14. "I'm from Boston / a Pats fan and someone made an interesting point." In response to Reply # 13
This morning on the radio. They were saying the Pats lost the Super Bowl and so all the disagreements / infighting that went on this year and probably into last season (when they won the SB) was magnified / amplified, whereas GS won the 'ship so while their issues may eventually leak to the media, they won't necessarily balloon to the major issues we're now seeing with the Pats. Had the Pats won (aka had Belichick played his 2nd best corner) I bet we don't see half the shit happening now.
Without Curry, the Warriors lost some ineffable rhythm. In December, when Curry missed almost a month with an ankle injury, Thompson, lowest of low-maintenance stars, grew concerned enough to request a private meeting with Kerr about the state of the offense, team sources say. (The meeting happened; Thompson left satisfied.)
Durant's commitment to the little things sometimes waned, as when he failed to box out J.R. Smith on a free throw in the final seconds of Game 1 against Cleveland. Kerr would point out these errors during film sessions, and over the long NBA winter, he went hard at Durant (and other players), sources say.
Durant withdrew. No one knew exactly why. "He internalizes things," Fraser says. "Sometimes he doesn't say much. It makes you wonder: 'Are you pissed at me?'"
Silent ambiguity was new. Golden State's three homegrown stars are easy to read. Curry really is the new-age Duncan -- selfless, even-keeled. Thompson is both oblivious and ultra-competitive. Green will let you know he is upset, and then it will pass.
Kerr eventually summoned Durant to a lunch in Portland on Feb. 14 to clear the air. "'I don't want to lose you,'" Durant remembers Kerr telling him. "He had been drifting a bit," Kerr says. "He's vulnerable. He's not a machine. I felt the need to reconnect."
Both Kerr and Nash saw the drifting start over the summer, after Durant realized his first championship would not complete his life -- or silence every critic. He didn't work as often with Nash, or as productively, as planned.
"He didn't have a great summer," Nash says. "He was searching for what it all meant. He thought a championship would change everything, and found out it doesn't. He was not fulfilled. He didn't work out as much as he normally does."
But Golden State has built the sort of culture that repairs fissures before they open wide. They didn't fray when Houston took a 3-2 lead behind a switch-everything defense that jostled them out of character, and into more Durant isolations. Durant slumped. The noise returned: Did he fit?
The team wasn't worried. There were no shouting matches, or players-only meetings. After losing in Houston in Game 5, Durant, Kleiman, and a Nike representative retired to the team's hotel, ordered room service, and relaxed. Kerr privately predicted they would win their next six games.
No one was upset about Durant's shot selection. He had gone one-on-one more in the previous series against New Orleans, per tracking data. The Warriors signed him precisely to counter switching defenses. They wanted the thing that made him different from them.
"He was never supposed to come here and fit in," Draymond Green told ESPN.com after Game 3. "I told him that from the beginning: 'You came here to stand out.' He came here because of the way Cleveland played us and how Houston plays us now. We knew he would start making shots. We are never gonna flip on each other."