The heavyweight clash between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets has been the most captivating series of the NBA playoffs so far. A grizzled champion trudging toward a third straight title has run into a Texas sized road block. As the series heads back to Oakland tied 2-2, a curious narrative has exploded throughout Dub Nation.
Kevin Durant is balling out of his mind, but the Splash Bros are not living up to the hype.
KD has been running wild like Hulkamania all over the Rockets. His numbers for the series: 36 PPG, 5 REB, 4.5 AST on 46% shooting from the field (48% from beyond the arc!). He’s also converted 40-of-47 free throws. In case you were wondering, the rest of the Hamptons 5 lineup is a combined 34-of-48 at the charity stripe, while James Harden is 35-of-39.
Meanwhile, the two golden children of the Dub Dynasty have not performed up to their lofty standards. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have alternated between flashes of brilliance and boneheaded decision making, with a conglomerate of bricks laid in between.
The Splash Bros combined output through four games vs Houston: 36.6 PPG, shooting 54-of-138 from the field (39%), making just 20-of-72 from three-point range (27%).
Curry finally looked a bit more “Unanimous” in Game 4, scoring 30 points and leading the Warriors with 8 assists. Still, those two super-shooters are expected to terrorize opponents with deadly long-range attacks. With the Rockets aggressively running them off of the arc, Curry and Thompson have not consistently made Houston pay with layups and trips to the free-throw line.
Are they to blame for not supporting Durant’s scoring binges? Surely if the Splash Bros were their normal selves Houston is probably already swept by now.
this will be the Warriors title people remember as "the one KD didn't need the Splash Bros for"— Thomas P. Freshly (@LoudSharp) May 5, 2019
I'm blaming everything on Kerr & the "Splash Bros". KD doing his job.— Amel (@kb24wife) May 7, 2019
But another school of thought claims that the Splash Bros aren’t drowning defenders because Durant’s isolation brilliance is preventing those two from getting into a flow. Durant’s taken 100 shots, Curry 76, and Thompson 62.
Curry and Thompson are getting swallowed up away from the ball by an alert Rockets defense which is communicating, switching, and grabbing at all times. If Curry and Thompson had the ball more, would that allow them to find their grooves?
offense ran thru KD take splash bros outta rhythm— ..duke (@__theGift) May 7, 2019
KD is proving to the media that’s he’s great but also at the same time he’s compromising his team. Yes he’s proving he’s “UNGUARDABLE” but at the same time turning GSW into OKC while doing it. I blame the media that surrounds him. Y’all put a battery in his back. #Yoda— Rashad Phillips (@RP3natural) May 5, 2019
Durant has definitely been a willing passer, even during his scoring flurries. The Warriors guards have been disoriented figuring out how to crack Houston’s physical defense. Unfortunately, the Rockets score plenty in their own right, so it’s dangerous for the champs to throw away possessions experimenting on how to get the Curry and Thompson back on track. At the same time, the Dubs can’t give Durant the ball every time.
Everyone seems to blame KD or the gameplan for Steph and Klay not going off.. ya know Houston is kinda good and their ability to be physical off the ball and throw a variety of matchups at the Warriors is also a major factor— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) May 5, 2019
With all that being said, Dub Nation should be encouraged. All four games have been decided by five or less points with Durant bearing the majority of the scoring responsibility. Additionally, part of the reason Durant is dominating is because the Rockets are nervous about doubling off of Curry and Thompson; their gravity keeps defenders from consistently trapping Durant.
The Warriors need each other to be their best selves to survive this hellish wrestling match with their enemies from Houston. The champs have a whole nother gear they can reach if the Splash Bros are even just regular. Of course, Houston will be trying their damndest to keep the Splash bottled up. In the meantime, Dub Nation is counting on Durant to stay scorching hot.
I can’t wait for Game 5 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Kevin Durant’s monster scoring has been...
This poll is closed
A necessary savior for a muddled Warriors offense. Please don’t leave us KD! We’ll chant MVP for you at Oracle!
Hero-ball that is throwing off the balance of the Warriors motion offense and limiting its true potential. #FreeTheSplashBros
An exciting part of a gritty team effort to advance through the playoffs. No deeper narrative to see here folks.