There aren’t too many blind spots in Steph Curry’s basketball game. He’s a three-time NBA Champion, two-time NBA MVP, five-time All-Star, and two-time All-NBA first-teamer. He doesn’t have too much less to prove at this point…except maybe on Christmas.
As The Comeback’s Liam McGuire pointed out a couple years back, Curry has saved some of his worst performances of each season for Christmas Day. There are greater tragedies for Curry to consider, but putting a stinker on display for one of the biggest audiences of the year isn’t the most fun notion for one of the best basketball players in the world. And because the Golden State Warriors are the team’s elite franchise of this era, they’re going to be playing on Christmas for the foreseeable future. So, he’s probably going to want to figure this out sooner than later.
How “bad” is it for Curry on Christmas? He’s never reached the 20-point mark and never hit more than two three-pointers on December 25. He’s scored single digits on three occasions (2010, 2011, and 2016) and he’s 4-of-26 overall from the three-point range across the years. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that he got to miss the Warriors’ Christmas game last season (Golden State won the game anyway).
We should note the Warriors are 5-2 on Christmas with Curry on the roster. Hardly the stuff of nightmares. However, if you take away the 2017 game that he missed with an injury, they’re only 4-2, which is still good but not “Warriors Good,” you know?
The Warriors take on LeBron James for the fourth-consecutive Christmas this year, though it’ll be against the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time in that stretch. Curry doesn’t seem too phased about any holiday yips he might consider. “We’ve seen him a lot over the last four years,” said Curry. “It’ll be a fun atmosphere. Played him and his team on Christmas I think the last four years, including this year.”
By all accounts, Curry should be able to reverse the curse this year. He’s on a tear, scoring 30+ points in three of his last five games, including a 42-point performance against the Clippers over the weekend. He hasn’t had a really bad game since December 12 when he scored ten points in a loss to the Raptors. In theory, he should be able to eclipse that 20-point mark and finally put this curse to bed.
But what if he doesn’t?
It’s not as if the Warriors haven’t been curse-bitten already this season. After Curry was featured on ESPN’s Detail series with Kobe Bryant, Curry faltered late in a rare home loss to the Houston Rockets. It was the latest in a string of losses for basketball players who lost soon after appearing on the show. So clearly strange things can still happen for Steph.
For now, we’ll still consider it a coincidence that Curry can’t score on Christmas, but if he has another stinker this year, we’re officially moving into curse mode.