Kevin Durant on why second playoff run with Warriors has been more challenging
Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors had something of an easy go of it as they won their first title together last season. They went a remarkable 12-0 through the first three rounds before beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games to finish with a historic 16-1 record.
But for some reason, the road has been tougher this time around. It took winning a Game 7 on the road against the Houston Rockets just to get back to the Finals, and it wasn’t even a guarantee that it would play out that way.
But Durant has a theory as to why this year’s championship run has been a bit more challenging, per Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports.
“Usually the new thing is hard to stop,” Durant told Yahoo Sports, comparing this run to last postseason. “I don’t think it was easier. I just think it was new. The newness of it all threw a lot of opponents off guard sometimes, threw a lot of coaches off guard sometimes. Now, they’ve got a whole, full year to scout more, scheme more, build their team more. I think that’s what made it, not difficult, but more difficult than last season. I think that’s the beauty of a team coming together like this, trying to accomplish the ultimate goal, which is to win. Stuff is going to get harder and harder and it’s only going to make you better.”
There is something to be said about the teams that take the entire league by surprise. In a way, the Warriors after adding Durant was one of those teams. The first year, it was more difficult to scheme against an already great team which then added a historically great player on its roster.
Now, there’s a lot of tape on how Durant specifically fits with the Warriors, and teams have experience playing against them more often. Add all that up, and you get a harder road to a title. But even with the added challenges this year, Durant and the Warriors are still in a great position to claim back-to-back championships.