Seth Curry says Warriors not a better team without Kevin Durant, but harder to guard
Seth Curry is fully aware the Portland Trail Blazers have a puncher’s chance to upset the favorite Golden State Warriors in these Western Conference Finals without their main scorer in Kevin Durant, but the bench cog noted the defending champions could be more difficult to guard when playing in their vintage motion offense.
“I think they are harder to guard (without Durant),” said Seth Curry, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. “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.”
The Warriors play a much more diverse and less conventional system when Durant is not around, using every player available to set screens for shooters like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson darting off screens.
Their ability to force defenders to overplay them due to their deadly acumen from deep also opens up back cuts and double teams, which only frees up other players for easy buckets.
The Warriors took a major step up when they acquired Durant in 2016, but ultimately stopped a large part of their system to accommodate his style of play. That became more obvious in the postseason, where every possession counts and the emphasis of putting the ball in the best player’s hands is more pressing.
Portland will have to make the right adjustment to fight back against this vintage offense and avoid going down a potential 2-0 hole in the Western Conference Finals.