Durantula and the Warriors take the NBA by storm



Golden State Warriors’s Kevin Durant (35) dunks against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half of a NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Bryan McCaffrey, Reporter

This summers’ National Basketball Association free agency was interesting and intriguing because of big names signing big deals with big teams. Players left loyalty in the dust for new cities with hope of winning a ring.

The biggest name on the market this offseason was Kevin Durant, a 7 times All-Star, ex-MVP, a seasoned vet with a long career ahead of him. It was deemed the “Kevin Durant Sweepstakes” by many teams’ front offices and fans.

One of the teams hoping to land this superstar were the hometown favorite Golden State Warriors. The Dubs were coming off of a disappointing postseason, blowing a 3 games to 1 lead in the finals devastated the team and the fan base.

But both were quick to recover through the hope of landing a fourth All-Star on this already star studded team. On July 4, the Bay Area was in disbelief and shock when Durant announced he would in fact sign with the Warriors. I pinched myself throughout Independence Day because it seemed infeasible.

Fast forward four months, 18 games into the season, where are we now? Durant is making the same kind of impact you would expect him to be making; averaging 27.1 points per game, 8.4 boards, and 4.7 assists. Everything you hoped for and expected from the ex-MVP.

Durant’s style of play is a perfect fit for the fast paced, move without the ball, get out and run scheme the Warriors run.

But where Durant will help the Warriors more as the team chemistry improves, and hopefully the teams’ defense as well, is in his versatility as a defensive player. Durant is a 6-foot-9-inch small forward with a wingspan of 7-foot-5-inches and incredibly good fundamentals and quickness. He has the ability to guard all five positions on the court.

Where this will really come to show is in what has become called the “Death Lineup.” With Stephen Curry at point guard, Klay Thompson at shooting guard, Andre Iguodala at small forward, Kevin Durant at power forward, and Draymond Green at center, the warriors seem unstoppable on paper.

However, in the early goings the game rotations have been very free flowing, as Head Coach Steve Kerr adjusts to the six new faces. With that being said, I have no doubt in my mind, based on seeing this first small sample of games, that by the time April rolls around this “Death Lineup” will terrorize NBA teams from coast to coast.

This team has high expectations, from themselves, from the fans, and most of all from the media. This season the expectation from all three parties is a championship, to wash away the blown 3-1 lead and get back to building a dynasty, and I have no doubt Durant will help achieve this goal.