Sometimes the path of least resistance involves a friendly game of keep away.
In case you hadn't heard, the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals last year. Prior to that, they had to overcome a 3-1 deficit handed to them by Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Since then, Durant has signed with the Warriors, but a knee injury sidelined for a chunk of the year, and he missed last night's game against the Trailblazers with a calf injury.
The Warriors clearly never needed Durant, which has people wondering if the only reason they signed him is to avoid playing him in the playoffs.
Conspiracy: The Warriors got Durant so they wouldn't have to play against him. It's not like there was a need for him. 樂— Hoops Troop (@HoopsTroop) April 20, 2017
Obviously the Warriors signed Durant to add a top-five player in the league to their roster, but this represents an added bonus. The Warriors probably could've won the West this year if Durant was on the Thunder, but it'd be much harder. Having him on their roster, even if he isn't playing, took one more major threat out of the equation.
sometimes i'll just be sitting there like "damn OKC really had russell westbrook kevin durant james harden and serge ibaka on the same team"— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 19, 2017
Golden State would much rather have Durant on the floor, especially if they have to play San Antonio at some point. Signing Durant ravaged this team's depth, so they do need him to contribute something to their playoff run.
Having him out of their way certainly helps, but they still need him to play like a former MVP.