Draymond Green says Kevin Durant widens Golden State’s margin for error
Draymond Green is full aware the Golden State Warriors will need Kevin Durant to reach their goal of a third straight title, but he also noted how his team now has a tighter margin for error without him on the floor.
Durant suffered a strained calf in the closing minutes of the third quarter of Game 5 against the Houston Rockets last week and has yet to step on the floor since, a difference that has forced this team to play close to perfect basketball to muster results.
“When you have Kevin, he covers up so many things on both sides of the ball,” said Green of Durant, according to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “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.”
That margin for error was evident on Thursday’s Game 2 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, as the Warriors were forced to play picture-perfect execution to go up three with 12.3 seconds left.
Leading by one point, the Warriors would have used Durant in isolation to deliver the game-sealing bucket, but instead they used Stephen Curry on a high pick-and-roll, and the former two-time MVP made the right read, hitting Green on stride for an uncontested layup to put them up 114-111.
The Warriors might not need Durant to get past the Blazers, but they will sure need him with more versatile foes awaiting them in the NBA Finals, as top-five talents like Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo await them.