Durant now is playing under the team-friendly two-year, $51 million contract he signed last offseason but he'll reportedly decline the 2018-19 player option his deal contains and pursue an agreement that better reflects his status as one of the sport's premier players. It would be one thing if they just said that the Warriors were not the favorites without Curry, but to mention the Jazz and Thunder - two teams with no shot to win it all this year - does not happen without motives.
The Spurs lost at New Orleans in Wednesday's regular season finale and will now open the 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs on the road against the defending National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors.
Durant, 29, finished the regular season with 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per night as the Warriors ended the season as the second seed in the Western Conference. They'll face the Kawhi Leonard-less San Antonio Spurs in the first round, a team so disciplined and well-coached that they can make any series a challenge.
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) drives around Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Salt Lake City. They haven't: Even with teammate Stephen Curry laboring through injuries that have limited him to 51 games, the Warriors still coasted to the NBA's third-best record.
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For the first time since the Warriors became the juggernaut they are, they enter the playoffs having to "flip the switch" into their usual level of play.
Steph is second in the National Basketball Association in offensive real plus-minus and Golden State's offensive rating is 14.9 points better with Curry on the floor.
"It made sense to do the one-year deal". Should they advance, they'll play the victor of the Portland Trail Blazers-New Orleans Pelicans series. Before this season began, many thought the Warriors winning the championship was all but ensured. "But I'm enjoying every moment of it, so I'm not trying to look too far down the line", Durant said.