The Golden State Warriors have the luxury of possessing two of the greatest players in the NBA on their roster.
Stephen Curry and Kevin are also the two biggest reasons that the Warriors have won back-to-back NBA titles. Sports Illustrated recently released their list of the NBA’s top 100 players and Sports Illustrated writer Ben Golliver believes that Durant was put ahead of Curry at No. 2 is because he’s a more talented all-around player.
“We’ve always thought that Golden State has done an incredible of building right around Steph’s strengths,” Golliver said. “If you had Steph out there on a random roster without good shooters to kind of space the court for him, without a great frontcourt playmaker like Draymond Green, we wonder whether some of his impact would be a little bit limited. In other words, we think that he’s in his best case scenario in Golden State. We think that KD is better defensively than Steph is. I also think that when you’re trying to build lineups, KD allows you to play him at the three, the four, and potentially you could play him at the five in small-ball looks. That’s very helpful. With Steph, he’s very clearly a one. A lot of times you have to hide him on defense. From that standpoint, we think that KD has an edge.”
There’s no denying that Curry is one of the most explosive players in the NBA ranks and he’s also one of the top shooters that the league has ever seen. However, his defense definitely isn’t at the level of Durant, who has a very large wingspan that he can use to his advantage. During his 11-year professional career, Durant has averaged 1.1 blocks per contest, but has registered at least 1.6 blocks per game in his two seasons with Golden State.
Durant is coming off his second consecutive NBA Finals MVP Award and put together averages of 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.8 blocks while shooting 41.9 percent from beyond the arc throughout the 2017-18 season. The former Texas Longhorn was even more dangerous during the postseason as he averaged 29.0 points and secured 7.8 rebounds per contest. Durant also was absolutely lethal during the NBA Finals as he posted a stat line of 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 2.3 steals in four games against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It’s hard to argue with how dangerous Durant is from an athletic standpoint. Obviously, it’s no slight to Curry because the former Davidson star is an absolute magician on the basketball court. Durant is just a physical freak and can do everything from ball handle at a high level to make plays from just about anywhere on the floor. If Durant can continue to be a complete player, it’s not crazy to think that the Warriors could win their third consecutive NBA title this coming season.