There is going to be an adjustment period as Kevin Durant works to fit in with the Golden State Warriors. They know it. With all the roster changes Golden State had to make to get Durant — goodbye Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli — this is like putting a new team together.
But Stephen Curry doesn’t believe he is going to have to change his game to fit Durant in, as he told Darren Rovell of ESPN.
After Durant signed with the Warriors, Thompson insisted that he wasn’t changing his game to accommodate the team’s newest addition. Curry says he won’t either, which won’t be a surprise to Durant.
“It won’t change at all,” Curry said. “That’s the reason KD joined — knowing we weren’t going to sacrifice anything, that we all have to be ourselves to make things work. There will be some adjustments when it comes to the in-game flow and how we work together, but for us to be who we’re supposed to be, we all have to kind of elevate ourselves.”
Define change your game.
Curry is right in that he’s still going to be a playmaker with the ball in his hands, shoot threes, and the Warriors will work to keep the same style of play.
But there will be sacrifices. Durant is a playmaker too, he will have the ball in his hands at critical points as well. There will be fewer shots and fewer points for Curry, as well as for Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. You can define that as a sacrifice and not changing his game, but it’s certainly going to be an adjustment.
All those adjustments could mean a slower than expected start for the Warriors. However, the team that figures things out and plays after the All-Star break will be fierce.
Last season was the greatest season in Raptors history — 56 wins and they reached the conference finals.
Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and team put on a show, check out these highlights.
Tom Thibodeau likes his veterans.
The new coach/GM/Grand Poobah of the Minnesota Timberwolves has an incredibly talented but young team to work with. A team that has 15 guaranteed contracts on the books for next season. But he’s still willing to look at adding veteran depth, reports Darren Wolfson of ESPN Radio in Minny.
Minnesota could use some help at the two behind Zach LaVine, but it’s hard to imagine they are going to cut Adreian Payne and eat his $2 million salary so they can add Rasual Butler. Those veterans would be helpful to teach professionalism during training camp, but it’s unlikely they make the roster. Or even get a camp invite, this may not be the kind of team that works for them.
Somewhere some UC Santa Barbara fans are happy about this. For everyone else, this likely doesn’t mean much.
The Milwaukee Bucks have 15 guys under guaranteed contracts, so anyone who signs there headed to camp dreaming of making the squad is going to have to impress so much the front office decides to eat a contract (or make a trade) to create space. That’s not likely. But Michael Scotto reports Orlando Johnson is going to get a chance.
Johnson had 10-day contracts with the Suns and Pelicans last season, but couldn’t stick. It’s tough to imagine him sticking here.
The Bucks will start Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo as their wings (the latter as a point forward). Behind them are Rashad Vaughn, Malcolm Brogdon, and Steve Novak. So yes, they could use some depth. Not sure if Johnson is the guy who can provide that.
The Detroit Pistons are a team a lot of people are watching and expecting to make a leap this season. How big a leap is an interesting question, but they should step forward.
Making a leap starts with the little things. Foundational things. Such as conditioning.
Andre Drummond told the Detroit Free Press he’d spent his summer focusing on conditioning and the little things.
“I’ve had a very productive summer,’’ he said. “A lot of workouts. A lot of conditioning, I’ve been working on this summer. I stayed in the best shape I could be in. I’ve been working on the little things that need to be better in my game. Other than that, it has been a very eventful summer, and I’m ready for the season to start….
“At the end of the season, that was one of the biggest things we talked about: coming back in the best shape we can be in,’’ Drummond said. “All of the guys have really worked towards being in the best shape they can be in to play in those long, brutal playoff games.’’
Training camp hasn’t even opened yet. This is when optimism reigns, when everyone touts the hard work they put in all summer, when everyone is healthy.
We will see as the season wears on if Drummond and the Pistons’ hard work paid off. But like most Stan Van Gundy teams, I expect they will be prepared.