Golden State Warriors Rumors: Plays called to keep Kevin Durant happy?

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

The latest Golden State Warriors rumors suggest Steve Kerr is calling specific plays just to keep Kevin Durant happy, which could be playing a role in the team’s recent struggles.

Something is wrong with the Golden State Warriors. That much is abundantly clear. They continue to lose games they shouldn’t, and have already dropped 14 games this season. For a team overflowing with All-Stars, that’s simply unacceptable.

So what’s the problem? There are a number of potential explanations, from a lack of chemistry to a dearth of quality talent at center. Or you can chalk it up to Steve Kerr calling far too many plays to keep the ball-dominant Kevin Durant happy. These are also know as “Happy KD” situations.

At least, that’s a possibility The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss recently suggested:

"In other words, Durant has gone from spending fewer than a third of his plays in “Happy KD” situations to roughly half of them. And yes, it often appears that many of these plays are called to make Durant happier, much as nobody with the Warriors would admit that Durant must be made happy at the occasional cost of efficient play. Perhaps not so incidentally, Durant now registers about half as many off-ball cuts to the basket as he averaged in his first Warriors season. Basically, if the offense isn’t directly involving KD, KD is not so inclined as to involve himself in the offense. There are other issues that aren’t Durant’s fault, but those probably only augment Durant’s frustrations, frustrations that are visible in KD’s gesticulations whenever Klay Thompson goes iso-ball or Draymond “fucks up the offense,” to use Green’s parlance."

Wow. That’s an eye-opener.

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Then again, it’s really not that shocking of information if you watched the Warriors’ loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday night. After blowing a 20-point lead, Golden State essentially went to the “KD and only KD” approach despite having  sharpshooters like Curry and Thompson on the roster.

As our own Carlos Murillo recently pointed out, the Warriors took eight shots in the final four minutes of action against Houston. Only one of those weren’t taken by Durant — that was an attempted dagger by Curry that failed to find the bottom of the net. Here’s the problem: Durant was only 2-7 in that stretch.

That’s only a small sample, but it illustrates the overarching point: the Warriors are leaning too heavily on Durant. This Golden State roster is loaded with dynamic scorers. So why put so many of your eggs in the KD basket? If this is an attempt to keep him happy ahead of 2019 free agency, then it’s severely misguided.

In prior seasons, the Warriors have done a great job of spreading the love throughout this star-studded lineup. That hasn’t been the case in 2018-19, and it’s been a big part of why the wins aren’t coming as consistently as they have during Golden State’s reign over the rest of the NBA.

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If the Warriors can’t figure out a way to keep Durant happy without force-feeding him the basketball, we could see this franchise fall even further before the 2018-19 season is over.