Although he is one of the best players in the NBA, Kevin Durant has never been considered an elite defender. He is an elite scorer, for sure, but on defense, Durant is never earning a lot of praise.
Durant, however, is by no means a sub-par defender. With his length and athleticism, he’s a solid defender and as he showed throughout last season’s playoffs against the Spurs and Warriors. And when he is locked on defense, he is tough to score on. Because of this, the Warriors, namely assistant coach Ron Adams, who is in charge of the team’s defense, is excited by what Durant can bring to Golden State on the defensive end of the court.
“His versatility is outstanding,” Ron Adams says of Durant. “He’s a terrific defender, who played with great defensive consistency in our playoff series. We will expect a lot out of him in that regard.”
“He can, if necessary, guard all five positions – and do it effectively,” Adams says of Durant, who spent most of the conference finals smothering Warriors forward Draymond Green.
“He’s a really good rim protector, in a non-traditional way,” Kerr says. “When he played the ‘four’ against us in the playoffs, he was brilliant. He blocked some shots and he scored a bunch of times. So he’ll play a lot of ‘four’ for us, for sure.”
The Warriors were one of the top defensive teams in the league the last couple of seasons and now with Durant in the mix, their defense shouldn’t likely drop off too much. Especially since Golden State makes a ton of switches on defense, which given his long wingspan and quickness, is a scheme Durant should excel at. But if Adams and the rest of the Warriors coaching staff can get Durant to become a much better overall defender, then Golden State may be even tougher than we all thought.
Source: CBS Sports / Warriors are expecting Kevin Durant to deliver defensively