Lost in the luster of two incredible campaigns from James Harden and Russell Westbrook, fans of the NBA have seemed to forget the season Stephen Curry had a year ago. Although Harden and Westbrook have both had spectacular seasons, Curry’s still reigns supreme. Not only is Steph’s unanimous MVP campaign greater than both that of Harden and Russ’s, he has a strong case for the greatest offensive season of all time. I will explain why Curry’s 2015-16 season is greater offensively than any other season on the history of the NBA. I’ll preface this by saying that Steph’s season is the greatest offensive regular season ever not necessarily the greatest all around season ever. This is also just explaining why he had the best regular season and this discussion excludes the playoffs. If you just look at the basic counting stats(points, rebounds, assists) it doesn’t do Steph’s historic season justice. Last year , Stephen curry averaged 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game. This is an incredible stat line but many people have had similar and even better stat lines such as Kobe in 2006 when he averaged 35 points per game or Westbrook’s triple double season this year.
However, the matter of shooting and scoring efficiency is where Steph reigns supreme. None of those past seasons have even come close to the level of efficiency Steph reached in 2016. Steph curry last year shot .504/.454/.908 becoming only the 7th player ever to reach the 50 40 90 mark which is considered the ultimate goal for elite shooters. Not only did Steph join this group, he made history within it. He became the first ever member of the 50 40 90 club to win the scoring title and the first to average 30 points per game. He’s also only the second player ever alongside Steve Nash to shoot 45 percent from three in a 50 40 90 season. By all advanced measures of efficiency, Steph reached a historic level. He shot an insane .630 eFG % and .669 true shooting percentage, both marks that were unheard of for a scoring champion. Arguably the most impressive thing about Curry’s season was that he maintained this incredibly efficiency despite a ridiculous volume. He shot over 900 3 pointers but was still incredibly efficient making 402 during the regular season. Before the 2015-16 season, no one had ever made 300 threes in a year.
Steph was also the only player to average 30 ppg while playing less than 35 minutes per game. He did all his damage in a limited amount of time. Steph also averaged nearly 7 assists a game which is impressive but nothing crazy for a PG. However, Steph led the league in pass to assists of “Secondary Assists”, which is truly incredibly considering the incredible scoring output.
Stephen’s advanced stats also held up with some of the greatest seasons of all time. He posted a 31.5 Player Efficiency Rating which is the 8th highest of all time. His Box Plus/Minus of 12.45 is the 4th best of all time and his Win Shares/48 minutes was the 8th best in a season ever despite playing only 34 minutes per game.
Above all else, the reason that Steph’s season was so unprecedented was because his teams won an unprecedented number of games. He led his team to a record 73 wins in the regular season beating the mark set by Jordan’s Bulls in the 1995-96 season. This was one of the NBA records that was thought to never ever be broken but the Warriors did it thanks in large part to Steph’s monstrous season.
Although offensive campaigns such as many of Michael Jordan’s or Shaquille O’Neal’s 2000 season are incredible in their own right, a deeper look at the stats shows that Curry’s season is truly special. It might take us a few years for it to sink in and truly appreciate the greatness that Steph displayed a year ago because it is quite possibly the greatest offensive regular season ever.