Tag: Stephen Curry

2015 NBA Finals - Game Two

For NBA stars sell: 2015 NBA Finals draw highest television ratings since Jordan era


For decades — since Magic Johnson and Larry Bird — the NBA has marketed its stars more than its teams. With that, the NBA’s television ratings and national popularity have been tied to the quality of its stars.

When the 2015 NBA Finals pitted the two most popular players in the game today — LeBron James and Stephen Curry — the NBA was in for a ratings bonanza.

These NBA Finals averaged 19.9 million viewers per game, up 30 percent from last year (when LeBron James was there taking on Tim Duncan and the Spurs), the league and ESPN/ABC announced. That is the highest ratings ever since ABC took over the broadcasts. ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported it’s the highest ratings for an NBA finals since 1998 — Michael Jordan’s final season (we choose to ignore the Wizards years).

NBA television viewership has been up and down in recent seasons, but the drama of this series drew viewers to their televisions.

It also sent them to social media — Facebook reported 32 million of its users were discussing the NBA Finals and there were 98 million video views tied to the Finals.

The real test for the NBA is to build on this next year — regardless of who makes the NBA Finals.

PBT Podcast: Golden State earns NBA title, but did Iguodala earn MVP?


Storylines flip quickly in an NBA Finals. Matthew Dellavedova went from being the next mayor of Cleveland — or so it seemed — to a non-entity over the course of three games. LeBron James could have, and should have, bettered his legacy in a loss. Stephen Curry went from hearing “what is wrong with his game?” to “why wasn’t he named MVP?”

The Golden State Warriors are your NBA champion and in this latest PBT Podcast, we’ve got PBT’s Kurt Helin and Brett Pollakoff, plus NBCSports’ Dominic Ridgard breaking down what how the Warriors flipped the series. Then we get into the maybe hottest topic out of the Finals: Did Andre Iguodala deserve to be MVP? We also get into what this means for the future of the Cavaliers — is Kevin Love going to stay for next season? For the long term?

Also, we briefly touch on the trade that sent Lance Stephenson to the Clippers.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.

Warriors prove a jump-shooting team can win a championship

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

No NBA champion has ever shot like Golden State.

The Warriors attempted 3-pointers on 31% of their shots this season – a high for an NBA champion.

They also made 40% of their 3-point attempts – second-most by an NBA champion.

Were they an aberration, the only team that will feature the best 3-point shooter of all-time (Stephen Curry), a second excellent 3-point shooter (Klay Thompson) and a strong supporting cast of 3-point shooters (Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa)?

Well, yeah, probably – at least if you consider next year’s Warriors the same team.

But the NBA has also been trending toward a champion that shoots like this. If it weren’t Golden State, it would have been someone else eventually – though credit the Warriors for jumping the curve.

Here’s how NBA champions (gold) and the NBA average (blue) has evolved with 3-point attempt rate:


And 3-point percentage:


Plot both 3-point attempt rate and 3-point percentage on the same graph, and you can see NBA champions work their way from the bottom left to the top right – all the way to the 2015 Warriors:

NBA players shoot better than ever. Not trusting jumpers is an antiquated notion established before the 3-point arc and when the ball was more irregularly shaped. As jump shots have become more reliable, players have integrated them more deeply into their practice habits, creating a snowball effect.

The Warriors embraced 3-point shooting quicker than the curve, and that became a key weapon on their title run. A bigger weapon: Their top-ranked defense, which often got overlooked for their offensive style.

But if you’re overly concerned with offensive style, realize this: More elite jump-shooting teams are coming. Better get used to it.