Kevin Durant and Draymond Green feuded when they were teammates, and now, they’re doing it again through the media. It started when Green appeared on the Colin Cowherd Podcast and was asked about Stephen Curry never winning a Finals MVP award. Green gave a lengthy and nuanced answer about Curry’s true value to the Warriors, but let’s key in on one passage.
“Kevin Durant was absolutely incredible in those Finals runs, as you know, you watched it, we all watched it,” Green said. “Kevin Durant was absolutely insane. Steph Curry got double-teamed probably seven times the amount that KD did in a given series,” Green said.
The point was simple: individual numbers could not accurately gauge Curry’s value to the Warriors. Where he truly shines is in the boost he gives to everybody else on his team through his absurd gravity. While Durant has been great everywhere he’s played, he’s never had easier shots than he did in Golden State because he’s never had a teammate as capable of creating those shots through his own off-ball movement as Curry.
Well, Durant got ahold of the quote. “From my view of it, this is 100% false,” Durant tweeted in response.
Green then accused Durant of jumping to conclusions based on a short clip. “You have to learn to listen to full takes and not snippets before you get baited into tweeting Champ,” Green responded. Durant confirmed that he did listen to the whole interview and praised Green’s work, but held firm on his position. “Oh I seen it my brethren, I appreciate the compliments but I disagree with what u said about double teams that’s all. I love the show,” he concluded.
With respect to Durant, Green does have a point. It should be pointed out that neither Warrior was doubled as much as a typical superstar would be while they were together precisely because of the presence of the other. Doubling Curry meant creating an easier look for Durant and vice versa, especially with Klay Thompson in the mix as well. But the best opposing defenses, particularly the Houston Rockets, attacked Golden State by switching screens as much as possible. The idea was to take away Curry’s 3-pointers and accept that mid-range jumpers from other players, even Durant, were inherently less efficient. This frequently allowed Durant to work one-on-one against smaller defenders who had been switched onto him as a byproduct of the game-plan against Curry.
That’s not to say that defenses ignored Durant, or that he was never doubled. He’s just a slightly more conventional player to defend even if there’s no easy way of defending him. Curry, being the off-ball threat that he is, engages multiple defenders frequently because he’s so good at escaping the man assigned to him. That isn’t really Durant’s game. His best attribute is his ability to score on anyone. Curry’s is his ability to help all of his teammates do just that. Whether that means Curry should’ve won a Finals MVP or not is ultimately subjective, but his presence certainly made Durant’s life far easier. That’s likely why Durant went to Golden State in the first place.
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