Doc Rivers describes what makes Warriors' best play so tough to guard

Doc Rivers describes what makes Warriors' best play so tough to guard

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

In Steph Curry and Draymond Green, the Golden State Warriors possess one of the best pick-and-roll combinations in the history of the NBA.

That is not hyperbole.

Head coach Steve Kerr has repeatedly said that the Dubs could run a pick-and-roll every play with Curry and get incredible results. 

But he wants a lot of ball and player movement because he believes it's better in the long run if everybody is involved on the offensive end.

Therefore, the Dubs constantly cut and pass and screen and don't let the defense stand still. They still get incredible, historic results.

And there is one play, in particular, that is a nightmare for the opposition.

Usually, it's Kevin Durant with the ball and Draymond Green setting the screen for Curry. But with KD out for the Western Conference finals, it was Draymond passing and Looney screening.

Enes Kanter (first clip) and Zach Collins (second clip) are stuck in no-man's land as they ignore Looney and end up getting burned.

"It is their single best play and the hardest one to guard," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told ESPN's Zach Lowe recently. "You have to recognize the guy you are not guarding on purpose is now setting a screen, and run back up, and that is really hard.

"You cannot get paralyzed."

But defenders do get paralyzed all the time.

[RELATEDMcCollum explains why Dubs different are from rest of NBA]

"They cause a lot of confusion," Blazers big man Meyers Leonard told Lowe. "It's incredibly difficult to be a help defender and then be up at the screen. It feels awkward.

"Help defense against the Warriors is totally different when they are playing that old Warriors style. It's not normal. You never know what's coming."

Just the way Kerr likes it...

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NBA rumors: Sense among Warriors is Kevin Durant leaves in free agency

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NBA rumors: Sense among Warriors is Kevin Durant leaves in free agency

Will he? Won't he? Will we continue dissecting it regardless? 

The Warriors reportedly believe the answer to one of those questions is yes. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne said on "The Jump" on Wednesday that she thinks "there's a sense that he's going to leave Golden State."

"I think you feel that within the Warriors organization," Shelburne said (H/T Bleacher Report). "That's why this whole run feels like they're all just trying to savor it, right? They're trying to savor what this is and just how special it is. But I don't know. Kevin Durant is an emotional guy -- and I say that with respect ... he's passionate."

Shelburne's comments came a day after Rich Kleiman, Durant's agent and business partner, said that Durant "really doesn't know and I really don't know" how his potential free agency will play out. Earlier this month, Shelburne's ESPN colleague Adrian Wojnarowski said the Warriors "are bracing for possibly seismic change" this summer given Durant and Klay Thompson's impending free agency. 

[RELATED: Why Raptors are better NBA Finals matchup for Dubs]

Durant will almost certainly opt out of his current contract this summer. The New York Times' Marc Stein wrote earlier Wednesday "that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the [New York] Knicks to sign Durant away from Golden State." The Knicks have long been floated as Durant's preferred destination, and we're still over a month away from the official start of the free-agency moratorium on June 30. 

In other words, the answer to the third question at the start of this blog is also yes. 

NBA rumors: Clippers equal free-agent threat to Knicks for Kevin Durant

NBA rumors: Clippers equal free-agent threat to Knicks for Kevin Durant

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Another day, another Kevin Durant free-agency story.

This one comes from Marc Stein of The New York Times:

Within the last month, very smart and plugged-in people I have consulted say that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the Knicks to sign Durant away from Golden State. And I believe it.

But as Stein also writes:

Problem is, at various points during the season, I have heard trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant is already planning to join the Knicks … and then that he is likely to consider the Nets as well … and now that he is eyeing the Clippers just as intently as New York.

Sounds about right when you consider there have been approximately 327,845 different KD stories written this season.

On Monday night, the Warriors superstar's agent/manager, Rich Kleiman, said that Durant is "100 percent undecided" when it comes to his future plans.

"I'm waiting on Kevin," Kleiman said at The Wall Street Journal's "Future of Everything Festival" in New York. "That's the truth ... he really doesn't know and I really don't know."

It's safe to assume that certain scenarios have been discussed, but it makes sense if KD hasn't made a final decision.

Remember, although he knew he wanted to sign with the Warriors back in 2016, he said he wouldn't have come to Golden State had the Dubs beat the Cavs in the NBA Finals.

[RELATEDKD continues feud with Broussard: 'U don't have my number']

This is why he wants to wait as long as possible to see how everything shakes out.

For now, Durant's strained right calf and his availability for the NBA Finals is much more important than what happens in July.

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