Dub Nation appears to keeping a watchful eye on Kevin Durant’s isolation basketball habits.
If you peruse Golden State of Mind’s own Hugo’s skepticism on the efficiency of KD’s crunch time isolations, or Ethan Sherwood Strauss’ piece for the Athletic questioning if the Warriors are force feeding Durant to keep him happy, it’s clear that public sentiment is mixed on the Finals MVP’s decision making.
If you were to read the GSoM comments after losses, you’ll catch several Durant related criticisms that include words like “flow”, “ball movement”, “rhythm”, and “Warriors basketball”. I.E. the Warriors would have won if only Durant hadn’t been so thirsty for his own shot and crippled Coach Steve Kerr’s high-powered, free flowing offense.
In light of that curious narrative, I was quite amused to see Drew Shiller of the Warriors Outsiders had teamed up with Marcus Thompson II of the Athletic and Warriors PR guru Raymond Ridder to serve up a delectable Kevin Durant statistic:
All 9 assists were on threes. So KD accounted for 56 points tonight https://t.co/RSUA92Pnhl— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) January 6, 2019
Tonight marked the first time in over four years that an NBA player had 9 or more assists and EVERY assist was on a 3-pointer (last was 10/29/14 by James Harden) https://t.co/zmmFJluhEA— Raymond Ridder (@DoubleR_PR) January 6, 2019
Hmmm, looks to me like Durant is well aware of how to keep the Warriors offense humming. He’s also averaging a career-high 6.2 assists, filling in admirably on the playmaking duties when Steph Curry and Draymond Green missed time with injuries.
KD knows you gotta feed Klay when he's pic.twitter.com/LQ44Qscm2y— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 6, 2019
Durant is playing his butt off for the champs, and although he’s not perfect (WHO IS?), he is a lot more unselfish on the court than he gets credit for. And let’s not forget he grew up playing in the isoball haven of Oklahoma City under Scotty Brooks and Billy Donovan.
Graduating from that slog to the complicated, constantly moving, beautiful chaos of the Warriors’ vaunted offense was probably like the movie version of Will Smith transitioning from the NYPD to the Men In Black.
Durant has transitioned quite well, if I do say so myself, and appears quite content with sharing the sugar. #sweet