An advanced stat known as lineup spacing shows that Steph Curry does not have enough spacing on the floor to operate within.
In this era of advanced analytics and data crushing, it is almost always possible to figure out the minutiae behind what’s causing a team to bottom out or play at a high level.
Unfortunately for the Golden State Warriors, they need to take a deep dive into what’s causing them to suffer from the former of those two options.
Their hopes for getting back into title contention fell through yet again as Klay Thompson was sidelined for this 2020-21 NBA season due to an Achilles rupture. Regardless, with Steph Curry still in his prime, the Warriors looked to remain competitive and not delve into tanking.
This hasn’t worked out quite well for Steph and the Warriors as they currently possess the final spot in the play-in tournament, to which they are hanging onto by a thread, as New Orleans closes in on them.
Steph Curry has no shooters around him and this stat proves it
The 25-28 Warriors have been carried to victories this season off the back of Steph Curry’s brilliance and nothing much else. His scoring outbursts of 61, 41, 38, and so on, have kept the Dubs afloat in the loaded West. However, he can only do so much.
In an era filled to the brim with offensive schemes that rely on floor spacing, Steph Curry has none. He is surrounded by players who remain to be non-threats from beyond the arc, and a stat by BBall Index called lineup spacing proves this.
Lineup Spacing percentiles, looking at spacing provided by players around these studs in non-garbage time:
— BBall Index (@The_BBall_Index) April 11, 2021
From the graphic, it is obvious that Curry, amongst all other superstars within the league, has the least space to operate within. Not only does the stat prove, but the eye test does as well.
The number of times Steph Curry has driven into the lane, bumped into several defenders into the paint, and dished out to an open shooter who clanks the back of the rim, is incalculable.
Draymond Green is perhaps the biggest culprit here when it comes to reliable 3-point shooting. Teams have been giving him the ‘Ben Simmons’ treatment and Green has been obliging, instead of shooting it. He isn’t getting much help from others like Kelly Oubre or Damion Lee either in this department either.
The fact that teams smother Steph Curry with double teams, knowing his teammates won’t be able to generate buckets nearly as well as him, makes the 2x MVP’s scoring outbursts even more impressive.