Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is arguably the best point guard in the National Basketball Association today. Through twenty three games of the 2015 regular season, Curry has been lighting the Association on fire. The Warriors prodigy has been nearly unstoppable, averaging thirty two points, six assists, five rebounds, and two steals per game. These mind boggling numbers have provided Steph's fantasy owners with exceptional results. Curry can certainly stuff the stat sheet, but certain opponents could create some trouble for the reigning MVP.
January 11 brings a face-off between the Warriors and the Miami Heat. The Heat rank fourth in the NBA, allowing an average of only 19 points against opposing point guards. Coupled with the NBA's third best defensive rating of 100.69 points per one hundred possessions and second best 93.6 points per game, Stephen Curry's first real test could come against a team boasting one of the league's better young defenders in Justise Winslow. The rookie has already established himself as one of the league's better perimeter defenders. This coupled with center Hassan Whiteside's dominance in the paint could make for a frustrating night for Golden State's MVP point guard.
San Antonio Spurs
On January 25, defending Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs pay a visit to Steph and the Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Spurs currently boast one of the best defenses in the NBA under legendary coach and five time champion Gregg Popovich. The Spurs stout defense currently ranks first in the league allowing just 88.7 points per game. San Antonio has also outscored their opponents by an average of 11.2 points per game, second to only to the Warriors 14.6 points per game. One key to this success is Kawhi Leonard, who currently ranks sixth in the league with a plus 3.54 Defensive Real Plus Minus. This means while he is on the floor, the Spurs score more than three points than their opponent per one hundred possessions. To make matters worse, Spurs center Tim Duncan ranks first in DRPM at 6.18.
While Curry may not be guarded directly by these two defensive studs, their presence should clog up the floor and make it difficult for Steph to get open or find teammates to feed the ball to. Behind Leonard and Duncan's stellar defense, the Spurs could spell trouble for Curry's overall production. Steph faces the Spurs three more times.
April 1 brings the Boston Celtics to Oracle Arena. The Celtics are currently allowing only 17.2 points per game to opposing point guards, first in the league. On top of stellar defense against point guards, the Celtics also boast one of the league's better overall defenses, allowing only 98 points per game. This is a full eleven points better than the league worst New Orleans Pelicans who allow a shade over 109 points per contest, 25 of which are scored by the opposing point guard. The Celtics also boast an excellent defensive rating, allowing just 100.14 points per one hundred possessions.
Players such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder combine to provide excellent perimeter pressure. This allows sneaky point guard Isaiah Thomas to sneak in and create havoc, often leading to turnovers. The Celtics boast higher NBA playoff odds than they have in recent years, and should provide quite a difficult test for Curry and the Warriors.
Stephen Curry has dominated the NBA this season, pouring in at least twenty points every time he takes the floor. While starting Curry night in and night out is a no brainer, the MVP is still not invincible. The Heat, Spurs, and Celtics should provide the biggest test for the phenom.