It was Kevin Durant’s shot - an open mid-range jumper that we’ve seen him hit countless times against any number of foes. But on Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, the shot was just a little bit short. Much like a lot of the Warriors’ season this year, it was just inches away from perfect, but bounced in the opposite direction and left everyone disappointed and searching for answers.
Not to stretch the analogy too far, but also like the season, it’s important to focus on the good rather than dwell on the bad.
Kevin Durant tonight:— NBA (@NBA) December 28, 2018
26 PTS - 11 ASTS - 10 REBS
This was his 2nd triple-double of the season. pic.twitter.com/bC46AdcnqT
This was Durant’s second triple-double of the season, and the twelfth of his career
Durant is known primarily as a scorer, but we often overlook what a complete player he is. More than just simply possessing all the skills, he does an exemplary job at knowing what the team needs in any given situation.
The looming issues right now are the slumps that Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are going through - each with their own needed solution.
Those 11 assists are a season-high for Durant and probably indicative of a broader trend that will play out over the coming weeks. With teams giving Green the “Tony Allen “ treatment and sagging way off of him, it has forced the Warriors to do something they’ve been loathe to do for years - take the ball out of Green’s hand. Green, in case you missed it, has led the team in assists since Kerr took over. A natural counter to pressure on Stephen Curry, using your secondary ball handler so often they can look like your primary ball handler can shift the momentum in a sort of basketball riposte to over-coverage.