Four words that sends Twitter into a frenzy: Steph. Curry. Heat. Check.
There’s nothing else quite like it — the sight of a small, fragile point guard with a feathery stroke, rewriting the script on what a good and bad shot is. When he has it rolling, a simple shrug of his shoulders strikes panic in the eyes of the opposing team. The thought that, with the slightest bit of daylight, he’ll rise up with utter confidence, treating a long-range three as a simple, routine layup is terrifying. Combine that with some yo-yo handles and you have a combination that leaves the defense at his mercy, something that Jose Calderon learnt the hard way not too long ago.
The stars come out to play in the post-season, and that’s what makes it so exciting. It’s where legends are made, narratives are born and big figured pay days are earned. Steph Curry’s life has changed tremendously over the last 12 months for that very reason. As a playoff virgin, he led the Warriors to a second-round appearance, posting gaudy numbers of 23.4 points, 8.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game before the San Antonio Spurs snuck past them. He performed on the NBA’s brightest stage, beaming with the confidence that allows him to be so special. Under the light that makes some fade out of existence, he emerged as a star, a fan favorite and a poster child for one of the up-and-coming teams in the Association. His pull-up threes became the talk of the town, his third quarter explosions were must see TV, and his name was on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
This time last year, the Golden State Warriors were in the exact same position as they are now: beholders of the sixth seed in a crowded Western Conference. However, expectations have changed with many pinning them as championship contenders heading into the 2013-2014 campaign. They have failed to live up to that bill, sure, but they set a franchise record for wins along the way and even though their defensive anchor, Andrew Bogut, is out indefinitely with a broken rib (which, supposedly, could puncture his lung if he were to play), there is still a mysterious aura surrounding this team heading into the playoffs. What that stems from is the belief that with Steph Curry in uniform, anything and everything is possible.
We’re all waiting for Curry to put the Warriors on his back again, just like he did last season when he captivated the nation with his artistry, but making it past the first round seems wishful thinking at this point. But even if they do fall at the hands of the L.A. Clippers within the next seven games, we can, at the very least, expect to see those four words — Steph Curry heat check — pop up on Twitter feeds at some point. And when it does, you’ll want to make sure you’re around to watch it unfold on a nearby television because there’s nothing like it.
It’s a thing of beauty.