Steph Curry sitting out 14 fourth quarters reflects Golden State’s dominance

Golden State Warriors guard StephenCurry sits on the bench in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Friday, March 13, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Golden State Warriors are dominating the 2015-16 NBA season like no other NBA team has. In fact, they’re chasing the all-time regular season win record.

So it’s no surprise that their primary player, Stephen Curry, rests during non-pivotal fourth quarters. It’s a common practice to sit your superstar and core players when a game is in hand.

However, as with any record concerning Steph Curry, it’s extreme how many fourth quarters he’s sat out this season. We’re a over halfway through the season and Curry has already sat out 14 fourth quarters out of 50 games that he’s played in. Quick math tells me that Curry has sat the fourth quarter 28% of the time, all due to the Warriors’ pouncing on opponents in the first three quarters.

Curry does most of his damage in the first 3 quarters

With a 48-4 midseason overall record (Curry missed two games due to injury), Golden State is poised to overtake the 72-10 record held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. While fans of the game want to see Steph Curry and Klay Thompson outscore opposing teams to the tune of record-breaking numbers, coach Steve Kerr – a member of that record-holding Bulls team – is making the best choice to maintain a healthy starting lineup.

That all makes sense, but because Curry misses out on an additional 7-12 minutes of play, there is a question of just how much better Curry is if he played those extra periods. Even though his first three quarters are impressive, Curry has proven that he is even more deadly in the final quarter.

As mentioned, the Warriors starting point guard has sat out 14 fourth quarters in the 50 games he has played in during the regular season. Despite this reduction in his playing time, Curry’s stats continue to rest comfortably in the top of the league totals while he rests on the sidelines.

Curry leads the league with an average of 29.8 points per game. The surprising part of this is that he’s racking up these numbers while playing the least average minutes of the top ten scorers in the league including Kevin Durant, James Harden, Paul George, DeMar Derozan and Lebron James.

Curry minutes per game leading scorer

Kerr’s strategy – keep his scoring stars from the fatigue of playing when a win is assured – is proving itself in this season that started with a 24 win streak. Barely missing a beat, Andre Iguodala, Shawn Livingston, Leandro Barbosa and Festus Ezeli come in to spell the Splash Brothers and maintaining the point differential, and sometimes expanding on the lead.

Their reserves get the job done which doesn’t push Curry to exert more effort than needed for a 20 point win. After some additional time off with the All-Star break, Curry and his teammates are primed for the second half of the 2015-16 season. The way the Warriors have been playing, that probably means more fourth quarter relaxation for Curry.

Leave a Reply