golden state warriors after kevin durant

The Golden State Warriors May Just Be Better Without Kevin Durant

In Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, one of, if not the best, the player in basketball, Kevin Durant went down with a left calf injury since then the Golden State Warriors have looked unstoppable.

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In the summer of 2016, when Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors, at the time, the Warriors looked to be unstoppable and have proved that right, by winning two championships back to back. Some wondered could Warriors keep this success without KD, and the Warriors have also proved that they can keep playing at this high of a level without Durant. In Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, Durant suffered a right calf injury, and since then the Warriors have gone 5-0, and look to continue this run to a third straight championship.

Draymond Green has picked up the slack for KD. 

In the early goings of the 2018-2019 NBA season, there was an on and off court disagreement between Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, both of whom play for the Golden State Warriors. In a media session, Green said that the Warriors won without KD, and can win without KD. In Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets, Kevin Durant went down with a left calf injury. After that, the Warriors would win the next 2 games and then go onto sweep the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals. During that stretch, Green average 16.5 points, a game, and Stephen Curry set the record for most points by a player in a 4 game sweep in NBA Playoffs history, with 146. There has also been an outstanding performance by Klay Thompson, who along with Curry, and Green have been with the Warriors since their 2014 NBA Championship.

Does KD need to come back and be effective with the Warriors?

If the Golden State Warriors want to win the 2019 NBA Finals, they don't need KD in order to do that, yes it would be nice, but KD needs the Warriors more than the Warriors need KD. This summer, Kevin Durant will become a free agent and is looking to join Kyrie Irving, and possibly RJ Barrett with the New York Knicks. If Durant doesn't come back to the Warriors, and they win the NBA Finals, with ease, does that diminish the value of Kevin Durant to other teams? As FOX Sports analyst Skip Bayless put it on Skip and Shannon Undisputed. "the worst case scenario for Kevin Durant is, he comes back for Game 1 (of the NBA Finals) and they lose to whoever they would play, probably Milwaukee." If a fully healthy, and rested Kevin Durant were to come back for the NBA Finals, and they sweep whoever they would play, and Kevin Durant can average 35+ in that series, then Durant may be the most treasured free agent in recent NBA History (yes that includes LeBron James in 2010/2014)

Has this run helped solidify the greatness of Steph Curry?

@stephencurry30

Since Game 5 when KD was injured, the Golden State Warriors have looked, and been unbeatable, but someone who has played out of their mind is Steph Curry. Curry averaged 36 points during that time span and has looked like he can't miss even if he tried to miss. While Steph Curry has been considered one of the best point guards in the game right now, this run he has had throughout the playoffs has made some question whether Curry is the greatest point guard of all time. While Curry may not be at the level in which Magic Johnson or Oscar Robertson ever was, but he sure has made his case for being one of the top three best point guards of all time.

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Stephen Curry Breaks And Extends Personal Record of Most Consecutive Games With Five or More 3's Made

Curry has extended his streak to nine consecutive games.

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Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry broke his personal record of seven consecutive games with five or more three-pointers made and has just extended it to nine games in Golden State's 116-102 victory over the Denver Nuggets on April 2. The NBA record for such games is 12, set by Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden. The Warriors have five games remaining in the regular season, so Curry has a chance to break Harden's record before the postseason unless the team decides to rest him.

Curry is considered by countless analysts and players to be the greatest shooter in the history of the NBA and is only solidifying that perception further with his recent play this season. He has racked up 340 three-pointers through 65 games, quietly the third-most in a single season in NBA history. The Warriors are currently leading the Western Conference with a 53-24 record.

Curry is known for revolutionizing the NBA with his shooting abilities, leading to teams utilizing the three-pointer more frequently with each NBA season that passes. His influence is seen in several teams around the league, as they are collectively attempting 11.3 three-pointers per game, an average increase of 4.9 over the past seven years. This is most evident with the Houston Rockets, a team that lives and dies by the three-point shot under head coach Mike D'Antoni. It is not a coincidence that James Harden has made 360 three-pointers with four more games to play this season, the second-highest in NBA history behind Curry's 402 in the 2015-16 season.

Curry is also known for sparking a resurgence in the Warriors franchise with his entourage of perennial All-Star teammates. The team has made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and Curry and his teammates look to make it five this season. They have won three championships in that time span, including the last two straight. The Warriors aim to be the first team since the 1999-2002 Lakers to three-peat with Curry at the peak of his prime at 31 years old.

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Right Now, The NBA Finals Is Anyone's To Lose

As the NBA Playoffs get into full swing, it looks like it can be anyone's to lose.

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Over the past 4 years, it has been set in stone that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers would play in the NBA Finals. After LeBron James left the Cavs to go to the Lakers, it seemed that the Warriors would run away from the rest of the league. But, so far it looks like there is no clear favorite for the trophy. With the resurgence of the Rockets, the struggles of the Warriors, and the 76ers, anyone is considered the favorite for the championship this season.

As the Golden State Warriors began their quest for a fourth championship in 5 years, this year looked to be one of their easiest years in the dynasty. But in the first round, the LA Clippers gave the Warriors all they had, and still lost the series in 5 games, as the second round began it looked like the Warriors would match up with the Houston Rockets for a series for the ages, with an injury to star Kevin Durant, this looked to be the end of their championship run. All the Warriors did was win 6 by a wide margin over the Houston Rockets, but how long can the Warriors stay afloat without KD. For the Portland Trail Blazers, they were able to quite the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round and would face the Denver Nuggets in a classic 7 game series, coming down to a clutch shot int he final seconds by CJ McCollum. The Blazers and Warriors split their four games in 2018-2019, and it looks like this year's Western Conference Finals, will come down to the wire.

After the Philadelphia 76ers rolled on past the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, they looked to be the team that would represent the Eastern Conference following the departure of LeBron James. Kawhi Leonard hit the first ever buzzer beater to win a game 7 in professional sports history. For the Milwaukee Bucs, they were able to dispose of the Detroit Pistons in 4 games and blew right on past the Boston Celtics in 4 games as well. Having one of the best players in the NBA, Giannis Antetokunmpo helps a little bit. This year in the Eastern Conference Finals it will be two of the best players in the league, duking it out to see which is the superior player, and lead their team to the NBA Finals.

This year the playoff have been more aggressive, more energetic, and more heart racing than ever. While many people predicted that these four teams would reach the conference finals, many people don't know who is going to move on after this, every team has a strength, and a weakness, some more glaring than others, but all in all this is the beauty of the NBA, while over the past few years it has been one of the parodic leagues in the major 4 professional sports, now even with the Warriors as the clear favorite, there are still three high-quality teams that can steal the throne from them. And even if the Warriors win the NBA Finals in 4 games, as long as the Mike Breen is on the call, it will always be an entertaining game.

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