If there's been a silver lining to Steph Curry's injury in early December, it's that we've gotten to live out the hypothetical of what the Warriors would look like if they revolved around Kevin Durant.
Here are Durant's per game averages this season in the 10 games (November 13 and the last 9 games) that Curry has been inactive:
Almost all of Durant's per game averages have gone up with Curry out with the exception of his turnovers, which is especially impressive considering Durant's using more possessions than when he does when Curry is active.
Because there is Durant's slight increase in minutes per game without Curry in the rotation, I was curious to see if normalizing the numbers to a per 36 minute rate would still show his across the board improvement:
Even with the slight difference in minutes, Durant is still showing clear increases other than a nominal drop in his steals. Watching a player raise his game to score and distribute more all while taking better care of the ball is pretty incredible, and that's not even mentioning his increased activity on the glass and protecting the rim.
Between the clear improvement in Durant's per minute numbers and the Warriors' 9-1 record without Curry this year, it's easy to envision contrarians starting to formulate a case that Golden State is better off without Curry. One easy way to dispel that is to take a peak at Durant's shooting splits with and without Steph:
So while Durant may be more productive overall without Curry so far this year, this chart illustrates how much harder Durant is having to work to get his points with Curry sidelined. Curry's absence is proving the powerful effect of his offensive gravity, as opposing defenses are able to key in on Durant and make him take more difficult shots now that their paranoia about the greatest shooter of all time is gone.
It's been fun watching Durant temporarily take over as the unquestioned leader of the team, but his harmony with Curry makes him the most lethal version of himself on the court. Get well soon, Steph.