The 2018 playoffs has seen a huge increase in double-teaming defenses. The Cavs used it against Victor Oladipo, the Warriors against LaMarcus Aldridge and now Anthony Davis, and perhaps most famously, the New Orleans Pelicans against Damian Lillard.
As Lillard ruefully admired the heightened defense from the Pelicans, people started noting that Stephen Curry has been facing defenses like this since the 2014 playoffs. People rightfully noted that Curry worked out a balance between getting his own offense and making the right pass to others, and for his troubles, he had his Finals performances mocked by the ignorant.
This is all true. It’s also true that in the 2017 Finals, when forced the choose, the Cavs double-teamed Curry instead of Kevin Durant, and that extra attention got Durant freedom to score. I detailed this in a long-form article.
But people are taking it a little too far. While Curry has been under-appreciated, let’s not overlook that Durant has been facing double-teams as well.
Some chatter on here about KD not getting double teamed. Def true that Steph gets double teamed, and in the Finals, Cavs chose to double Steph not KD on the PNR. But NOP is definitely doubling KD and he's handling it like a champ.— Eric Apricot (@EricApricot) May 7, 2018
(On Finals traps:https://t.co/Nb0aP8tPHo)
In fact, for the rest of the playoffs, it’s likely that Durant will need to carry more of the offensive force than Curry, who still looks hampered by his post-injury conditioning and rust. This makes it more important than ever that Durant can handle double-teams.
Here’s a short video analysis of how Durant did just that during Game 4 and helped the Warriors jump out to a big lead that seized control of the series. Co-starring Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and a no-look walk-off by Stephen Curry.
Kevin Durant Beats the Blitz
Watch how Kevin Durant beat the Pelicans double-teams to help GSW to a commanding 1st quarter lead in Game 4. Co-starring Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and a no-look walk-off by Stephen Curry. By @EricApricot. More videos and complete articles at http://tinyurl.com/ericapricot.Posted by Golden State of Mind on Monday, May 7, 2018