Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry is acting like he wants Kevin Durant back.
The Golden State Warriors superstar will not play in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals between the two teams set for Thursday night. The calf injury he suffered in the semifinals was seen as a blow to a third consecutive championship for the powerhouse but then Stephen Curry showed out. He carried the load in a 116-94 Warriors victory in Game 1.
Seth Curry has his own take on Durant vs. No Durant. He told Sam Amick of The Athletic:
“I think they are harder to guard [without Durant]. They move around faster when he’s not out there. They’re definitely not a better team, but they’re harder to guard. Obviously, they play a different style of basketball when Steph and Klay [Thompson] are the focal points offensively, and we haven’t played that team in a while. We’ve got to reshift our focus and make some adjustments coming into Game 2.”
Seth Curry made sure to add the caveat: They’re definitely not a better team without Durant. It’s an oft-discussed quandary that is seeing revived focus with Durant out. Golden State is 26-1 in games Durant doesn’t play yet Stephen Curry does.
Still though: not necessarily better.
Durant is a key asset to the Warriors’ 117.7 points per game average, second-best in the league. The 30-year-old impending free agent averaged 26 points and 6.4 rebounds per game during the regular season. He was even better in the playoffs with three 40-plus point games.
A Durant-less lineup, though, means more for the Splash Brothers combo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. And if Seth Curry sees that as trickier to guard, so be it. The two shooters take a different style of defense, as Blazers’ head coach Terry Stotts was asked about after Game 1.
The Trail Blazers last played the Warriors in the regular season Feb. 13 and won, 129-107. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was ejected near the end of the chippy match-up and the Trail Blazers capitalized on what was then a seven-point lead. Durant and Steph Curry scored 32 points each as the team’s only double-digit scorers.
Hopefully for the Trail Blazers, their focus has indeed reshifted so they can even the series.
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