OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City won’t be going up against the same offense it’s used to when it plays Golden State on Monday.
The Warriors remain on pace for one of the greatest scoring seasons in NBA history, but they’ve fallen off ever since former MVP Kevin Durant went down with a grade 2 MCL sprain Feb. 28.
The Warriors were averaging an historic 113.9 points per 100 possessions before the Durant injury, better than any team since the NBA/ABA merger in the mid-1970s. Since, they’ve averaged just 105.5 points per 100, 14th in the NBA during those nine games.
Golden State has still owned one of the league’s best defenses in this time. It has won three games in a row to recover to 5-4 since Durant got hurt, and one of those losses came in a game when it rested its stars, but it’s inarguably hit a bump with the Durant injury.
• Curry’s slump: One of the reasons the Warriors have struggled to score (relatively, of course) with Durant out is because the best shooter in the world isn’t quite finding baskets like he normally does.
Two-time MVP Stephen Curry started missing shots uncharacteristically before Durant went down, and it’s continued into the time he’s been out. He’s sinking fewer than 30 percent of his 10.4 3-pointers a game since Feb. 27, a night when he went 0 of 11 from deep. Still, a return to usual Curry feels inevitable.
He’s coming off his best game over this stretch, a 6 of 8 performance from 3 in a win over Milwaukee. And for all the talk of a “down” season, he’s still putting up some of the best offensive numbers in the NBA, shooting 40 percent from 3 and pacing for 311 made triples on the season, which would distastefully be the second-highest total ever.
Curry set the bar so high last season that anything less seems like a disappointment. Just don’t be surprised when he starts splashing 3s at a baffling rate again, because it will without a doubt happen.
• Another video: 'Stache Brothers Enes Kanter and Steven Adams have already tweeted one video campaigning for Russell Westbrook as MVP, but apparently they’re not done.
“We took three, four episodes,” Kanter revealed to reporters Sunday. “The new one is coming out tomorrow.”
The first video positioned Adams and Kanter lounging in front of a fireplace and discussing the only things they love more than their mustaches, including puppies, trees and classic tearjerker, ‘The Notebook.’ Eventually, they land on Westbrook as what they love most, but in fairness to Kanter, he hasn’t experienced everything on that list.
“I never watched [the Notebook] in my life, but I saw everybody was talking about it,” Kanter said. “Steven was talking about it. They said they actually like it. Some people, like, cry about it.”
Thunder veteran Nick Collison, who had a hand in writing these videos, made a sneaky appearance during the first one, which fans can find on Kanter’s Twitter feed. Apparently, there are more guests coming.
“There’s actually gonna be one other player,” Kanter said, still trying to save something for later. “I can’t tell. It’s gonna be a surprise.”