Like when LeBron James boldly left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 for the Miami Heat and eventually formed the dynamite package that was Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and James, Durant will join what will now be the Big Four for the Warriors with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
But remember that when LeBron headed to Miami, the union he, Bosh, and Wade formed didn’t happen over night. They took time to marinate and develop. So will Durant be able to achieve a chemistry with the current Warrior roster?
Everything points to yes. Two absolute leaders in scoring will come together in Curry-Durant, and even if the Warriors changed nothing but swapping Durant in, the Warriors could become the greatest scoring team of all time.
Just this season, Curry dominated records he had already set and showed he has the wits to outsmart most defenders. Durant currently sits as the No. 1 in points per game among active players and is a four-time scoring king. And now they’re together? In a word, the Warriors scoring game is about to get filthy.
But as romantic as it is to think about the Warriors not changing a thing in their offensive strategy and just plugging Durant in, that’s just not going to happen. They received much praise for their offense this season, but we saw it wasn’t bullet proof, especially in the playoffs. It was the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland that really messed with their groove and put immense pressure on an unhealthy Curry. With Durant on their side, the Warriors have far more ways to pick at a opponent’s defense and rack up points.
The Curry-Durant duo will leave opposing defenses with little room for error. If (correction: when) they run the pick-and-roll, defenders can’t lose sight of Curry and Durant for even a second. If they do, it’s done.
What made the Warriors’ offense so nice was the attention to detail. But with Durant, it can keep its uniqueness while being simple, and simple runs best in the playoffs.
So will the Warriors chase their regular season record in hopes of beating it this year? They shouldn’t. They harped on that goal all year long, which could be part of the reason their rough spots showed in the playoffs. After all, the outcome of the playoffs matters significantly more than bettering their best record.
Certainly, Durant will have to find his rhythm with the Warriors. He won’t be able to hold onto the ball as much as he could with the Thunder. But he did show a new side to him this year in his defensive effort, especially in protecting the rim, and will do so better than Barnes.
Be patient, sit back, and watch the magic happen. Because with Durant, the Golden State just got more golden.