The Warriors have looked just fine without two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant. While he recovers from a right calf strain, the reigning champions have won three straight playoff games with Steph Curry leading the way.
Which begs the questions to many, are the Warriors better off without Durant?
“That’s idiotic,” Green said to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami Thursday after the Warriors' 114-111 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals over the Blazers. “It’s very idiotic. I don’t think there’s one person in this locker room, one person in this organization that thinks that. And I know for damn sure that any idiot that does possibly (say) it don’t believe it.”
Curry has clearly been unleashed since Durant's injury. He's averaging 35.3 points in the three games that Durant has missed, all Warriors wins. His younger brother and current rival Seth even said the Dubs are harder to guard with KD out.
Ask the actual players on the Warriors, though, and that's simply not true. They know the kind of dominant scoring ability that Durant possesses, and his rare combination of size and skill can't be matched.
“When you have Kevin, he covers up so many things on both sides of the ball,” Green said. “Oh s--t, we haven’t scored in four possessions in a row? Get the ball to Kevin, get out of the way. On the defensive side, you mess up a pick-and-roll coverage, he’s right there to cover it up. He covers up so much for us.
“We don’t necessarily have to be perfect (when Durant’s out). But we’ve gotta be damn close to it.”
Durant couldn't be on the floor with his Warriors teammates and is out for at least the next two games, but he still made his presence felt. When the Warriors trailed by 15 points at halftime of Game 2, he was right there to pick them up in the hallway.
Warriors trail by 15 at the half ...— ESPN (@espn) May 17, 2019
KD waited in the tunnel to high-five his teammates as they went into the locker room. pic.twitter.com/wSA4iW0UzY
When the Warriors completed their comeback, Durant let out his emotions and dapped his teammates as they entered the locker room.
“NBA Finals, they don’t wanna go there.”— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 17, 2019
Kevin Durant after the Warriors 15-point comeback in GM2. pic.twitter.com/SnbK2dKuzU
The Warriors are back-to-back champions. They've won three rings in the last four years. There's a reason they can win games without Durant. He's also one of the greatest basketball players to ever step on a court.
You take an all-time great any day of the week, and you become better by doing so.