The Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant will get a chance to run the show in Stephen Curry’s absence as he deals with an ankle injury.
Durant’s decision to join Golden State was heavily criticized because the Warriors didn’t need him. That’s, probably, true. Even without him, the 73-9 Warriors who fell short in Game 7 of the NBA Finals probably enter the next year as the favorites to win the title again.
Durant is what takes them up a notch though. Durant is what makes their margin for error much greater because they have more talent than anyone in the history of the league. Durant is what gives them the capability of sweeping three straight playoff series, with a chance to do it a fourth time.
Still, the notion that Durant joined as a freeloader, of sorts, is going to follow him for quite some time. This idea is reinforced every time that he sits out and the Warriors don’t miss a beat. In fact, they might even get better.
Durant is going to get the chance to prove what he’s capable of for all of the detractors. Curry is going to be out for the next two weeks, at least, after sustaining an ankle injury. Now Durant gets to run the show.
Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will still be there, obviously. This team is still better than most versions, if not all versions, of the Oklahoma City Thunder that Durant was on. But, you don’t need to watch a lot of the Warriors’ Curry-less minutes to see that they are completely different without him.
Durant’s responsibility is about to go up. It won’t be as high as it was with the Thunder, but it will be the highest it’s ever been during his time in the Bay Area. There might be an adjustment period, but the Warriors should still be fine.
The biggest concern is Durant reverting back to his Thunder days and breaking the Warriors’ scheme too much in order to try to take over the game without Curry. As long as he lets the game come to him and he trusts his teammates, namely Green and Thompson, he and Dubs will still be successful during Curry’s absence.