When you saw that title, you probably thought I was on some sort of drug or something. The thing is, I am not kidding. Stephen Curry is not the best player in the NBA. He isn’t even the best point guard. I am not saying he didn’t deserve the MVP though. He deserved it 110%. That doesn’t mean he is the best player. I mean, Michael Jordan didn’t even win it every year. LeBron James lost out to Derrick Rose in 2011. Did that make Rose the best player in the basketball? No.
So who do I think the best point guard is? Russell Westbrook.
He is a combination of Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant. He will never give up and like we saw in Game 1 of Western Conference Finals, he can go off in a hurry. The reason I say Westbrook is the better player is simple. He is a better passer, defender and rebounder. He is more athletic, and can score just as many points as Curry. I will admit, Curry is an extremely better shooter. In fact, he is probably the best shooter in the history of basketball which means it is easier for him to drop 30 on you. As we know, this happened all season.
When you think about who you would rather have on your team, wouldn’t you want Westbrook over Curry? When you look at the stats Westbrook has a 2.5 defensive plus/minus while Curry only has a 0.1. That means the defense doesn’t have any difference in how well they play with Curry on the floor. While he isn’t much of a impactful defender, Curry sure makes up for it with a 12.4 offensive plus minus to Westbrook’s 7.6. This amounts to a better plus/minus for Curry as a total. Like I said though, Curry’s insane shooting makes up for his sub par defense. What we saw in Game 1 was that the defense reigns supreme, especially when the Warriors and Curry go cold.
Two stats that clearly go in Westbrook’s favor are rebounding and assist percentages. As we all know, Westbrook is known for his triple doubles. In games when he got one, the Thunder were undefeated this season. Curry is gonna get you the points, but he isn’t even the leading assist man on his team. That goes to Draymond Green with 7.4 per game. Isn’t the point guard supposed to be the leading assist man?
When you put together all of the stats, Westbrook averaged (per 36 min) 24.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 10.9 apg, 2.1 spg, 0.3 bpg and 4.5 tpg. Curry averaged (per 36 min) 31.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 7.0 apg, 2.3 spg, 0.2 bpg and 3.5 tpg. Westbrook averages 2.42 assists for every turnover he commits, while Curry averages 2.0 for every turnover. There you go, Westbrook is a better defender, rebounder, passer and more athletic. My point is proven. Curry is just the better scorer. I would expect that from the greatest shooter of all time.
You may disagree with me and even think I am being a hater, but I would take Westbrook over Curry any day. He just offers so much more than Curry in my opinion. Just look at the stats. When you are talking the Curry vs Westbrook discussion don’t forget that Westbrook plays with one of the best scorers in NBA history aka Kevin Durant. This takes a little bit away from Westbrook’s scoring. The thing is, Westbrook can still kill your hopes and do it fast. Just ask Golden State what happened in the 3rd quarter of Game 1.