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SportsOpinion: Are Warriors better without Kevin Durant? It's more complicated than that

20:25  15 may  2019
20:25  15 may  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Report: Kevin Durant unhappy with 'prodding' from Steve Kerr

Report: Kevin Durant unhappy with 'prodding' from Steve Kerr It would be a surprise at this point if Kevin Durant decided to re-sign with the Warriors this summer, and there has been no shortage of reasons cited for why the soon-to-be free agent is looking to leave Golden State. Could the head coach be among those reasons? Steve Popper of Newsday spoke with several NBA executives about Durant at the NBA combine last week, and the general consensus is that Durant is a lock to sign with the New York Knicks. According to one exec, two of the issues Durant is having in Golden State are that he is tired of “prodding” from Steve Kerr and knows the Warriors will always be Stephen Curry’s team.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said it best a while back: When Curry leads the Warriors on a heavenly three-point barrage, turning deficits into runaways, it becomes a mental thing for our guys. Strange question being tossed about the 3-Dot this week: Are the Warriors better without Kevin Durant ?

Are the Warriors without Kevin Durant really better than the Spurs and the Cavaliers? Chris Broussard joined Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe to discuss. Every day, Skip and Shannon will give their unfiltered, incisive, passionate opinions on the biggest sports topics of the day.

OAKLAND — It would be an oh-so-convenient headline but also incredibly flippant to suggest that the Golden State Warriors are suddenly better now that their strongest individual part is on injury-enforced hiatus.

No team in its right mind would want Kevin Durant, arguably the game’s most destructive force, watching from the sidelines. Yet in the week that has elapsed since Durant landed awkwardly and the postseason seemed to be thrown into immediate flux, something has happened.

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Nick Wright and Cris Carter debate whether or not the Golden State Warriors were better off without Kevin Durant . Every day, Colin will give you his authentic, unfiltered opinion on the day’ s biggest sports topics, and co-host Kristine Leahy will bring you the latest breaking sports news.

Here it is . And I'm pretty sure it ' s gonna be my last one of her. I love vidding her, but since the show got cancelled I have no more scenes to put in the video. emma chota | i'm not better (tw) - Продолжительность: 3:15 vampsforbes 46 214 просмотров.

Or should we say hasn’t happened? From that point forward, the Warriors stopped looking like they might be in danger of losing to the Houston Rockets. They stopped sputtering on offense. They stopped being over-reliant on seven (or sometimes eight) men. They stopped being hesitant. And Steph Curry started looking like his old self and the Warriors more like champions than they have all season.

Opinion: Are Warriors better without Kevin Durant? It's more complicated than that © Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC Stephen Curry scored a game-high 36 points in Game 1.

They’ve done it out of necessity. Shorn of the luxury of Durant’s ability to marshal offensive opportunities at will, the Warriors have simply gone back to how things were done before he came along. Speedy ball-movement, seeking an open man. Vigorous intensity.

Warriors star Kevin Durant out for rest of West semifinals

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Did the Golden State Warriors ' Game 2 win over the Portland Trail Blazers prove they are better without Kevin Durant ? Every day, Skip and Shannon will give their unfiltered, incisive, passionate opinions on the biggest sports topics of the day.

But it ’ s also safe to say that losing Durant forced the Warriors to address some issues and And all of them will be that much better and are in that kind of a groove for when Durant comes back. The Warriors are back in stride. They faced a moment of crisis, they dealt with it, they got better because

"It was a nice flow," Curry said after his team’s 116-94 Game 1 victory in their Western Conference finals clash with the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. "We were moving the ball, too. Just trying to create great shots. It worked out for us tonight. It is fun. It is when we are at our best in terms of everybody feeling like they are a threat on the floor. It puts so much pressure on the defense. You see the morale. Everybody’s shoulders were up. There were smiles, just aggressiveness all over the floor."

They were pretty decent before Durant came, you might remember, winning one NBA championship and losing another only through a combination of exhaustion at racking up a 73-9 record, a LeBron James swat and a Kyrie Irving dagger.

Report: Durant to miss Game 1, unlikely for Game 2

Report: Durant to miss Game 1, unlikely for Game 2 Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant will be forced to miss Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday with a calf strain, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. Durant will reportedly be re-evaluated Thursday, making a return in Game 2 "unlikely." The 30-year-old suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Warriors' Game 5 victory over the Houston Rockets and was forced to miss the team's series-clinching Game 6 win on Friday. Golden State will continue to lean on Stephen Curry as the focal point of its offense in Durant's absence. The two-time MVP finished with 33 points Friday - all in the second half.

It was , however, a much sunnier diagnosis than the Warriors were expecting. Initial reports suggested that initially feared Durant had a fractured tibia, an injury that would have been season-ending. Certainly the news seemed grim when, a few hours after Durant limped off the court, word got out

Can the Warriors still get to the Finals without Kevin Durant ? Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe weigh in. Every day, Skip and Shannon will give their unfiltered, incisive, passionate opinions on the biggest sports The Warriors are the NBA' s best team even without Kevin Durant | UNDISPUTED

It was when the Splash Brothers of Curry and Klay Thompson truly splashed, three-pointers raining from the roof of Oracle Arena, when everything was conducted at breakneck speed.

That’s what happened in Game 1. Unless Portland finds a solution, the Warriors will be content to give Durant’s right calf injury every bit of precious rest that it needs.

The Warriors try to play with speed when Durant is around, but, like Curry says, having a player of his quality offers the ultimate "safety valve." Players are less likely to let fly a rapid and impulsive long-range shot when Durant’s looming figure and implied capacity to score is in their peripheral vision.

It is a small sample size, but maybe we are now seeing the Curry of old, just days removed from when the question was being posed as to what was wrong with him. Having played second fiddle, purely because of the weight of Durant’s excellence all season — and in the last two NBA Finals — he is suddenly unleashed once more.

It's been like his mind was suddenly uncluttered. Perhaps Durant provides him with too many options. During the first three quarters against Portland, Curry had a simple philosophy: use his foot speed to find open space, and let it fly. He did, sinking nine threes (seven of them uncontested).

NBA playoffs 2019 wrap: Stephen Curry, Warriors close out Rockets in Houston

NBA playoffs 2019 wrap: Stephen Curry, Warriors close out Rockets in Houston The Warriors' 118-113 victory over Houston at the Toyota Center on Friday secured them a place in the Western Conference finals. They faced Houston in Game 7 of the conference finals last year, but refused to repeat the past. Kevin Durant was ruled out for the rest of the Western Conference semifinals after suffering a mild calf sprain in Game 5, so the Warriors were forced to adapt. Klay Thompson held down the fort for Golden State to start, pouring in 27 points on seven 3-pointers.

It ’ s not that Durant is unfit to lead the Warriors or that he’s any less talented than Curry; rather, Curry’s penetration, court vision, and gravity open up the court for his teammates more effectively than any other player in basketball. Not only can he pop it from the half-court logo when he wants, he breaks

The Warriors played without two key playmakers Kevin Durant (rest) and Andre Iguodala (illness), the latest sign of a championship-tested team showing more priority in maximizing health than collecting padding win totals in February. For a while, though, it appeared the Warriors could simply put their

"It is good to see Steph have a game like that, obviously when we need him most," said Draymond Green. "That is really big for us and I expect him to continue to play that way. You try to feed off the momentum of the last game and carry it over. He came out of the gate aggressive.

"Also understanding that Kevin is out and he is going to be even more important in our offense. He came out with that mindset and got it rolling."

Blazers coach Terry Stotts was frustrated and it is hard to blame him. He looked bristled when quizzed about how to stop Curry. He’ll surely try something else next. There is no certainty it will work.

Durant will be back soon enough and when it happens he will be welcomed back by the Warriors, despite how the Warriors performed in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Rockets and Game 1 vs. the Blazers. He carried the team through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

If anything, this just makes his return even more daunting for whoever has aspirations of stopping the Golden State party. Without Durant, isolation plays are rare and it increases the pace of everything. When he’s back, we can assume that his minutes may carry some restriction, and the speed of play during the times he’s benched may start to look more like things have in his absence.

Rockets even up series with 112-108 win in Game 4

Rockets even up series with 112-108 win in Game 4 The Houston Rockets have the series all squared up after their Game 4 win against the Golden State Warriors Another game, another close finish as the Houston Rockets take down the Golden State Warriors at home in their 112-108 Game 4 win. Despite getting the lead all the way up to 17 thanks to a red-hot third quarter, the Rockets found themselves battling the Warriors, yet again, late into the fourth. The Rockets, who held a three-point lead with 11.

The Warriors were doing something incredibly rare when they brought Kevin Durant onto a roster But Durant ’ s 20-game absence led to another idea popping up: Could the Warriors — and Curry There certainly was an element of letting Curry freewheel a bit more with Durant out, but it was

It is , after all, way too early to assume the Warriors are better without Durant ’s superstar services. It ’ s also arguable that this 11-game win streak qualifies as Golden State’s best stretch of play this season. For all the quality Durant provided, there was a difficulty in adjusting roles and finding shots

Meanwhile, the Warriors are cruising through adversity as a result of being forced to rediscover their joyous spirit. Durant has been their most valuable piece all season long, and having to cope without him seems to have supercharged their drive towards a third straight title.

Follow Martin Rogers on Twitter @RogersJourno.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Are Warriors better without Kevin Durant? It's more complicated than that

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