The NBA playoffs begin this Saturday with the Golden State Warriors tied with the Houston Rockets with the best odds to win the title. But that must mean the oddsmakers feel Steph Curry will come back healthy, or the oddsmakers have a different view than NBA executives.
“I was talking with several coaches and execs from teams in the West morass from three to eight, nine,” … “The fear factor for the Warriors without Curry does not exist. There are people who will say, ‘I’d rather play the Warriors right now in the first round than the Thunder or the Jazz.”
This is clearly a way for the higher-ups to take a shot at Kevin Durant. It would be one thing if they just said that the Warriors were not the favorites without Curry, but to mention the Jazz and Thunder – two teams with no shot to win it all this year – does not happen without motives.
In the absence of Curry, the Warriors are clearly Durant’s team, meaning if one does not fear the Warriors without Curry, that directly means they do not fear Durant as he would have more than enough help to add a second ring to his resumé. Without Curry, the Warriors are the second best team in the NBA at worst.
This raises the question why they would feel this way, Durant was the Finals MVP a year ago, outplaying Curry and possibly LeBron James. He has added a defensive element to his game this year making him one of, if not the best two-way player in the NBA.
Either Durant is not respected by coaches and executives due to his extreme pettiness and strange attitude, or his decision to leave Oklahoma City still is looked down upon.
Durant cannot escape the fact he joined a 73-win team and became a part of an already all-time great team. But what is often missing in that conversation is that he has become the best player (not most valuable) on the team. He is not just along for the ride.
It seems plausible to believe that Durant will never get the credit he has earned unless he wins elsewhere at some point in his career.