…I won’t take anything away from him. He’s awesome. So is Harden. Harden is also insanely efficient. He just does it different, with free throws and extreme shot selection. The rings argument is tired too. Harden was a couple fluke threes away …
It’s always about the free throws, which means it’s always about the calls.
Curry is the greatest 3-point shooter in the NBA, and perhaps in the entire history of the league, but he is only 4th all-time in 4-point plays. Far too many times, I’ve seen Curry end up on the floor when players make contact with him, or take away his space to land, with no whistle. Harden gets that call almost every time.
Just look at this article from 2016, showing Curry at #5 all time with 15 (Harden unlisted).
Here’s a list of 4-point plays just for this season: Harden (20), Ross (10), Redick (9), Miller (9), Crowder (8), Curry (8).
The other area where Curry has a big edge over Harden is one that I consider the most important: playoff performance.
Harden and Houston play a style no one sees the entire year and they mop up on bad teams.
But in the playoffs, when you’ve got the best teams in the league playing the same team for 4–7 games, teams make adjustments and start to figure out how to stop an opponent.
Playoff Curry: 26.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 6.4 apg, 1.7 steals, shooting .412 3P%, .895 FT%, 29.4 USG%, 14.4 WS, .199 WS/48, +11.0 Net Rating.
Playoff Harden: 22.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.7 steals, shooting .3273P%, .872 FT%, 28.2 USG%, 12.9 WS, .169 WS/48, +5.0 Net Rating.