On July 7, 2016, free agent Kevin Durant decided to depart from the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors on his conquest for an NBA title. The response was an uproar of disgust, disappointment, and anger. The NBA world turned against Kevin Durant and would attempt to find anything on social media to condemn or make a joke in reference to Durant and the already disliked Warriors.
Whether it be a video…
When your study group gets their tests back and every single one of y’all failed…. pic.twitter.com/mnyR1dqwnw
— BK (@bk17__) November 5, 2016
Or a tweet from six years ago…
Now everybody wanna play for the heat and the Lakers? Let’s go back to being competitive and going at these peoples!
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 16, 2010
Kevin Durant Games 1-10 (via bballref)
General Stats: 27.7-7.9-3.9-1.7-1.4
Slash line: .562/.404/.866
17.8 FGA, 4.7 3PA, 6.7 FTA
His 56.2% from the field and 61.8% on two-point shots would easily be a career high for the 6’11” scoring machine. Durant had been on a crazy scoring streak up until two days ago.
Kevin Durant’s streak of consecutive 20-point games ends at 72 after an 18-point night vs the Nuggets. pic.twitter.com/H72C6E2Frq
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 11, 2016
If we were to compare his shooting to his old teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden… (via stats.nba.com)
Kevin Durant: 27.7 PPG, 66.8 TS%
Russell Westbrook: 32.0 PPG, 56.0 TS%
James Harden: 30.3 PPG, 65.0 TS%
Despite Durant averaging the least amount of points, he’s scoring at the most efficient rate. Harden is not too far behind, but the gap between him and Westbrook is 10.8 percent! Besides his otherworldly scoring abilities, the Warriors have functioned well on offense to cater to Durant’s skills.
The Warriors have assisted on an NBA-high 70% of field goals this year, with the league average being 57% (Elias). Despite the defensive adjustments that the team will have to make (24th ranked defense), they are the best offense in the league. They are top five in three-point attempts (30.9, tied for fourth with Dallas) and three-point percentage (37.5% tied for third with LAC). They’re in the midst of a four-game winning streaking with an 8-2 record, good enough for second in the West (behind the Los Angeles Clippers, 10-1) and tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the third best record in the league (after the Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers). Thanks to Durant’s insane efficiency, all of this is possible.
Judge KD for making the decision to go to the team that beat him in seven games after being up three games to one, but playing in this offense is always what he wanted. Russell Westbrook was an amazing teammate and, without a doubt, an amazing player, but the fact of the matter is that Russ’ stagnant style of play is exactly what Durant doesn’t want.
Kevin Durant taking Shots at Russell Westbrook. Wow. Watch the whole video. pic.twitter.com/hzn3k47Y29
— (3- Malik Hooker) (@MarcCTB) November 12, 2016
It should be mentioned that Durant torched Russell and the Thunder when they came to visit.
Tonight, the Warriors play the Toronto Raptors who have a 7-3 record, mostly due to DeMar DeRozan’s insanely hot start. He leads the NBA in scoring with 33.2 PPG on 51% shooting from the field. Even with DeRozan’s insane explosion coming out the gates up north, Toronto isn’t even a top 10 offense (13th.) It goes to show that no single player makes a team, and that the Warriors number one ranked offense could crush the Raptors 10th ranked defense. If DeRozan continues scoring tonight the game could be close, but we’ll have to wait and see.
There are only two possible outcomes:
(A) Warriors win another game and prove why their offense is extremely potent.
(B) Toronto wins (and possibly embarrasses Golden State) then NBA Twitter will take a moment to ridicule the stacked superstar.
Regardless of tonight’s result, the Golden State Warriors are good, and so is Kevin Durant.