Golden State Warriors made it through the second round of the NBA Playoffs after their win against the Houston Rockets on Saturday (4-2).
The “Dubs” played without Kevin Durant, who was out with a calf injury that occurred in the third quarter of Game 5.
The greatness of Steve Kerr’s team was displayed on the last game against the Houston Rockets. The team put aside the “iso heavy” strategy and turned in a direction, which involved more ball movement.
This way Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson found more space and shot the ball with more confidence, while using a different version of the famous “lineup of death”.
According to the official site of the NBA, the lineup that consists of Curry, Thompson Green, Iguodala and Looney is averaging a +10.8 net rating.
Steve Kerr used this lineup for 18 minutes on this playoff run. Against the Houston Rockets, the same lineup averaged a +28.6 on 13 minutes on the last two games.
At the same time, this combination averages a 65.2 Effective FG% and a 69.3% True Shooting Percentage.
On the other hand, the most used five-man combination of the Golden State Warriors on this year’s Playoffs (163 minutes on 11 games) consists of Durant, Green, Curry, Thompson and Iguodala and is averaging +1.7 net rating.
Against the Rockets, the star-studded lineup had a +2.8 net rating, while averaged a 54.4% Effective FG% and a 58.7% True Shooting Percentage.
At the same time, Kevin Durant is without a doubt a “destructive” offensive force, a three-level threat that can score from everywhere on the floor.
“KD” has been averaging 34.2 points per game on 51.3% field-goal percentage and 41.6% three-point percentage, while also averaging a +7.2 plus/minus on this year’s playoffs so far.
The Warriors score 117.4 points per 100 possessions on offense when Durant is on the floor. So is Durant making them better or worse? That’s not the point, because the truth is that it’s only making them “lazier”.
The 27-year-old forward takes a big chunk of the scoring of his team in his hands. That makes the Warriors more iso dependant on offense, but, at the same time, the initial results don’t change.
The “Dubs” are still the best team on the league on both sides of the floor with or without Durant, being capable of overpowering their opponents despite “KD’s” absence.
They can defeat any team with great ball movement using the dominant backcourt of Curry and Thompson, or they can win by letting “KD” “scorch” the opponents defense with his talent.
Not many teams in the NBA can make that claim and that is what makes the Golden State Warriors the “team to beat” on today’s league.