Versus the Washington Wizards last week, the Golden State Warriors loss had multiple players to it.
Not only did it mark the start their first losing streak in over two years, but they also lost Kevin Durant in the process for possibly the rest of the regular season.
On a play in the first quarter, center Zaza Pachulia went up for a rebound and seemed to be shoved down by Wizards center Marcian Gortat and subsequently into the leg of Durant who immediately knew he was hurt. In a scary moment for Durant and the Warriors, Durant had to be helped off of the floor and into the locker room while the team would end up losing the game. After the game, many were left wondering how serious the injury was. This caused many questions to be asked to teammates and coaches about what they would do with him out and if they would be ok.
This prompted the now famous Draymond Green quote, “We’re not going to act like he died or something.”
Although barbaric in content and form, there is a lot of truth to the statement.
We’re talking about a team who without Durant won an NBA Title and many argue should have won last year. We’re talking about a team who won 73 games last season…without Durant. We’re talking about a team who was down 3-1 to a Durant- led Thunder and came back to win the series… against Durant.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the signing of Kevin Durant to the Warriors was an amazing pickup and with him on the floor, they are the favorites to win a championship.
His impact on the floor can’t be denied. Stats show that not only is the team just as efficient offensively, but more importantly, they are much more efficient defensively with him on the floor. To put that into perspective, when you average 120 points a game, you don’t even necessarily have to be the best defensive team, but they are one of the best with him on the floor. This makes them almost impossible to beat in a seven-game series.
Again though, we acknowledge the greatness of Durant, but we also must acknowledge the greatness that is the Warriors before Durant, with Durant, and temporarily without him again.
This is a team who still has three other All stars as its core, who are battle tested and have proven that they can dominate together, with or without Durant. So if Durant does miss most of the rest of the regular season, the Warriors will be fine.
Rest assured, though, Durant is a key part of this run to reclaim the title and without him, their road back to glory will be that much tougher.
As of today, he will be re-evaluated in about two or three weeks and for the Warriors sake, we hope that he is able to go by the start of the playoffs in late April. Until that time, the Warriors have to play like they always have up to this point. It’s worked very well for them.
Do you think with the loss of Durant that the Warriors will lose their number one seed? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.