Balls: Best 3-baller? Take Curry and the points 

click to enlarge Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is proving himself to be one of the best distance shooters in NBA history. - RICK BOWMER/AP FILE PHOTO
  • Rick Bowmer/AP file photo
  • Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is proving himself to be one of the best distance shooters in NBA history.

We heard it before in recent months, and after he shattered the record for most 3-pointers in a postseason on Saturday night the talk grew louder yet.

Stephen Curry may be the best distance shooter in NBA history.

Hey, Bubba, can you think of someone better?

When Balls asked Curry for his take on the subject, he said, "There are some great names that you mention in that conversation, guys that I looked up to when I was coming up. Obviously, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Mark Price, coach (Steve) Kerr, my dad (Dell) — I could name bunch of them. All those guys have the longevity factor that I hope to have down the road in my career. But I'm just trying to have ultimate confidence every time I step on the floor that every shot will go in and just enjoy the moment."

True, the final chapter in Curry's career won't be written for some time, but it's unlikely that he'll become a brick-layer in his later years. For now, his .4501 3-point field goal percentage ranks third in league history. Only Kerr (.454) and Hubert Davis (.4509) are ahead of him. And let's not forget the Atlanta Hawks' Kyle Korver, who is sixth at .433 and still active.

But the numbers don't tell the whole story, because all 3-point shots are not one and the same. Kerr and Davis were fairly average ball-handlers for backcourt players. Rather, they were hired guns who relied on others to get them the ball. Balls covered Kerr during his Chicago Bulls career, and as he admitted more than once, few if any players benefited more from one teammate than he did Michael Jordan for five seasons.

Not only is Curry adept in the catch-and-pitch game, but his ball skills are so off the charts that he can create his own 3-pointer virtually at any time and almost against defender. He has attempted 2,704 3-balls, nearly as many as Kerr (1,599) and Davis (1,651) put together. In terms of accuracy and the ability to get off the shot, Balls will take Curry and you can have the rest.

DWIGHT HAS NO MIGHT: Curry exposed Dwight Howard for the tin man he really was in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. It seemed every time Curry did something special, the Houston Rockets center was in the picture.

The defining moment came when Curry hooked Howard to gain position for an offensive rebound close to the basket. Rather than rip his arm off, which you would expect a 6-foot-11, 275-pound man to do in that instance, Howard backed off as if to say, 'Hey, you can have it. It's only the playoffs."

"It was probably unexpected, surprising for most people," Curry was kind in his remarks. "Right place, right time."

Unexpected? Surprising? Not really. Howard has played small for years, which is why he'll always be remembered as one of the biggest underachievers in league history.

JUST SAYIN': Howard said the word "quit" five times in his postgame interview. The loose translation is, the Rockets either lack veteran leadership or a coach who can get the most out of his players.

Consider that Howard and James Harden will be paid a combined $38.1 million next season, and Balls doesn't like Kevin McHale's chances right now.

CAN'T HOLD THEIR BOOS: The crowd at the Toyota Center couldn't have been rowdier if it had been Nickel Beer Night a bull riding competition.

Delusional fans chanted "M-V-P!" for Harden before the game, but by halftime, they were dumping boos on him and his teammates. When the game really got out of hand in the second half, the best action took place in the stands, where the yahoos harrassed the Warriors players, drank a lot, punched each other out and drank some more. And those were just the women, mind you.

It got so bad late in the game, one Rockets fan screamed to another, "Do that again and I'll knock your tooth out!"

Of course, in Houston, a driver can be fined if he doesn't have at least a six-pack and a bottle of whiskey in his trunk.

ZERO HERO: Lost in all the Curry mania was the fact that Harrison Barnes had one of the greatest nothing games in team history.

Barnes misfired on all nine of his shots in 29 minutes, but he did such a commendable job on Harden at the other end, he was one of the stars of the game.

"If I go 0-fer and we continue to win by 30 (points) for the rest of the playoffs, I'll be a happy man," Barnes told Balls.

Barnes was told of the assignment at the team shootaround only hours before the game.

"Obviously, we were going to throw a lot of different bodies at (Harden) , but the main job was to keep him in front of me, be physical and not foul," Barnes went on to say. "It gave him a different look. I just did the best I could."

"Phenomenal " teammate Draymond Green called called the performance. "He set the tone guarding James Harden. That's more important than him hitting his shots."

WHY, THE NERVE OF THEM: The Warriors filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that claimed they manipulated the resale ticket market.

In other news, the Los Angeles Lakers threatened to sue the NBA on the grounds that they received nothing more than the No. 2 pick in the next draft.

BEST OF TWO WORSTS: The Giants cut local product Casey McGehee less than two months into the season. How bad was the 32-year-old veteran in his short stay with the team? He grounded into more double plays (12) than he drove in runs (nine).

The good news is, the Giants could have Pablo Sandoval and his .049 batting average against left-handers and $95-million contract.

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? (A compliment?!?) Send them to pladewski@sfexaminer.com and you may get your name in the paper one day.

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