The choice for Most Valuable Player in the NBA is only minimally about the numbers, but it’s fun to look anyways. FiveThirtyEight makes the case for Stephen Curry. I particularly like the chart that shows how other players on a team fare when an MVP candidate doesn’t play.
Not only do virtually all of his teammates (10 of 11 players with at least 30 shots, representing over 1,700 shots taken without him3) shoot worse without Curry on the court to draw attention, they shoot dramatically worse. Overall, Curry’s teammates shoot 7.3 percentage points worse with Curry off the court, with his average teammate4 shooting 8.3 points worse. Among our MVP candidates, LeBron has the next-highest impact on average teammate shooting (3.9 points), followed by Westbrook (2.5 points). When it comes to opening up a team’s offense, Curry has no equal.