NBA: The Greatness Of Steph & KD

As the DAR basketball series restarts, we thought it was only fair to look at the most recent legendary duo to play the game, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. Their success was quite amazing, and while the duo is no longer, we felt it right to pay homage to two of the greatest still in the game. 

Introduction By _@Nickdormus 
There’s many great duos that have paved the way in the NBA. Many will look at Jordan and Pippen, Shaq and Kobe, Magic and Kareem, and many more. Through the new modern day NBA, teams have geared up Big Three’s to add to their championship contention. But even with a third star on the roster, there’s only two that receive the recognition while the other just enjoys the ride. 


As everyone knows, Durant was highly criticized for his decision to join Golden State in 2016. As a competitor, you want to go head to head against the best. Durant saw something different in the situation that turned out to be in his favor. Nine seasons in Oklahoma City didn’t favor Durant as far as winning a championship. But playing in the Bay, Durant saw a winning culture in the team and quickly adjusted to the dynamic of the roster.  As a duo, Durant and Curry made noise around the NBA. As two great scorers, they complemented each other well and kept each other grounded through their three seasons. The interesting thing was that both Durant and Curry elevated as basketball players during their time together. Durant became a better defender during his time in Golden State while Curry had a lot of questions to answer after the 2016 NBA Finals.  Through the Warriors’ two championship runs. Durant and Curry were able to get the job done immediately. Even with having a solid team around them, they still managed to dominate their opponents with their unselfishness and ability to read one another. 2017 was an easy ride to a championship. But 2018 was a challenge that showed their true leadership. The two showed they were able to overcome adversity after being battle tested against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. It was great to watch the two get together and put on performances for the ages throughout the years. 


Even though the two only spent three seasons together, you have to add Curry and Durant as one of the best duos in NBA History. Name another duo that was able to win a championship right away besides Bird and Magic. The two players had something special between one another and it resulted in dominance on the court every night. Since Durant’s departure from Golden State, the team is still looking to find an identity on how they can become championship bound once again. The Warriors were a dynasty to begin with. But Durant elevated their greatness by flowing alongside Curry and the rest of the Warriors roster. 


This was one of the most dominant duos we’ve ever seen in the league. Imagine Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan on the court for the Bulls at the same time. Now imagine MJ could actually shoot threes at a decent clip. And that STILL doesn’t describe exactly what we just saw. You couldn’t double Steph because then KD was open. You couldn’t double KD because then Steph was open and even if one of them wasn’t open..Klay was. Injuries and an untimely, yet half correct Draymond outburst derailed what could have continued to be an unholy pairing in the league. But shit I’m glad I got to see it at all.

Speed On The Beat
When people talk about classic duos, not enough people give Steph and Kevin Durant credit. Maybe that’s because people think the Splash Bros are the better Curry duo. They wouldn’t be wrong in some ways. In others? There’s no comparison, especially since KD was and is a more complete player. Sorry Warriors super fans. Steph and KD made each other better, like Steph and Klay. But Klay was always going to be Klay. KD became a more complete player because of Steph. Hell, you wouldn’t have this final form of KD without his experiences with the Warriors.  

Winning the championship in Golden State made KD want and need more. Without Steph and Golden State, he would’ve been a top-tier player regardless. It’s Kevin Fucking Durant we’re talking about, not Anthony Bennett. No offense to the three of you who still think Bennett could be the latest of late bloomers, but Durant’s always been incredible. But take his GSW years away and we have a damn great player...just not the Easy Money Sniper who’s going ham over in Brooklyn now. But that’s just my opinion

True God
For me, Steph and KD are a top 3 duo of all time, and honestly the most skilled offensive duo I've ever witnessed in my life. I watched Scottie and Mike, and Mike is the most skilled player ever, but offensively, Scottie left much to be desired. Excellent dunker, could drive somewhat, but asking Pip to create space was a job sometimes. He remains an underrated passer considering how he moved in the offense for the Bulls, but he was not a shooter and while he could get buckets, it wasn’t always the prettiest. Defensively, Pip and MJ are the best skilled duo, and that's why they had so much success. For Steph and KD, their success hinged on the fact that they were two unstoppable offensive talents. While one could point to the LeBron and Kyrie duo as one of the better offensive duos as well, Steph and KD reigned supreme over those two for several reasons. While Kyrie is a better handler than Steph, he's not the better passer or shooter. This takes nothing away from Kyrie, as he is an amazing player, but Steph is just slightly above him (current slump notwithstanding). 

If we compare LeBron to KD, most will choose Bron over him, and legacy wise, sure that is acceptable. In terms of SKILL, KD is in a very rare group of guys, and I'd say he's probably the third or fourth most skilled player ever. While Bron has prided himself on being a form of a jack of all trades, he doesn't quite excel in some offensive areas like KD, though he is better in a few regards. What KD can do skill wise is literally flawless offensively and when you combined it with the best point guard in the league in Steph, it became an unstoppable force.

Whether or not you agree with my offensive skilled duo assessment, you cannot deny how much of an impact this duo had. While Steph, KD, and Klay were the most dangerous shooting trio ever, there was something different about Steph and KD as a duo. Yes, they can both shoot the lights out when they want, but both can finish at the rim (Steph is actually slightly better at this, although he's a bit more dramatic) and create their own shot at an elite level. When you have two members of the 50/40/90 club and two stars who have won scoring titles and can drop 30 any given night at a highly efficient level, this alters every defense. There's not much you can do to stop Steph (double, triple teams are your best bet) and of course, you cannot stop KD. For the three years they were together, we saw different levels of greatness from the two, including their final season together, where at one point, they were both averaging 30 and shooting above 50% from the field. 

That didn't last the entire season of course, but for their time together, they both averaged over 25 points per game, shot well above 45% from the field and 85% from the free throw line. KD's 3 point percentage would dip from time to time, but Steph of course shot over 40% every year as expected, making the duo such a hassle for opposing teams. Their first season together was downright scary, as KD bought into the free flowing offense of Golden State and they pushed ahead to 67 wins and a 16-1 playoff record before claiming the NBA Title. 

That first season saw Steph defer at times, KD go down with an injury that sidelined him for an extended period, and a couple of games that they blew (the Cavs Christmas Game and Grizzlies OT loss after blown lead come to mind) and when you take that into consideration, it made the duo even deadlier. The following season was still amazing, but injuries prevented what would have likely been another 60 plus win season, as they finished 58-24 and won another championship. The duo was stopped short of a third straight title due to injuries to Klay and KD in the Finals, which would have automatically stamped them as one of the three duos to threepeat over the last 40 years in the NBA. While many people were not fond of the Warriors during this time, you missed out on some great basketball and an all time duo. Steph and KD were a joy to watch on the basketball court and if you didn't appreciate what they did while they were here, then that's on you. 



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