Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.
Kevin Durant only took eight shots in the Warriors' Game 2 loss to the Clippers. He did attempt 12 free throws, however, and ended up scoring 21 points.
"I'm not gonna go out there and just go shoot 20 or 30 shots," he explained to reporters after practice on Wednesday. "I don't play like that. Every time I touch it, I'm not gonna just break the play ... I'm gonna play basketball. We won Game 1 that way, we were up (31) in Game 2."
Durant's and-one dunk with 7:31 left in the third quarter gave the Warriors a 94-63 lead. With Curry on the bench in foul trouble, Golden State did look to run the offense through the reigning two-time Finals MVP.
Things didn't work out as planned on this possession:
But a couple minutes later, Durant was alert and ready to take advantage of a Clippers breakdown:
Here's a great play from Durant during the 3rd quarter when Curry was on the bench - he gets Lou Williams switched onto him, Beverley leaves Quinn Cook to double, and KD delivers perfect pass to Cook for the wide open 3 pic.twitter.com/S4qXtkkFih— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 17, 2019
Shortly thereafter, an aggressive-minded Durant got physical with Patrick Beverley and was whistled for two very questionable offensive fouls.
During a radio appearance on Tuesday, former Golden State point guard Tim Hardaway was asked if the Warriors should have KD try to repeatedly punish the smaller Patrick Beverley on the block.
"As a team, you can't let one player get your team out of sync. You gotta run your offense. You gotta run your offense the way you've been running your offense all year long," the five-time All-Star said. "If you keep posting up Durant -- you're letting the Clippers dictate the game.
"You're telling them we're gonna run a different offense than we normally run. No. Keep running your offense."
Hardaway and Durant are very much on the same page.
"I got a pest, Patrick Beverley, who's up underneath me," KD described. "I could definitely shoot over the top and score every time if it's a 1-on-1 situation. But we got a guy that's dropping and helping and then we got another guy that's just sitting on me and waiting for me to dribble the basketball.
"I'm not gonna get in the way of the game because I want to have a little back-and-forth with Patrick Beverley. I'm Kevin Durant. You know who I am. Ya'll know who I am."
Here's a perfect example of what KD is talking about:
In this clip, Durant is aggressively hunting a shot but is forced to kick the ball out to Draymond when he gets doubled on the drive. This is the right play every time (and KD ends up getting rewarded for crashing the glass) pic.twitter.com/ZnREqzjbBv— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 17, 2019
Durant didn't take a shot here, but he certainly wasn't passive or tentative. Just because you only attempt eight field goals doesn't mean you were tentative.
But one thing everybody can agree on is that nine turnovers is way too many.
First possession of Game 2 - no clue why Durant rushes this pass to Klay (leads to a dunk the other way). He could have just attacked Shamet. Jim Barnett says: "He got too unselfish." pic.twitter.com/r7m4alKq8B— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 16, 2019
How will Durant approach Game 3? It's safe to assume he won't be taking advice from Tracy McGrady.
Thursday night can't get here soon enough.