When Stephen Curry became the first unanimous MVP in league history two seasons ago, he did it mostly thanks to delivering what was easily the best shooting season ever. Although the 3-point shooting gets most of the attention — rightfully so given the manner in which he obliterated his own record for made 3s while finishing second in the league in 3-point accuracy — it was far more than simply dialing in from downtown.
He essentially shot the same on 2s as MVP Shaquille O’Neal and converted a higher percentage at the free throw line than Steve Nash, the most accurate free throw shooter of all time. Taking it all into consideration — the 3s, 2s and 1s — Curry finished with a true shooting percentage of 66.9, the best ever by a 20-points per game scorer. It’s hard to fathom anyone putting together a more complete shooting season.
When asked before last Sunday about the celebrations across the league, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick responded, with an expressionless face and the grimmest monotone, “We’re really more interested in trying to keep the other team out of the end zone. None of us really spend a lot of time on the halftime show.”
Sunday, Patriots wideout Brandin Cooks scored a touchdown and then jumped on tight end Rob Gronkowski’s back and rode him around like a horse. The Patriots, under Belichick, had of course been banned from premeditated celebrations.
Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots: Lewis is morphing into New England’s main ball carrier, having played more snaps than Mike Gillislee the past two weeks. The Patriots face a porous defense in the Chargers, who despite playing better of late, enter Week 8 with the NFL’s 31st-ranked run defense. And when New England takes a lead, that bodes well for Lewis, so I’m not alone in liking him in Week 8 and beyond.
The outcome of the Elliott case, at least for now, serves to further cement Goodell’s authority in matters of player discipline under the CBA, just as the NFLPA’s ultimately failed challenge in federal court of Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension did. Brady played the entire 2015 season after a judge overturned the four-game suspension of the New England Patriots quarterback. But Brady sat out the first four games of last season after the NFL prevailed on appeal. The Brady case also played out in New York, serving as a precedent for what happened in the Elliott case.