Golden State Warriors: Kevin Durant reminds everyone just how good he is

Golden State Warriors (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors are missing key players–including Steph Curry–but Kevin Durant is making sure that they don’t miss a beat.

“The Golden State Warriors didn’t need Kevin Durant.” Detractors outside of the Bay Area shouted this at the top of their lungs after the superstar forward announced his decision on July 4, 2016. It never stopped.

Even when Durant won the NBA Finals, the same haters that argued that Stephen Curry and the Warriors couldn’t beat LeBron James without Durant continued to try to tear him down. His greatness was being disregarded due to an unpopular free agency move. He had one of the best years of his career, but his team’s success seemed to diminish that, in the eyes of many.

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Durant was having an MVP-caliber season up until his injury sidelined him last February. His scoring numbers were down, compared to the rest of his career. That’s what happens when you play in a free-flowing, pass-happy system with three other All-Stars.

In the Finals, he dropped a cool 35 points per game on over 55 percent shooting from the field. He was phenomenal. Still, it was hard to overlook Curry’s impact in getting his elite teammate easy looks just by standing at the three-point line.

On the Warriors’ longest road trip of the 2017-18 season, Curry twisted his ankle in the final moments of the team’s comeback win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The team announced that he would be re-evaluated in two weeks. He’s missed four games since injuring himself on E’Twaun Moore‘s foot.

Additionally, Draymond Green, Zaza Pachulia, Nick Young, and Patrick McCaw have all missed time while Curry has been sidelined. The Warriors have not missed them (that much). While they’re not scoring as much or as easily without all of that firepower, they haven’t lost.

Durant has made sure that the team stays afloat while they’re dealing with injuries. Since Curry went down, Durant has averaged 33 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. He’s also doing it defensively, with three blocks per game as well.

The 2017 Finals MVP and the 2014 NBA MVP is playing like the best player in the game. He’s doing what he did during that spectacular run in Oklahoma City on another level. He’s efficient–both with his possessions and energy–and playing strong defense, something the Dubs desperately need in Green’s absence.

Playing alongside Curry on a great team after his controversial decision made people forget Durant’s individual greatness. To put it simply, he is a baaaaad dude. Durant is hooping at a level only a few players can get to and, most importantly, he’s racking up wins.

He’s just as good–if not better than–LeBron James. He’s reminding everyone that he’s better than the phenomenal Kawhi Leonard. The fact that he’s getting W’s while putting up big numbers in dominant performances serves as a reminder that he’s on a tier above Russell Westbrook.

Durant is going to need to have Curry, Green, and everyone else in order to secure his second title. Still, it’s fun getting to watch a player of that caliber at the height of his powers cause destruction. In case you needed someone to remind you, here I am and here’s what I have to say: Kevin Durant is very very good at basketball.