Dec. 7 -- His name has been missing from the substantive conversations about the NBA's best point guards. Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is a lights-out shooter. No one disputes that fact. He's one of the craftiest scorers in the league when healthy.
But a great point guard?
It's only now, with Curry focused on leading his surprising Warriors, that his name is being tossed around as one of the youngsters poised to break into the league's elite group of floor generals.
Curry has put together four straight 20-point, 10-assist performances for the 11-7 Warriors, who are battling for the top spot in the Pacific Division. The Warriors have won six of their past eight games and eight of their past 11, giving the state of California a third team (along with the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers) that could be in the West's playoff mix come April.
The rewards for Curry could come sooner, however, as he'll get strong consideration for a reserve spot on the Western Conference All-Star team if he keeps on playing like he has. He's already kicked the door down and joined the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder this week at our No. 10 spot.
"This is the player everyone was excited about when he was at Davidson," one Eastern Conference executive said. "You knew he had the potential to be a dynamic scorer and a great shooter. The question was always going to be about his ability to adjust to being a full-time point guard and whether that would take away from his scoring ability. When he and Monta [Ellis] were there together and he was always hurt, it didn't look like he was going to get there. But he's doing both right now and doing them well."
As he did in a win over the Pistons Wednesday. Curry scored 22 points, nailing four of his six shots from distance, while dishing out 10 assists to just one turnover to go along with four steals and three rebounds.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who is third all-time in assists in the NBA, is aware that Curry is in the midst of taking that next step in the evolutionary process any of the potentially great point guards must take.
"I'm sure he's had a great stretch of performances before, but what I love about the way he's playing right now is that he's in total control out there on the floor," Jackson said of Curry. "When things get crazy, there's no need for me to call a timeout, because I feel confident and comfortable with his ability to run this team. He's playing at a whole other level probably than he's ever played."
The "other" level is where the NBA's true stars reside every night.
Welcome to the party, Stephen Curry.