I’ve got to be honest, this is really interesting to me.
Golden State has won nine straight without Kevin Durant. They’re not just playing the Sixers or the Lakers. The last two have been at the Rockets and at the Spurs. They are now 12-4 without him and everyone expects that its going to take a while to get your chemistry right, perfect your shots and your defensive alignments. Defensively the Warriors are 7 points a game better off without Durant. They’ve shut down Westbrook, Harden and Leonard without the big man. What?
One of the things that I criticized when KD went to Golden state was that they added more of what they were good at and lost part of what their weakness was. If you look at the leagues greatest ever teams you discover that they were fairly layered. The Bulls were great defensively with great mid-range game,stars like Jordan, Pippen and Rodman. They never depended on one aspect of their game to win. If you look at the Spurs you had Duncan on the glass, Manu off the bench, Toni Parker controlling the offence and a variety of long distance shooters that kept the scoreboard ticking.
Durant to Golden State just added more threes. I didn’t make them tougher or faster. They are now on a nine game winning streak on the road against some of the best teams in the NBA. They fell behind 23-3 and won in a rout against San Antonio.
When you look at great teams, never forget this, they are layered and do several things well. When the Warriors lost Bogut in the finals and had a 3-1 lead they lost a rim protector and people kind of rolled their eyes. They were never the same. You can’t just have 12 different shooters. That’s why Draymond Green is so important. At this nightclub he’s the bouncer, he’s the tough guy and you have to have one of those. If I said to you the Warriors were going to lose Durant, arguably the second best player on the planet, you would say they would never be the same. You’d be right, I think they’ve gotten better. Durant added a layer they were already stacked at. Without him their chemistry looks better than its been the entire year.
Looking at this team you can’t help but be impressed.