As I’m sure most remember, the Knicks had their sights set on Curry in the 2009 NBA draft, but the Golden State Warriors took him seventh overall. Adding insult to injury was the fact that New York had the eighth pick, missing out on Curry by just one spot.
Nearly four years later, Carmelo Anthony headlines a Knicks team that isn’t even thinking about what was once considered a tragedy. New York is third in the Eastern Conference and toiling with title contention. Missing out on Curry is an afterthought.
Yet even still, it’s tough not to imagine “what could have been” after watching Curry torpedo the Knicks defense to the tune of 11 three-pointers. What if he were running point for this team instead of Raymond Felton? Would Melo or Amar’e Stoudemire or Tyson Chandler even be a member of the team?
It’s tough to say. Assuming LeBron James still went to the Miami Heat, I’d say yes. New York still would have had the cap room to sign STAT in 2010 and the assets to acquire Melo in 2011. Though the Denver Nuggets could have made a play for him in said Anthony trade, I doubt Donnie Walsh or even James Dolan would have let that happen. Given that Curry only recently received an extension off his rookie deal, that also means Chandler would have been a feasible acquisition last Winter.
Of course, such conjecture is just that, speculation, and ultimately futile. The Knicks’ rebuilding plans could have changed with Curry in the fold. New York’s roster could have a similar makeup, or it could look vastly different.
Amidst all the success the Knicks have had this season and even knowing that they overcame Curry’s 54-point outburst, it’s difficult not to envy Golden State for the talent in Curry. He’s had his injury problems, yes, but when he’s been healthy, he’s bordered on unstoppable. Like he was against the Knicks.
This was a shooting performance Steve Novak couldn’t even duplicate. The manner is which Curry shoots is so Ray Allen-like yet incredibly unique all the same.
We still marvel at how quick Allen’s release is and has always been, but Curry’s is even quicker. He doesn’t need to set his feet or square up at the basket. One could argue he doesn’t need to be in rhythm either. His shooting stroke is both abrupt and fluid. It’s downright scary and impossible to defend. Just ask Felton.
A key block late in the game by Felton saw Curry’s performance fall short of perfection, but it took the Knicks the better part of 48 minutes to come up with a stop like that on him. That release of his, that 46 percent clip from deep is no joke, and neither is Curry.
This season, Curry’s proved his worth as both a shooter (21.9 points per game) and distributor (6.5 assists). He’s even upped the ante on defense as well.
He’s proved himself a superstar.
One who the Knicks almost had, but couldn’t quite get.
Whether that means anything or not at this juncture remains to be seen.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.