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

17:23  15 may  2019
17:23  15 may  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Warriors coach Steve Kerr: Kevin Durant out Game 6 vs. Rockets

Warriors coach Steve Kerr: Kevin Durant out Game 6 vs. Rockets Durant strained his calf in Game 5

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.

Opinion: Are Warriors better without Kevin Durant? It's more complicated than that© Ben Margot Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, right, speaks with Stephen Curry (30) after Curry was called for a foul during the first half of Game 5 of the team's second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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.

Warriors star Kevin Durant out for rest of West semifinals

Warriors star Kevin Durant out for rest of West semifinals OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Kevin Durant will miss the remainder of the Golden State Warriors' Western Conference semifinal against the Houston Rockets with a strained right calf. An MRI exam Thursday confirmed the Warriors' initial diagnosis. The team is traveling back to Houston for Friday's Game 6 but Durant stayed behind in the Bay Area to undergo treatment. He is to be re-evaluated next week, meaning if there is a Game 7 in the series Sunday he would be out of that one as well. The Warriors lead the series 3-2.

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, Golden State 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.

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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.

Report: Kevin Durant won't play Game 1 for Warriors, not likely to play Game 2

Report: Kevin Durant won't play Game 1 for Warriors, not likely to play Game 2 Report: Kevin Durant won't play Game 1 for Warriors, not likely to play Game 2

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,” Stephen Curry said after his team’s 116-94 Game 1 victory in their Western Conference Finals clash with the Portland Trailblazers 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.”

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They were pretty decent back before Durant came, you might remember, winning one NBA championship in the pre-KD era 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.

Warriors’ Kevin Durant to miss at least Game 1 of conference finals

Warriors’ Kevin Durant to miss at least Game 1 of conference finals Warriors forward Kevin Durant will have his strained right calf re-evaluated Thursday, a league source told The Chronicle. Durant will miss Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday and is unlikely to play Game 2 on Thursday. 

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 , 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

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 feet quickness to find open space, and let it fly. He did, sinking nine threes (seven of them uncontested).

Draymond Green: ‘Idiotic’ to say Warriors are better without Kevin Durant

Draymond Green: ‘Idiotic’ to say Warriors are better without Kevin Durant The Golden State Warriors are more than holding their own in the absence of Kevin Durant, who has been sidelined since Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals with a strained right calf. Still, the notion that the Warriors are somehow a better team without Durant is “idiotic,” according to Draymond Green. The Durant-less Warriors, thanks to Thursday night’s 114-111 home-court victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in which the team overcame a 15-point halftime deficit, now hold a commanding 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

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 7 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.

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.

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.

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

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

Kevin Durant says talk of Warriors being better without him is 'not true'.
On Friday, Kevin Durant spoke with the media for the first time since he suffered a calf injury in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, and he shared some of his thoughts on the talk of the Golden State Warriors being better off without him. The Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazers and have not lost a game since Durant went down, but he told reporters the assertion that the team is better when he sits is simply “not true.” Kevin

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