Monday, March 11, 2013

Stephen Curry's star status rising

OAKLAND – If social media is any indication, Stephen Curry has reached megastar viral status with the Golden State Warriors.
Prior to Monday night’s game against the New York Knicks – the same team Curry lit up for 54 points the last time he played them – the first 500 patrons into Oracle Arena to walk up to the Facebook table on the main concourse were given commemorative 54-point game posters. They had five left by the end of the first quarter.
This is the biggest “like” for the Warriors since the “We Believe” T-shirt craze in 2007.
To Warriors Facebook fans, he is more popular than Dennis Rodman in North Korea. In social media circles, he has become the Tweetorama. For example, during his 54-point outburst against the Knicks, Curry picked up 5,000 Twitter followers in a 40-minute span. Since then, his Twitter followers have increased by more than 36,000 to almost 500,000.
This is the biggest spike in tweets since Brent Musburger oogled over Katherine Webb.
Curry obviously was on the mind of the Knicks and menu of Knicks’ media. Eggplant curry served for dinner in media room before the game. Nevermind that it was Bollywood Night at Oracle, a celebration of Indian culture, Knicks media couldn’t stomach the thought of seeing any dish linked to Curry.
Well, eat this: Curry scored 11 points in the first quarter on Monday night against the Knicks. That’s nearly three times as many points as he scored in the opening quarter against the Knicks on Feb. 27. He made a franchise record 11 three-points shots against the Knicks last time and he was almost halfway to that total Monday night with six minutes left in the first half.
Granted the Knicks are committed to defense about as much as Charlie Sheen is committed to celibacy. But they didn’t change up much to prevent Curry for drilling them for another 54 and the Warriors didn’t feel a need to alter their game in the event the Knicks defended Curry any different in his encore performance.
“We don’t go into a game saying, `Steph, give us 54,’ ” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said before the game. “At the end of the day, the one thing we want to change is to win this time.”
Curry, who with his points and seven assists accounted for 70 of Golden State’s 105 points in their four-point loss in Madison Square Garden, wound up with 26 points and three assists in 37 minutes. That’s  .70 points per minute. In the game on Feb. 27, when he played the entire 48 minutes, he averaged 1.1 points per minute.\
“There’s not much can you can,” Jackson said. “The guy is as heck of a player and a tough match-up.”
Since his career-high game in New York, Curry, who turns 25 this week, has averaged a pedestrian 22.9 points per game. If he had scored 54 points this time, Curry would have nearly outscored the Knicks by himself.  The Knicks scored only 63 points, the fewest points the Warriors have allowed in a game since Dec. 28, 1953 when they beat Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Hawks.
“That’s a heck of a defensive night,” Jackson said. “You don’t have many teams in the history of the game have nights like that.”
And not many players in the history of the game who have nights like Curry.


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