Golden State won a crucial game 5 at home, but that came with a tremendous sacrifice as KD suffered a calf injury.
So with Steve Kerr even saying that Durant won’t play in game 6, let’s break down how that changes the whole strategy for both Golden State as well as Houston.
What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Offensively, the Warriors are gonna have to come up with a way to get those 32 points on high percentage especially from three.
And KD’s presence affects the game for other players as well.
Throughout the series so far, Golden State got a ton of points off of the cuts to the basket, benefiting from all the attention that Kevin Durant gets.
Guys like Livingston and Looney, who normally would have a tougher time getting their own shot, consistently got easy points under the rim, from all the double teams and help that Rockets needed to do in order to stop one of the best offensive players in the game.
And now those points are also going to be tougher to create.
Klay Thompson has also been getting wide open looks from KD.
In transition as you can see in this play right here, the Rockets are so concerned with stopping the drive that they forget about one of the best shooters in NBA history and leave him completely alone to shoot a practice three pointer. That happened on multiple occasions.
Also in the half court offense, Golden State likes to post up KD on the wing and run this off ball screen for Klay to get the ball outside. So now with that seemingly gone, expect a more aggressive Klay Thompson off the dribble in game 6.
And since this play is also being ran for Steph Curry, that’s a perfect transition into my next point.
From the moment that Durant got injured, Curry scored 16 points on 55% shooting. Knowing that he had to take over in a pivotal moment of the season, he was the man and stepped up big time to save the game. So what I’m trying to say is, expect a lot more of that on Friday, as they try to win a tough one on the road without their leading scorer.
And that brings us to Houston. While the Rockets would like to get game 5 back and are disappointed to have missed a huge opportunity, things are about to get slightly easier for them.
They can now unleash the dog that PJ Tucker is, onto another Warrior. Also, all those switches are going to be a bit easier to execute defensively without a clear mismatch that KD himself has been.
And even on offense, despite the loss in game 5, you could see towards the end, the opportunity not just for Harden to operate but also all the role players, as they went a combined 7 for 10 in the fourth.
Look, Durant is such an underrated defender, and has been doing a great job making things difficult for both Harden, as well as any other guy that he gets switched onto.
So things are about to open up big time for the Rockets. And playing at home, I expect a big game from them to force a game 7 an bring us the fans another spectacle to look forward to.
That’s it for now, if you liked this video subscribe and hit the notification bell so that you don’t miss my future in depth analysis. Talk to you in the next one. Peace out.