Golden State Warriors Down, but not Out
It’s never easy losing a top talent, especially for a team aiming for a championship run.
After suffering their first pair of back-to-back losses on the season against the Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls, the Warriors have begun the harsh reality of temporary life without their superstar Kevin Durant. No longer with the same depth as the previous few seasons, the Warriors will now have to grind to maintain the top spot in the Western Conference with Durant reportedly out for approximately a month.
With concerns growing in the Bay area, and rightfully so – panic being the natural instinct to losing one of the NBA’s biggest stars indefinitely – this will act as a plea. A plea to calm the storm for a team destined to ultimately get to the heights they expect to reach. With a guaranteed playoff spot locked up, it’s time for the Warriors and their fanbase to turn away from the standings and understand that they no longer matter – the remainder of the season does not matter much either.
This is no longer the team gunning for 73-regular season wins. This is a team that is hell-bent on winning a title. Nothing outside of that should be of any importance.
In the midst of quite possibly his best all-around season, Kevin Durant has averaged 25.3-points, 8.2-rebounds, and 4.8-assists per game while shooting a career-best 53.7% from the field. Defensively, he has easily had the best season of his career contributing to the number one defence in the entire NBA.
As of right now, there is no reason to assume that Durant will not come back. Teammate Steph Curry went down with a similar injury last season in the playoffs and only missed two weeks of action. The Golden State Warriors when healthy are in a league of their own, they do not need home-court advantage throughout the playoffs to win a championship. They can beat whichever team they want playing four of seven games on the road.
On the season the Golden State Warriors are first in points scored, point differential, field goal percentage, opponent field goal percentage, opponent three-point percentage and almost every other basketball category. What we are seeing from the Warriors is a team that is firing on all cylinders like no team in NBA history and when the Warriors apply themselves, they cannot be stopped – not by the Wizards, the Bulls, or even the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers.
With Durant out, the Warriors will lose more, but to be a prisoner of the moment following their first back-to-back losses in over a year and click the panic button is slight an overreaction. Without Durant, the Warriors still have a two-time league Most Valuable Player, the best shooting guard in the game and quite possibly the second best shooter in an NBA, and the odds-on favourite for Defensive Player of the Year. Hell, Andre Iguodala is still coming off the bench.
The Warriors will be okay. In fact, they can calmly bring Durant back, not rush his return and have a healthy squad in time for the playoffs where the important games begin.
So Warriors Nation – breathe.