Stephen Curry won back-to-back NBA MVPs by making it impossible to vote against him. After a supernatural 2014-15 season that culminated in a Golden State Warriors title, Curry came out last year and simply defied gravity, setting multiple individual records and leading the Warriors to a blistering 73-win regular season while becoming the first unanimous MVP selection. Sure, there were some LeBron grumblers — as JR Smith says, they could give LeBron the MVP every year — but Curry had a season like no one had ever had.
Then Kevin Durant’s move to Golden State diluted Curry’s dominance a little — teamed with Durant (also a former NBA MVP), Curry wasn’t even always the best player on the court, despite his back-to-back MVPs. But with Durant out and the Warriors still on top of the West, it’s worth noting that Curry (24.9 ppg) is beating his scoring average (23.9) during his first MVP year by a full point. His shooting percentage is down a bit — but down from the stratosphere. He also has more rebounds per game than in 2014-15. And that shooting percentage? Curry’s .461% is better than MVP candidates James Harden (.442), Russell Westbrook (.421), Isaiah Thomas (.459), though not James (.539). And Curry’s 3-point percentage higher than Durant’s. Did we mention that the Warriors have the NBA’s best record? The Warriors have faltered a bit lately but Curry will look to reenter the MVP conversation with 17 games to play, beginning with a showdown against Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs.