Most 4th Quarter Points during the Finals
1995 Shaquille O'Neal 11.5
2000 Shaquille O'Neal 11.5 (61.1% TS)
2015 Stephen Curry 10.8 (75.1% TS)
1997 Michael Jordan 10.7 (55.1% TS)
1998 Michael Jordan 10.6 (50.6% TS)
2011 Dirk Nowitzki 10.3 (68.0% TS)
1993 Michael Jordan 10.3
In the 2016 Finals he was not able to play as well as he did in 2015
What happened in 2016 that didn't happen in 2015? The major MCL injury
The MCL is one of four ligaments connecting the femur bone to the tibia at the knee. It helps keep the knee stable as it moves from the outside to the inside.
So the lateral movements are going to put pressure on the ligament.
Athletic trainers refer to what’s called a “valgus” position — that’s when the knee is turned inward toward the center of the body, and the MCL stretches to keep the joint stable.
Most people naturally stand in a slight valgus position, meaning they are putting a little pressure on their MCL without even trying. Playing basketball just adds to that stress, especially during quick lateral movements
“That valgus position occurs pretty often in basketball,” said Meredith Petschauer, an exercise and sports science professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “because what you have to do in basketball all the time is plant your foot and turn in a different direction.”
The time table for return of an MCL sprain is 2 to 4 weeks.
(Keep in mind that healing timetable is for every day activity, nothing more strenuous than walking up one flight of stairs, NOT playing professional basketball)
Stephen Curry returned from the injury after only 2 weeks
because the Warriors were struggling against Portland without him.
Stephen Curry re-aggravated his knee injury by coming back too early and then playing 40+ minutes of playoff basketball plus overtime in his record setting performance against Portland.
Therefore we can conclude that Curry's MCL injury was the differentiating factor which lowered Curry's production
As the trends indicate, Steph Curry has been improving year after year for some time now
Steph Curry's career is far from over