The real reason Golden State thrives without Kevin Durant


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  • The real reason Golden State thrives without Kevin Durant

    Kevin PeltonESPN Staff Writer

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    • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
    • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
    • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

Just how good are the Warriors without Kevin Durant, who has missed Golden State’s past five games because of a calf strain as the team enters the NBA Finals?

At some point as the Warriors ripped off a five-game winning streak to close out the Houston Rockets and sweep the Portland Trail Blazers, the statistic began circulating that Golden State had lost only once in the past 30-plus games that Durant sat out and Stephen Curry played.

That record is now 31 of the past 32 games with Curry and without Durant dating to March 2017, a .969 win percentage that would be equivalent to 79 wins over an 82-game schedule. How have the Warriors been so effective without Durant? And how likely are they to keep it up facing their toughest test yet, with Durant not expected to return for Thursday’s Game 1 of the Finals against the Toronto Raptors?

Let’s take a closer look at how Golden State has played without Durant to help answer those questions.

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