Might playoff run be the glue to maintain Warriors collectively?


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports activities

There’s a sure humble feeling round NBA circles that means Kevin Durant won’t depart the Golden State Warriors in free company.

It’s an unstated feeling. After months of hypothesis that Durant’s third season in Northern California could be his final, the Warriors’ present run to a possible three-peat might very nicely change this.

Durant himself has not shied away from noting simply how a lot enjoyable he’s having with Golden State for the reason that playoffs began.

“That is the place this s–t is enjoyable, that is when it’s severe and I’m simply embracing it,” Durant informed Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports activities after Tuesday’s Recreation 2 win over the Houston Rockets. “I’m simply having a lot enjoyable proper now. This time of yr is what I’m geared for.”

This can be a full reversal from an everyday season that noticed Durant spar with each teammates and the media. His tone has modified. The video games matter. And on this, his efficiency on the courtroom has been taken to a complete new degree.

Durant is averaging an NBA-best 34.three factors on 53 p.c capturing from the courtroom within the playoffs. He’s having extra enjoyable. Up 2-Zero towards Houston within the Western Convention Semifinals, it seems that the Warriors as a group are having probably the most enjoyable since final yr’s NBA Finals sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Might this imply that Durant’s departure from the Warriors isn’t as a lot of a foregone conclusion because it appears?

Second fiddle: Narrative surrounding Durant and Stephen Curry is altering.

  • Previous to this yr’s playoff run, it was Durant who stepped up huge time within the postseason. He’s the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP for a purpose.
  • This has not modified in the course of the 2018-19 NBA Playoffs. Simply take a look at the previous few video games as a case research. Durant is averaging 38.three factors over the previous six outings. Curry? He’s averaging lower than 20 factors throughout that span.
  • The concept that KD performs second fiddle is proscribed to the Bay Space fan base. On the courtroom, he’s been as essential to the Warriors’ current success as Curry. His first three playoff runs show this to a T.

What drama: We’re not seeing the identical drama in Oakland as we noticed earlier than.

  • Keep in mind that early-season conflict between Durant and Draymond Inexperienced? Given the physique language of the 2, this looks like a distant reminiscence.
  • Not solely are Inexperienced and Durant getting a protracted, they appear to be real in having enjoyable with each other.
  • Durant’s physique language tells us this story. He’s smiled on the courtroom extra over the previous handful of video games than at any level all through the season.

Successful cures all ills: In the event you don’t imagine this, there’s a seaside property in Kansas on the market.

  • Let’s say Golden State wins a 3rd consecutive title, it could be laborious for Durant to depart this dynasty. The Warriors are transferring into a brand new enviornment in San Francisco — one which KD is keen on.
  • Continued success on the courtroom and inside Silicon Valley off the courtroom would possibly simply be an excessive amount of for Durant to cross up on.
  • Take a look at it this fashion. How would Durant’s popularity take a success if he left the Warriors to play for a fledgling group just like the Knicks?
  • All of the whereas, Curry and Co. are nonetheless contending for championships out west with out Durant.

Durant refuses to speak about his impending free company. He’s even obtained a bit upset when confronted with mentioned free company. Regardless of this, rumors proceed to persist that he’s bolting Northern California.

The actual fact of that matter is that we do not know what Durant’s plans are. He has but to decide.

That’s why the rest of this yr’s playoffs will act as an enormous figuring out think about Durant’s final determination.

Extra so than the Warriors doubtlessly profitable a fourth title in 5 years, one other championship might result in the best dynasty we’ve seen within the NBA for the reason that Boston Celtics of the 1960s.

That’s the place different groups should step up. The Warriors profitable a title wouldn’t assure Durant’s return. However it could go a good distance in making it occur.

Defeat Golden State earlier than it wins one other 10 video games, and this adjustments dramatically.


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