NBA Playoffs 2019: Stephen Curry, Warriors Reminding Us That Kevin Durant Is More A Luxury Than Necessity



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After beating the Portland Trail Blazers, 110 to 99, on Saturday to take a 3-0 lead in the series at the Western Conference finals, the Golden State Warriors have now won four consecutive games in the playoffs playoffs without Kevin Durant. If you count the brave victory of Game 5 against the Rockets, during which Durant missed most of the second half of the match, the club won five consecutive games without Durant.

Now, let's go back to the script. Let's say it was Stephen Curry, rather than Durant, who injured himself against the Rockets and missed the rest of the fifth game and the next four games. Are the warriors still 5-0 in this period? Think before you answer, and do not make your way lazy by making fun of the idea that a basketball team could actually be better, or at least largely unaffected, without arguably the best player of the world.

Really think about it.

Are the Warriors 5-0 if Durant plays instead of Curry?

From the time Durant first spoke with the Warriors in 2016, fans and media were obsessed with the "Curry or Durant" debate. Who is this team? Who is the best player? On a plane, these are useless questions. Golden State has both. Who cares which one is the best? But on another level, they might not have both long. Most people think that Durant is gone this summer, and if that happens, the question of what this team of warriors is and can be without him is very important.

"In other words, they will be favorites to win the title as long as Durant is there," a league official told CBS Sports recently. "Without Durant, I do not think they'd be the favorite.I do not know who would.It would be pretty open, I think.We'll have to see how summer is announced.But Golden State would always be very good, but not the favorite in my opinion, I mean, we're talking about Kevin Durant. "

To be fair, we are also talking about Stephen Curry, who scored 207 points in 213 minutes since Durant crashed against Houston. Do you have any idea how ridiculous it is? It's 46.6 points by 48 minutes, the duration of an NBA game. When you look at what happens to Damian Lillard in this series, watching him disappear under the weight of the constant traps and double teams of the Warriors, you can only better appreciate the greatness of Curry.

Curry, after all, uses this type of defense for six years, the same defense that can make virtually invisible one of the top 10 or 15 players in the world and he always managed to do what he did. . Two MVPs. One of the only unanimous vote in the history of the NBA. An incredible 1,578 points scored at 3 points on 43% shooting in the past five seasons, including an NBA 402 record in 2016 before Durant ever appeared. A striking title. An average of 26.5 PPG.

More importantly, the Warriors won a championship while Curry led the charge. The following season, they won an NBA record with 73 games and went to the seventh game of the final. And yet, there is always this idea that Curry and the Warriors "need" Durant to win. They do not do it. This has been proven in a hundred different ways. Are you ready for this? In the last 31 games that the Warriors have played with Curry and without Durant, they are 30-1.

You can trace this since Durant's arrival in 2016. Since then, in the 37 games Curry has played without Durant, the Warriors are 33-4. It's better than a pace of 73 wins over an NBA season. During the same period, when Durant played without Curry, the Warriors are 28-18 years old. It's a rhythm of 49 wins.

From the moment the Warriors got into the playoffs, there was that kind of "last hurray" story about their journey, as if to imply that when and if Durant leaves, it's all over. What proof is there that such a notion is even at exact distance? I'll give you a hint: there is not one. In fact, 100% of the evidence suggests the opposite – that when it comes to this Warriors team, as long as Stephen Curry is there, Kevin Durant is more of a luxury than a necessity.

People will not take it that way, but it's not a big deal for Durant, who is clearly one of the greatest basketball players ever to live. The simple truth is that Curry is also one of the greatest players to have ever lived and is held next to Durant. And when Curry is even relatively small, the Warriors have something different. Something not quite quantifiable but palpably real.

After the second game, Seth Curry explained what many people thought, it's harder to keep the Warriors without Durant. That's true. Everyone moves more. Share more. Stay less. There is an inclusivity in a Curry-led attack, a joyous, almost exuberant energy that runs through the entire team like sugar at a birthday party. Yes, Curry is a monster who plays ball and runs under the lure / reincarnation of Reggie Miller. there is no doubt.

But Curry WITH the Ball is another beast. Curry has become the most dangerous weapon the NBA has seen since Michael Jordan, while the Warriors or Durantless, are the most dominant team since those Bulls.

We have been reminded of these last five games.

And if Durant decides to leave this summer, it would be wise not to forget it.

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