Steph Curry Is Shaq – Just 30 Feet From The Basket

Steph Curry and Shaquille O'Neal are complete opposites physically, but they have the same impact on a game, Tom Haberstroh says

Reiter Than You
May 17, 2019 - 10:09 am
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There are great players in the NBA. Always have been. But it’s rare for one player to completely change the way a defense has to guard him – and everyone else on the floor.

Steph Curry has that effect.

“Steph is Shaq – but 30 feet away from the basket,” NBC Sports NBA insider Tom Haberstroh said on Reiter Than You. “If you double him up 30 feet away from the basket, he’s going to make the smart play. He’s going to drop the ball off to Draymond and then it’s going to be 4-on-3. When Steph Curry is by himself with whoever you want . . . they’re going to outscore opponents like they’re a playoff team because he single-handedly is the system like Shaq was. You have to double-team him every time he has the ball 30 feet away from the basket or else he’s going to absolutely terrorize you. We just don’t have another guy who can have that effect on a defense where he just tilts everything.”

Even if you’re not one of two players double-teaming Curry, you’re paying attention to him. Your eyes are on him.

Then bad things happen.

“Draymond is going to get the assist and Andre Iguodala is going to get the two points, but the person who started it all is Steph Curry,” Haberstroh said, “and he’s not going to get a stat in the box score except for plus-minus. Whenever he’s on the floor without three of the big four there, he still is dominating the opponent.”

Which is one reason why Haberstroh would take Curry over Kevin Durant.

“I take Steph because I think Steph makes everyone around him better,” he said. “It’s the whole double-teaming from 30 feet out. He’s not the defender that Kevin Durant is. He’s not as big as Kevin Durant, but he’s a really good rebounder for his position. How many times has Kevin Durant been All-Defense in the league? Zero. You want to say that Kevin Durant is this far superior defender, but it’s simply not true that he is a great defender. He is a good defender, a solid defender, but he has never been known as one of the best defenders in the league, and you can’t say the same for Kawhi Leonard or Michael Jordan or LeBron James when he was 1-through-5 back in Miami. 

“I just think Steph Curry is so good offensively, and the way he makes everyone better because he draws so much attention, I think he’s the superior player by an inch, by a hair – by a Kevin Durant chin hair, if you will.”

Click below to listen to Haberstroh’s interview in its entirety.