Steph Curry is having the best jump-shooting Finals ever

    Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) is a professor and an NBA analyst for ESPN.

Stephen Curry is in the midst of one of the best NBA Finals performances of his career. Thanks to his series-high 30.6 points per game, he has the Golden State Warriors in a familiar spot: one win away from an NBA championship, which would be their fourth in the past seven years.

Curry is clearly the single most valuable player in these Finals, even after an uncharacteristic off night in Game 5. He is the leading scorer in the series by a wide margin and his unprecedented ability to create offense off-the-dribble is the single biggest reason why Golden State has won three of these first five games against the Boston Celtics, who had the best defense in the NBA in the regular season.

Curry is the greatest shooter in league history in part because he’s developed an ability to create his own jump-shooting opportunities from distances that were rarely utilized before he showed up. He can generate shooting space against any defensive coverage in the world and thanks to his lightning-fast release and pinpoint accuracy, he can knock down those self-created shots at elite rates.

The Curry formula is an offensive hack that has not only changed professional basketball forever, but it’s also given the Warriors their most important advantage of these Finals: simple actions that lead to low-maintenance buckets from long distances.

In the quest for the 2022 NBA championship, it’s less about numbers and more about this simple fact: Thanks to Curry, the Warriors have a reliable offensive scorer; the Celtics do not.

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