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Warrior Wonder: Kevin Durant puts Golden State on his back in Game 4

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The ‘Hamptons Five’ soared to victory against the Pelicans in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals, and Kevin Durant was at the center of it all.

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Pelicans
What is this, 1993?
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The so-called ‘Hamptons Five’ of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green is widely reputed to be one of the deadliest lineups ever to see the hardwood.

Coined by Tim Kawakami after the spot where these five All-Stars came together in the summer of 2016, the name’s always conjured up more the image of brown loafers, white chinos, and blue blazers, than a trail of utter destruction on the basketball court.

But the truth of it is that lineup has spent most of the year lounging around as if it were at a summer garden party.

While the offensive rating has been on point at 124.7 points scored per 100 possessions, the defensive rating of 116.3 points given up per 100 possessions speaks to the ‘pre-switch’ era.

Nonetheless Steve Kerr did what was blindingly obvious, and the whole of #DubNation was screaming out for, and started that ‘Hamptons Five’ (for the first time ever!) against the Pelicans in a pivotal Game Four of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

They did not disappoint. The Warriors demolished the Pelicans in a flat-out dominant first quarter. And Kevin Durant was at the center of it all.

Warrior Wonder - Kevin Durant

This might have been one of Durant’s most impressive games as a Warrior, and certainly the most important since the 2017 NBA Finals.

With Steph Curry still working his way back from injury (remember folks he’s pretty much not played competitive basketball for over two months) the Warriors called Durant’s number, and time and again he delivered.

Durant was assertive, decisive, and aggressive from the off. The Pelicans threw everything they could at him, from some fine individual contests by Jrue Holiday, to double teams, to their big beast Anthony Davis, but he just couldn’t be stopped.

Now for hoop fans of a certain vintage the phrase ‘there’s no stopping what can’t be stopped’ conjures up certain images.

No, not that family movie dude. Another family movie dude, who lived on a steady diet of monster jams and unstoppable midrange fadeaway jumpers.

This is not a comparison I make lightly. Throughout the 90s Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls absolutely eviscerated every single team who had the temerity to even consider stepping to them.

What was so incredible about it was the inevitability of the outcome. You just knew Jordan was going to take the game by the scruff of the neck with a calm, collected coolness that was frankly bordering on the psychopathic, and dismantle the opponent midrange turnaround by midrange turnaround.

But yesterday we got to see for one afternoon what that would look like if Michael Jordan was seven feet tall.

Every time the Warriors needed a bucket, there he was. Every time the Pelicans got a little bit of hope, there he was. Every time a writer tried to stretch out a series of tortured metaphors from his childhood a little further than they could go, there he was.

Enough words, let’s get with some moving pictures.

This devastation got a healthy assist courtesy of Draymond Green, who himself had another fine performance with eight points, nine rebounds, nine assists, four steals and two blocks, and one 4am text message.

“I can’t sleep when we lose like that,” Green said.

Throughout the night, he got so agitated by his team’s performance that he sent Durant a “long-ass text message.”

The All-Star power forward wouldn’t divulge his message in its totality, but he said he had to let his teammate know how he felt at that moment.

”I just challenged him to be who he is. I had to tell him,” Green told ESPN. “I didn’t see him attacking or being aggressive enough on both ends of the floor like we need him to be. You know, I don’t hold back. When I see something’s wrong, I have to voice my opinion. There were no hard feelings. We’re just trying to win a ballgame.”

Now if I got a late night message from Green’s number I might think twice about opening it first thing in the morning. But Durant is a courageous fellow, and his response was as simple and effective as he made his 38 points, nine rebounds, five assists, one block and steal look.

When Durant woke up hours later, his reply to the text message was “I got you.”

Tonight, Kevin you definitely did. And in the process you got yourself today’s Warrior Wonder.

Oh, and perhaps now we can ditch the corny ‘Hamptons Five’ nickname and call it what it is - the ‘Megadeath line-up’?

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Pelicans in Game 4?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Kevin ‘Motherfreaking’ Durant
    (255 votes)
  • 21%
    Draymond ‘4am text message’ Green
    (84 votes)
  • 1%
    Steph Curry
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Andre Iguodala
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    Klay Thompson
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Kevon Looney
    (6 votes)
  • 5%
    Quinn ‘I can’t believe Ian Clark is still winning that last WW poll’ Cook
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (answer in the comments please)
    (0 votes)
385 votes total Vote Now