Chris Broussard reveals how the Warriors’ offense needs to adapt with Durant leading vs Steph Curry

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In his reaction to Steph Curry being sidelined with injuries and Kevin Durant saying that he expects to return Thursday after missing six games with a rib injury, Chris Broussard explains to Nick Wright, Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe what the Golden State Warriors need to do with Curry out and KD leading the charge in order to persevere throughout the 2018 NBA playoffs.

- Without Steph, they're still an elite team. They're still a contender. They're one of-- Houston, Cleveland, one of a handful of teams that could win it all. But if they don't have Steph Curry, they will get beat in the conference finals by Houston. Houston would be the favorite.

And I think they'd have trouble in the first round. And they will have trouble in the first round. Right now, they would meet Utah. Utah has won 23 of its last 27 games, including a 30-point blowout of the Warriors when Steph was there, when the four all stars were there. So you-- I'm not saying Utah will beat them. I'm just saying they will have trouble in the first round.

The Warriors are an entirely different team when Steph Curry is not there. Kevin Durant said it himself, Steph Curry is the system. You look-- and I know, Nick, you'll say, they've still got three all stars. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are much different players when Steph is not there.

- Right. They're not all stars without him.

- Oh, I think Klay would be.

- Maybe, maybe. He wouldn't be a perennial all star, for sure.

- OK.

- And they-- And Draymond would not be, I would say.

- Agreed.

- Draymond with Steph on the floor, he shoots 47% from the field, without Steph, 40% from the field. When Steph plays, Klay shoots 51%, without Steph, 43%. Those are not all star numbers, like you said.

So they beat-- they're really good players, but they're not spectacular. So it's Kevin Durant and some good role players. And that's not going to win a championship.

- Well, when you say Kevin Durant and some way-- I think it's a slight overstatement to say Kevin Durant and some good role players. Kevin Durant, another all star in Klay Thompson, a great role player in Draymond Green, and then some good bench pieces in Iggie, Livingston, and West. Like that-- to me at least, that's how I would evaluate it. I understand--

- I'll give you that.

- I understood--

- Because I don't want to discredit Klay. He's a great player.

- You don't want to discredit it. But I also understand why, when I say kind of flippantly, oh, you're down to three Hall of Famers. That's probably overstating it. Even though it's factually accurate, it's overstating it.

- Because those two would not be a Hall of Famers but for the championships.

- It's circumstances, right. So I-- so-- so we can find a happy medium there. But this then to me comes down to a question of how good does everyone think Kevin Durant is. And for a guy-- the one guy on the set who I think is considered the biggest Kevin Durant critic, I'm in a position where I evidently think more highly of him than anybody.

- No.

- I've seen--

- It's the West. Dirk Nowitzki lost in the first round the year he won MVP. Kobe Bryant lost in the first round. If-- look, if the Cavs were in the west, LeBron James would be in danger of losing in the first round.

- Sure, but not if you-- not if you add the Warriors, right? Take the Warriors, no Steph, and flip LeBron and KD. We wouldn't be saying they could lose in the first round. We'd be saying they're one of the favorites if LeBron's second best player was Klay and Draymond.

Well, so-- I-- let's-- let's not even compare KD to LeBron. Let's compare KD to KD. Like, I saw Kevin Durant with a young Russell Westbrook, with a sixth man James Harden take a team to the NBA Finals. I saw Kevin Durant without James Harden take the Warriors--

- You say a young Russ like that-- that was still a great Russ.

- Absolutely. But I think that-- I think you could compare that Russ to this Klay. But regardless, like, I saw Kevin Durant take-- in 2012, 2014, 2016 get his team to the conference finals or further every year as the guy, like--

- Without Russ, they got beat in the second round by Memphis.

- Yes, they did, absolutely.

- 4-1, in fact.

- Go ahead CC.

- The one thing that I don't think it's a fair comparison is because how Steph and the offense is run. And the reason why they're a special team is not only just because the talent. It's because of the pace that they play with and the space that they have to dictate on the court. No one can dictate more space than Steph. No one starts the offense better than Steph.

So KD, yeah, you saw KD playing with some other players. But it was within an offense that was built around him. Their offense is not built around KD. It's built around Steph, because you can't run the motion. You can't run that type of pace unless your point guard has that type of range and the dribbling skill to be able to get to anywhere on the court.

So it's easy-- it's easy to say, oh, well, KD, when he was over here, compared to Steph now that Steph is out-- the way the team is orchestrated is totally different. So it's not-- it's not fair to KD, because the-- their team is not built around him and how they're going to start their offense.

If they had a different point guard, I believe Steve Kerr, he would change the way they did it. The reason why Draymond's not is good, because they don't have the constant movement, so you don't see-- you don't see the great passing from Draymond.

We know Klay. Klay can not dribble and shoot the ball. So Steph makes him so much better. That's why-- that's why all those other players are better with Steph. It's not a matter of, is Steph better than KD. KD is probably a better player. But the way they run their system, Steph is their quarterback.