OAKLAND -- Deep inside of him somewhere there is a switch and Stephen Curry just flipped it to "NBA superhero" mode.

What can he accomplish now? Almost anything, it seems, because Curry has decided he must.

"He does things that amaze me," said Warriors eminence Alvin Attles, who has been a player, coach and executive with the team for 54 years.

"I was amazed by a guy named Wilt Chamberlain. But not too many others. And Curry does things that I'm surprised my head doesn't hurt because I sit up there and shake my head every time watching him."

That's your definition of superhero mode, right there, doing things that stagger the legends.

Another detail: In the last sprint of the season with the Warriors' playoff lives at stake, Curry didn't just take over games. You saw in his eyes that he knew it was his responsibility.

Now they're in the playoffs, facing the Los Angeles Clippers starting Saturday at Staples Center, and Curry is the Warriors' best chance to win this series and probably their only one.

At some point in almost every game, Curry will have to take over and he agrees that over the past few weeks he has come to accept and embrace this.

"Sometimes that makes the game a little simpler, for sure," Curry said Friday before the Warriors' practice.

"Because if you create something that's not there, that's when I get into trouble and that's when I turn the ball over and that kind of deal.


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"Sometimes the shot is a better offense regardless of what play (coach Mark Jackson) calls or where I am on the floor."

It's a fascinating development to watch: Curry is anything but a typical swaggering Alpha sports personality.

It's not the way Curry was taught to play point guard -- he wants to share the ball, to trust his teammates, to lead with grace.

But with center Andrew Bogut sidelined indefinitely by injury and with the Warriors at times struggling to produce consistent offense, the team's fate is almost totally in Curry's hands now.

In Curry's final five regular-season games (he sat out the season finale), he averaged 32.8 points and 10.8 assists and shot 54.2 percent.

More importantly, he shot the ball or made the crucial pass precisely when his teammates and the opponents knew he had to.

"When you have the ball in your hands you have to do that," said Hall of Famer Rick Barry, who starred for Attles when the Warriors won their only title in 1975.

"That's what (Curry) needs to do. Like everybody who says, 'Oh, the guy made the extra pass.' I'm so sick of listening to 'the extra pass.' The extra pass is meaningless and stupid if you're making it to a guy who doesn't shoot as well as you do."

Steph Curry vs. the World is the best show in the NBA right now and, for as long as it lasts, it will be the talk of the playoffs.

You take Curry's torrid run in last season's playoffs, add in his spectacular last few weeks, and you have a player who is realizing he needs to shoot and shoot and shoot some more for the Warriors to win.

That's what his teammates tell him, too.

"They know I'll try to make the right decisions, not just me jacking up shots," Curry said.

"If I find I've got a good look or sometimes a suspect look but in rhythm, they're confident in me shooting the ball.

"Because in return I'm going to try to draw that attention and feed them so they can make plays."

Everything works off of him and, to make it work, Curry has to keep shooting, force defenses to swarm and panic, pass when the situation calls for it and generally carry the Warriors.

That's why Curry is a good candidate for the All-NBA first team, an honor the Warriors franchise hasn't garnered since Chris Mullin in 1991-92.

Friday, Curry won Western Conference player of the month for April. He won it previously in April of last year, right before his playoff explosion against Denver and San Antonio.

But Curry said he's most proud of being part of the revival of the franchise from the time he was drafted in 2009 to now, starting their second consecutive playoff run.

"The playoff thing is something that is more real than anything just because I was here when it was bad, have kind of seen the change in front of my eyes, and to be a part of that is something special," Curry said.

It's no exaggeration to say that even now, at 26 and finishing only his fifth NBA season, Curry -- the first Warrior to average 24 points and eight assists -- is already one of the best players in Warriors history.

If you put Chamberlain's unbelievable stint at the start of his career to the side, Barry has to be the king of Warriors Mountain.

But with another large playoff performance, Curry could be alongside Mullin and behind only Barry very soon.

"Certainly if he continues to play the way he's playing, yes, he's going to be one of the great players in the history of the franchise, no question," Barry said.

"He's already doing things hardly anybody has done before. Now it's a matter of sustaining it."

First comes this matchup against superstar Chris Paul and the Clippers, and for Curry that means it's on his shoulders, as it always is.

And as he has realized it should be.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.