Golden State Warriors: How Will the Kevin Durant Injury Affect Them
If the Warriors weren’t struggling enough with the Rockets, it made matters worse that they lose their most consistent player the series in Kevin Durant. So far during the playoffs in 11 games, Durant is averaging 34 points per game on 51% shooting, all career highs. As for the other key pieces like Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, they have shown flashes of good but not hitting their shots consistently.
Some people, including myself, did not pick the Warriors to win the finals at the start of the playoffs. We did so because Kevin Durant has one foot out of the door. He is not committing to the Warriors after this season. This leaves a cloud of distraction for a team like the Warriors. It also gives the media an opening to ask about the offseason when Durant could get rid of the distraction by saying he’ll stay.
In the eyeball test, the Warriors offense is better when it runs through Steph Curry. He’s a more willing passer as opposed to Durant. KD plays more iso and scores indefinitely since he’s arguably the best offensive player in the NBA. In the series winning game 6, Steph got his act together with 34 points with 45% efficiency.
No one likes to see players hurt, you want to play these teams with their best players. The silver lining of this injury could see how the Golden State Warriors play without Durant. People’s knee jerk reaction is “this team won 72 games without Durant”. Nevertheless, this team is very different without Durant. It was mostly the bench play that got them the 72 wins. Also, Shaun Livingston, the backup point guard has been a shell of himself since that historic season.
Durant will be back to play the winner of the Blazers/Nuggets series. However, sometimes these injuries can linger and throw you off your game. Thus be on the lookout to see how different Golden State ran the offense in game 6 against the Rockets. Compare it to how the Warriors run the offense when Durant comes back.
How do you think the Kevin Durant injury will affect the Golden State Warriors? Leave a comment below.
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