Programming note: Watch Saturday's Warriors-Pistons game streaming live at 4 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.
Kevin Durant and Draymond Green got into a verbal altercation on Nov. 12 in Los Angeles. Over his next five games, the two-time Finals MVP averaged 26.8 points and 3.4 assists while shooting just over 41 percent overall and 9 percent from 3-point range. Durant was in a funk.
Then Thanksgiving arrived and everything changed. Against Portland last Friday, "Easy Money Sniper" racked up 32 points and 7 assists, making 13-of-21 shots.
His next 3 games:
-44 points (13-for-26 FG, 2-for-8 3s, 16-for-17 FTs), 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks vs the Kings
-49 points (16-for-33 FG, 4-for-10 3s, 13-for-13 FTs), 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks vs the Magic
-51 points (18-for-31 FG, 4-for-7 3s, 11-for-12 FTs), 11 rebounds, 6 assists at the Raptors
How do you explain the incredible stretch of basketball?
"The previous four games there was a lot of help, but it was just, well, sometimes there was help and sometimes there wasn't and it kind of threw me off a bit, had me forcing and pressing things," Durant told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. "Especially since we weren't making shots.
"Everything just kind of compounds itself. You can't make a shot, you feel like there's a lot of help, you don't know where the help is going to come from. My mind was scrambled. I've slowed down a bit since that Portland game. We got some stops, they played back in the pick-and-roll and I got going."
So. Let's go back to the game vs the Blazers and watch Durant's first two buckets:
Once again, it's as if Nurkic isn't even on the floor helping against Durant (watch the reaction from Portland's assistant coaches) pic.twitter.com/doYQIT0EvG— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) November 30, 2018
Jusuf Nurkic didn't press up at all to contest Durant's mid-range jumpers and the four-time scoring champion has been on fire ever since.
"I never want to come into a game planning to do something," Durant explained to The Athletic. "Gotta let the game flow, let it happen. I just slowed down, to be honest, started from that Portland game on.
"Once I find a groove and a rhythm, I try to stick with what I did out on the floor. I just tried to survey the floor, more so than just put my foot on the gas."
The Warriors can only hope that Durant continues to slow down, while also not slowing down...
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller