OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors ruining the NBA has officially been put on hold.
We were told that the best regular-season team of all time adding Kevin Durant was supposed to spoil everything, make games unwatchable, separate families.
What the move has done instead is completely unleash Steve Kerr’s offense. The ball moves around the floor and it keeps landing in All-Star shooters’ hands.
On Monday night, it was Klay Thompson who did what he’s done in years past but to a higher degree. We’re familiar with him scoring the most points ever in a quarter (37), but against the Indiana Pacers, he netted a career-high 60 points in just 29 minutes.
Thompson got going early, scoring on six of his first seven shots — many of which were easy buckets set up by his teammates. He kept shooting and he kept scoring as he headed into the locker room at halftime with 40 points.
By the end of the third quarter, with the game well in hand and en route to a 142-106 Golden State victory, the Warriors had assisted on 35 of 43 baskets.
“[Stephen Curry] was on the bench in the early second quarter,” head coach Steve Kerr recalled, “he was like 1-for-5 from 3-point at the time, and he was the happiest guy in the building when Klay was going nuts, same with KD. The celebrations on the sideline showed what this team is all about. They take a lot of joy in each other’s success, which is good to see.”
And there will be plenty of good times to celebrate: Depending on the night, it could be a scoring spree like Thompson’s that made him the first Warrior to score at least 60 points since Rick Barry in 1974, or it could be a series of JaVale McGee dunks that have become the new fan favorite at Oracle Arena, replacing the Marreese Speights 3-pointer from last year. But these guys like each other, and more importantly, they like playing with each other.
In the summer, a reporter asked Thompson if he was ready to sacrifice his individual performances to make way for Durant’s production. He famously responded, “I’m not sacrificing shit, because my game isn’t changing. … I want to win and have a fun time every game we play.”
Thompson said after his explosion that he’s not surprised he was proven right, maintaining he was “not at all” surprised he hasn’t had to give up shots.
“That’s why Kevin came,” he said. “He saw the potential we have with him on this team. He saw that we play so unselfishly. That it’s a free-flowing offense.”
Blowouts happen all the time in the NBA, but they’re rarely this spectacular. So if you’re keeping score at home, the Dubs have, so far, disproven that they’re ruining the league for casual fans — quite the opposite. They’re making it more fun than ever.