The Golden State Warriors are reeling — and they might actually be in serious trouble.
With Kevin Durant on the sidelines, Stephen Curry & Co. simply don't have the depth or the skill to fend off teams like the Boston Celtics and the rest of the NBA's best.
As Nick Wright and Cris Carter explained on Friday's episode of The Herd on FS1, Golden State has several glaring issues with just a month left before the postseason. And given those deficiencies, Wright argues the Warrios are worse off for adding Durant to the team this summer.
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Nick: No one realized how KD would affect the Warriors
NICK: "I'll just flat out say it. If the Warriors had to do it over again, they wouldn't get Kevin Durant. And I think the facts bear that out.
"In a vacuum, Cris, people are going to say, 'Wait, so we're getting rid of [Harrison] Barnes, [Andrew] Bogut, [Festus] Ezeli and [Leandro] Barbosa, and we're adding the second-best player in the world. Of course we're going to do that.' Like, definitely. No question.
"What they didn't account for, and what I don't think many people accounted for, and I think we now have a big enough sample size to see it, is what Durant's arrival was going to do to the guy who used to be the second-best player in the world, Stephen Curry."
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Nick: People are just assuming Durant makes Golden State better
NICK: "They didn't just trade those four players in order to clear up space for Durant. The other thing they did was they affected Steph Curry, who was the second-best player in the world, and now he's closer to the 10th-best player in the world.
"And for anyone that says, 'Well, okay, they'd still do it,' the facts and evidence are this: Last year they were 73-9; right now they're a coin-flip to even be the one seed. 'Oh, that's because Durant got hurt.' Yeah, players get hurt. I think the opposite opinion — 'No, no, no, the Warriors made the right move, that opinion — is the one that has to be proven.
"Because last year's Warriors team, C.C., was the best team I've ever seen."
Derick E. HingleDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Cris: The Warriors are learning the same lesson as LeBron in Miami
CRIS: "It was the best team we'd ever seen, and the way they played basketball was really, really special.
"Even when they had Durant, if we look at the sample size, the games we had him in, it was enough of a sample to say, 'Yes, they are a good team. Yes, they can be a great team.' But just like when LeBron left Cleveland, went to Miami, when you put a Big Three together, there's going to be holes on your roster.
"You're going to have a hard time having a big man. You're going to have a hard time maintaining your bench. And also, when you have three shooters as your Big Three, there's a spacing problem. There's a shot problem. And there's a lack of freedom problem."
Cris: Golden State will still win multiple titles
CRIS: "So when you say Steph went from the No. 2 best player to around No. 10, it's because of the space that Kevin Durant occupies on the floor [and] what Kevin Durant can do.
"He doesn't need any help. He can get any shot that he wants to get. He can score with the best of them in the league, but you take away [the Warriors'] height, you take away their bench, you take away a lot of variables that they had. They had a lot of different styles ... they could play. ...
"So I agree with you. You have to question it. But in the long run, when we look back five years from now, this team with Kevin Durant can say, 'Yes, we won a couple championships.' They won more, but the team is not better as a whole in 2016-17."
Derick E. HingleDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Nick: Don't be so sure the Dubs will win
NICK: "Well, we'll see if they win a couple championships. If they don't win it this year, then all of a sudden, Shaun Livingston could leave. Andre Iguodala could leave.
"But I've got all these numbers in front of me about the difference between Steph Curry's performance last year and Steph Curry's performance this year. I think it boils down to one number: Last year, Draymond Green shot 39 percent from 3. This year, Steph Curry is shooting 39 percent from 3. ...
"[Last season], he was looking like he was the best shooter we've ever seen, and that right there is my point. That's the magic that's gone. I watched the Warriors two years ago and liked them. I watched them last year and didn't like them. But whether I liked them or didn't like them, I recognized something."
Nick: The Warriors no longer scare opponents
NICK: "We were watching a style of basketball we'd never seen, and we were watching a team play with more free-flowing confidence and instilling abject fear—"
CRIS: "They had more swag."
NICK: "And other teams knew it. And other teams felt like ... even if they were up eight with five minutes to go, their opponent was, the opponent was like, 'Man, that's three possessions. They can come back on us like this.' That is gone from this Warriors team.
"This Warriors team is an excellent team. This Warriors team could make the NBA Finals. I think they and Houston and San Antonio, obviously, they're all in it.
"But last year's team felt like a force of nature. Why did it feel like a force of nature? Because Steph Curry was having, if not the, one of the greatest offensive seasons ever.
"When you bring in Durant — they didn't know it was going to — that robbed that from Steph. That's the tradeoff. Then when you add to it the depth, the fact they have less of a margin of error, injury-wise. All those things? That's why last year's team was 73-9 and this year's team is fighting for the one seed."