If the Cavs want to win Game 4 (or even keep it close), they’ll need their Big Three to leave an imprint on this one. It may take a near-impossible performance, like when the trio scored 101 of the Cavs’ 125 points on March 19 against the Lakers. Role players such as J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson (more on him later) will need to produce, but the stars must shine bright Friday night.
If all of that sounds unreasonable, well, it is. We’re talking about arguably the greatest team of all time on the other side.
However, if there was a single possession to show how Durant makes them totally unstoppable on offense in particular, a sequence involving him, Stephen Curry and Ian Clark against the Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals does the trick.
The play begins like a normal Warriors possession: Curry gives up the ball to someone on the wing, makes a cut towards the basket and sets a screen on one of his teammates. While the action gets the defense moving before the Warriors look to score, it’s not until Durant catches the ball at the top of the perimeter with the floor spaced around him that the Spurs are actually vulnerable. Usually Durant would use the opportunity to attack his defender one-on-one for good reason — he scored 11.5 percent of his points in isolation this season and ranked in the 89.2 percentile with 1.05 points per possession — but he instead waits for Curry to make a move towards him before attacking.