The talent level in the NBA today is through the roof. Various superstars are in full swing like Joel Embiid’s elbows. But when it comes to a key statistic, it is Golden State Warriors main man Stephen Curry who’s head and shoulders above the rest.
According to a report by NBC Sports Bay Area, Curry is the undisputed leader in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus (RPM), which is “measured in net point differential per 100 offensive and defensive possessions.” The RPM also includes teammates’ numbers, opponents, and other pertinent factors.
Outside of the 2019-20 season in which Curry was limited to five games by injuries and the coronavirus suspension of the season, he has led the NBA in RPM in every season since 2012-13.
This season, Curry averaged a 7.08 RPM, increasing his figure from the previous campaign, which was obviously marred by his wrist injury. He bested LeBron James, who had a 6.73 for second place, Rudy Gobert, Paul George, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Also finishing in the top 10 were Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, James Harden, Damian Lillard, and a bit surprisingly, Lonzo Ball.
While the RPM may be a bit too, um, nerdy, the fact remains: Curry’s value to the Warriors is unparalleled. There were many instances this season when he singlehandedly led his team to victory. While some have written him off, the 33-year-old flamethrower churned out an MVP campaign, winning the scoring title with a career-high 32.0 points per outing.
LeBron James actually picked Stephen Curry as this season’s MVP. Because as the age-old philosophical saying goes: Real recognize real.