Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has broken barriers during his ascent to stardom after capturing two straight MVP awards. Among some of the most outstanding feats, a barrage of 402 total 3-pointers made during the 2015-16 season, a record that still holds as the most treys made in a season. Head coach Steve Kerr expects that record to hold for a long time, even if Curry owns four of the highest five records for threes made in a season.
Looking back at this tall feat, Curry explained how he went about draining a whopping 402 trifectas over the course of the first-ever unanimous MVP season.
“A lot has to go right, from playing enough games and being in the right system and having the right teammates,” said Curry, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. “It wasn’t that long ago when 200 was rare. Getting to 300 was pretty crazy. It took a lot. But 400? So much had to happen. I think that one might be around for a while. For a good little while.”
Before Curry entered the league, it was only Ray Allen and Dennis Scott atop the record books, as the recently inducted Hall of Famer drained 269 during the 2005-06 season with the Seattle SuperSonics, and Dennis Scott the once-dethroned 3-point king with 267 during the 1995-96 season with the Orlando Magic.
While the Warriors have taken 3-point marksmanship to a whole other level, the Houston Rockets have taken 3-point attempts to an outright obsession, as league MVP James Harden has attempted more threes per game in each of his NBA seasons.
Even after attempting a whopping 727 3-pointers last season, Harden only ranked ninth in the all-time list, behind four Curry single-season records, two from Klay Thompson, Allen, and Scott.
“Houston’s the one team that has decided they’re really going to push the envelope,” said Kerr, who holds the career record for 3-point percentage (45.4). “Mike is the guy who keeps raising the bar. If they average 35 (attempts per game) one year, he tells them let’s get to 40 the next. If it’s 40, let’s go for 45.”
The Warriors haven’t been trigger happy with their long-range attempts, rather putting the ball in the hands of their best shooters and taking the right shots — hence leading the league by a vast difference, connecting in 39.1 percent of their attempts as a team.
It’s worthy to note that Curry striped balls from deep at a ridiculous 45.4 percent clip during his 2015-16 season. Harden’s best season? A mere 39 percent during his last year with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In fact, there’s plenty of evidence that suggests that Harden becomes more of a run-of-the-mill 3-point shooter as he attempts more and more threes, as his percentage has yet to surpass 37 percent when shooting seven of more threes per game.
Curry also played 79 games during that season, making consistency and dependability a huge factor, beyond merely a 3-point acumen.
“I think that record’s going to hold or a while,” Kerr said. “Steph is such an exception, rather than the rule, in terms of his shooting prowess and his mentality. There’s going to be a lot of teams that shoot tons of 3s, but I don’t know if we’re going to get one guy that shoots that many. I guess somebody like (Hawks rookie) Trae Young could come into the league and shoot 15 every game. I don’t know. But it’s tough to see anybody breaking that record anytime soon.”
Curry has shot 40 percent or better in each of his nine seasons in the league, a stretch only matched by the likes of former back-to-back MVP Steve Nash, who did it for 11 straight seasons before dropping down slightly to a 39.5 percent mark in the 2010-11 season.
Before considering 402 3-pointers made in a season, let’s start considering 300 first — as no one but Curry has even scratched the surface when it comes to that tier of 3-point marksmanship. The 30-year-old holds the best three 3-point shooting seasons in NBA history at 402 (2015-16), 324 (2016-17), and 286 (2014-15), followed by teammate Klay Thompson with 276 (2015-16) and himself again in 2012-13 (272 makes), when he first surpassed Allen for the all-time record.