Steph Curry’s three-point slump didn’t last for long.
Just a game after going 0 for 10 from long range — breaking his streak of 157 consecutive regular season games with at least one three-pointer — the two-time reigning MVP made an NBA-record 13 three-point shots in the Warriors’ win over the Pelicans on Monday night.
“This was a special night,” Curry told reporters after the game.
Curry was one of three players to hold the previous record of 12 three-pointers in a game, joining Kobe Bryant (2003) and Donyell Marshall (2005) in this exclusive club. Curry has seven career games with at least 10 three-pointers, the most since 1983, the first year data is available.
Now it is only a matter of time before he becomes the NBA’s all-time three-point king, passing Ray Allen (2,973) for the most career three-pointers made.
One way we can guesstimate Curry’s chances is by using the favorite toy, a formula created by Bill James that calculates the probability a player achieves a cumulative statistical goal.
The formula has four inputs:
- Number needed to achieve goal.
- Projected seasons remaining for the player, calculated by the formula (24 — .6(age)).
- Established level for that statistic. James forecasts this as (last season*3+second to last season*2+third to last season)/6.
- Projected remaining total, which is simply the last two numbers multiplied to one another.
The chance of getting to the goal is determined by the following:
[Projected remaining total — (Number needed/2) / Number needed]
If we add Curry’s 368 projected three-point shots from this season to his career total, he would need to make 1,013 three-point shots to break Allen’s all-time mark once the season ends. Based on his age, Curry can be expected to play for 7.2 more years after this one at an established level of 365 three-pointers made per year. That gives him a 97 percent chance to reach 2,974.
Allen hit his peak in long-range shooting as a 30-year-old during the 2005-06 season, in which he led the league with 269 three-point shots while hitting 41.2 percent from behind the arc. Then it was a slow, but definite decline from there.
If we use a similar aging curve for Curry, he should break the record sometime during the 2020-21 season with more than 3,600 three-pointers made. If he plays to 38 years old like Allen did, Curry could end his career with better than 4,300 from beyond the arc.
In other words, by the time the next presidential election rolls around, we will be referring to Curry as the NBA’s all-time three-point king.