17.5 points per game and a slight bump to 18.6 the following year. However, by his third season, he suffered a career-defining injury, resulting in a massive decline to 14.7 points per game that fateful 2011-2012 season.
The injury forced him to rehabilitate his ankles which were injury-prone from all the stress of his play style of running around screens and picks, sudden stops, and quick jump shots. The following year saw the fruits of his labor because he returned from injury with a 22.9 point average for that season. By his 5th season, he was averaging 24 points per game. In his sixth season, he averaged slightly lower with 23.8, but his impact on the floor was so evident for the Warriors that it was enough to win his first-ever regular-season MVP award.
In the 2015-2016 season, Stephen Curry averaged a career-high 30 points per game, which helped him win the MVP award for a second consecutive year unanimously. After that, however, his scoring plateaued as the wear and tear of his scoring load set in, and Kevin Durant joined the Warriors, alleviating some of the offensive responsibilities from Curry’s back.
However, once Durant left the Warriors, Curry returned to his old scoring ways and notched his highest ever season scoring average at 32 points in 2020-2021. It’s important to note that during that season, the Warriors were without a second scoring option in Klay Thompson, who was sidelined by injuries.
What Makes a Good Point Guard?
There are many different point guards – from traditional pass-first point guards such as Chris Paul and John Stockton to scoring point guards like Derrick Rose, Russel Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving. And with these different point guard play styles, one has to ask what exactly makes a good point guard in the NBA? To settle this complex puzzle, perhaps it’s best to keep the answer simple by going back to what the USA Basketball says about this pivotal position which states that a point guard is the offensive initiator of the offense. He typically brings the ball up to the front court, calls a play, and puts the team in a position to score.
It doesn’t necessarily follow that a point guard must have the ball all the time to initiate the offense, or he must be the one to make the pass to a teammate with the scoring opportunity. With Curry’s shooting threat, he can make the defense react even without the ball. The offense runs through him and his gravity as a shooter as long as he’s on the court.
A good point guard also needs to have leadership qualities to control the team when things get chaotic during a game. On-court decision-making is essential for a point guard – knowing when to take a shot or pass the ball or what play to run. The thing with Curry is that shooting the ball almost always is the right thing to do no matter where he is on the court.
Curry has all of these qualities and more, making him one of the best point guards in today’s NBA and one of the best floor generals in the league.
Wrapping Things Up: What Basketball Position Does Stephen Curry Play?
Without a doubt, Stephen Curry is a deadly scorer. He can shoot with unreal accuracy from beyond the arc, shoot mid-range jumpers like they’re layups, and drive to the basket and finish around the rim. However, what makes him such a good point guard is his ability to make everyone around him better.
As the Warriors’ primary ballhandler and playmaker, Curry always looks for ways to set up his teammates for easy baskets. He does this by using his dribble to create space and making quick and precise passes to his open teammates.
Curry’s assists totals may not be as high as some other point guards because he doesn’t have the same responsibility to create offense for others. However, when you consider how often he sets up easy scoring opportunities for his teammates, it’s clear that he is one of the best playmakers in the NBA.
In conclusion, Stephen Curry is one of the best point guards in the NBA, even if he does seem to play like a shooting guard. He does everything that a great point guard does. He initiates the offense just by moving around without the ball. His constant running and cutting create chaos for the defense, opening up good scoring opportunities for him and his teammates.
But, most of all, he brings a sense of calm to the offense when needed. He’s an unreal ballhandler who can either get around defenses or pass out of tight situations for an open shot for his teammates. In a sense, Curry’s an excellent point guard and more. He’s just one of the best basketball players we’ve seen in ages. And we are all blessed to watch him play basketball.
What do you think? Do you agree that Stephen Curry is one of the best point guards in the NBA? Or does Stephen Curry’s position in the NBA even matter in defining his legacy?