Kevin Durants Injury Is Exactly Why The Warriors Needed Kevin Durant

Related: Hot Takedown The offense has worked because Durant and West are excellent all-around players; they rank third and fourth, behind Curry and Green, for assist percentage on the Warriors. But without Durant around to cover for regression from players like Green, or for deficiencies in the roster created to make room for Durant himself, the Warriors will need improvements from a few key contributors. That could be Green and Iguodala hitting shots they hit last season, or it could mean continued improvement from JaVale McGee in a thin and aging frontcourt.So the Warriors are in a tough spot for a while, as any team would be with the loss of a player as good as Durant. But if after four weeks it looks as if Durant will have to miss a significant portion of the postseason, the Warriors will be in better shape than just about any team in NBA history to carry on without their star and make a run at the title.Check out our latest NBA predictions. As a rule, losing a superstar player to injury in the NBA means a team’s title chances are history. That means every NBA title run is, in a real way, a matter of luck. A team has to be better than its opponents through four seven-game series, but it also has to dodge largely random injuries to its most important players. A team can be as good as it wants, but there will always be a certain, irreducible chance that it loses its star, and its chance at a title, at the worst possible time. That is, unless it finds a way to tilt those odds.Kevin Durant is familiar with ill-timed injuries. Over his final four seasons in Oklahoma City — the seasons after James Harden was traded away to Houston in 2012 — the Thunder’s playoff runs were marred by injuries in all but one season (Durant in 2015, Russell Westbrook in 2013 and Serge Ibaka in 2014) . They made the Western Conference Finals in 2016, and held a 3-1 lead over the defending champion Warriors, sure, but they never returned to the NBA Finals after 2012. The Thunder had one of the most talented lineups in the league, but without Harden, they’d sacrificed an advantage that, to some, had looked like a weakness: redundancy.The Warriors understand this need better than most. Last April, after the Warriors had won an NBA-record 73 regular season games, league MVP Stephen Curry left Game 4 of the team’s first-round playoff game with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, after having missed Games 2 and 3 with a sprained ankle. Golden State limped through the remainder of that series and the beginning of the next without Curry, and fought through a tough matchup with Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals. But that glimpse of life without Curry in the postseason, and that Curry never really regained his MVP form afterward, made it clear that even the best regular season team in history is vulnerable to injuries at the top of the roster.To insure against this kind of thing happening again, the Warriors pursued redundancy, signing Kevin Durant in the offseason. On Tuesday, Durant was the one who went down. The Warriors announced Wednesday morning that Durant has a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise, and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. The team has not ruled out a regular season return, to say nothing of the postseason, so the Warriors may well end up at full strength by June. (Bookmakers have already updated their NBA championship odds, and Golden State remains the favorite.) But losing a player as good as Kevin Durant, even just for a month, is never a good thing. However, the Warriors are uniquely equipped to handle such a loss, because they’re uniquely stacked.Last season, according to data from Basketball Reference’s count, the Warriors were 22.2 points worse per 100 possessions without Curry. (Strangely, in the playoffs, the Warriors were 2.7 points per 100 better without him on the floor, possibly because Curry was diminished by injury.) This season’s Warriors are worse by 15.6 points without Curry and by 6.7 points without Durant. Those are still big numbers but far more manageable than the massive gulf last season.And they still have Curry, of course. One of the things that separates great NBA players from merely very good ones is the ability to take on workload without sacrificing too much efficiency. In fact, that’s been one of the defining characteristics of Curry’s rise to NBA superstardom. Without Durant, Curry is likely to recover the drop in his usage rate, and he’s shown in the past that he can thrive while taking on added work. Having players who can take on more possessions when necessary is a nice luxury; having ones who can step into the lead role on a championship-caliber team minus an All-NBA teammate is an advantage few teams have ever had.But Durant’s absence will be felt. While his presence insulated Golden State from an injury to a player of Durant’s caliber, he also provided coverage for a different sort of issue: regression. The Warriors offense runs on shooting, and this season’s roster isn’t as rich in gunners as last season’s. Golden State has just four players who have taken more than a handful of threes who are making them at better than a league-average rate, compared to eight such players last season. As a team, their 3-point percentage has gone from 41.6 to 38.5.This goes deeper than a mere shooting slump from Curry, or Durant taking a lot of threes and hitting “only” 37.8 percent. Draymond Green attempted 3.2 threes per game last season and made 38.8 percent; this season he has attempted 3.4 per game and made 32.6 percent. Andre Iguodala’s overall 3-point percentage has held steady around 35 percent, but his percentage on corner threes — the threes that come to him most naturally in the offense — has fallen from 43.1 percent to 31.5 percent. And the bench, which last season had gunners such as Brandon Rush (41.4 percent from three), Leandro Barbosa (35.5 percent), Ian Clark (35.7 percent) and Marreese Speights (38.7 percent), this season has only Clark (39.3 percent) shooting well, instead running with midrange specialists such as David West and Shaun Livingston. When Did Sports Become So Political? read more

Wrestling No 2 Ohio State rolls through Purdue 357

Ohio State’s Bo Jordan wrestles Kaleb Young in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe No. 2 Ohio State wrestling team (12-0, 7-0 Big Ten) beat up on Purdue (6-6, 0-5 Big Ten), defeating the Boilermakers 35-7 Sunday afternoon at Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio.Ohio State’s Bo and Micah Jordan competed in their high school gym for the first time since they graduated. No. 5 Micah beat redshirt sophomore Cole Wysocki 21-9 at 157 pounds, and No. 3 Bo won 9-4 against No. 10 redshirt sophomore Dylan Lydy of Purdue at 174 pounds.Two other matchups between ranked wrestlers occurred, with Ohio State No. 11 junior Joey McKenna edging out No. 18 sophomore Nate Limmex 6-0 at 141 pounds. Ohio State No. 4 senior Nathan Tomasello beat No. 15 senior Luke Welche 18-5 at 125.Ohio State redshirt junior Cody Burcher upset No. 19 Jacob Morrissey with a pin just 34 seconds into the match. Burcher was wrestling in replace of No. 13 junior Te’Shan Campbell, who has struggled recently and lost his fourth consecutive match against Michigan State Friday.No. 2 junior Myles Martin won 20-4 with a technical fall against Purdue junior Jonathan Morales, securing the victory in the 184-pound division. No. 1 sophomore Kollin Moore won 18-3 against Purdue sophomore Christian Brunner.Ohio State No. 6 sophomore Ke-Shawn Hayes competed against redshirt sophomore Austin Nash at 149 pounds, and came away with a 24-6 win. Redshirt junior Ben Thornton beat Ohio State freshman Brakan Mead 10-2 at 133 pounds. Mead wrestled in place of No. 2 sophomore Luke Pletcher.Ohio State redshirt freshman Kevin Snyder lost to No. 15 freshman Shawn Streck 5-2 at heavyweight. Snyder was wrestling in replacement of his brother Kyle Snyder, who won the Yarygin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Sunday morning. Ohio State’s next meet starts at 8 p.m. Saturday in University Park, Pennsylvania, against No. 2 Penn State. The matchup will be streamed on Big Ten Network. read more

Visitors throng Surajkund

first_imgWhat’s the most spectacular thing about the popular ongoing Surajkund Mela? It just created history with the highest footfall recorded for a single day with 1,42,000 visitors on a single day on Sunday last week. This new milestone crossed all previous footfall records.The success of Surajkund Crafts Mela is credited to the availability of modern amenities of safe drinking water, clean environment, high maintenance of law and order, clean and hygienic public conveniences and efficient transport facilities with the due efforts of policing and security agencies, district administration and Mela Authority. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The area of the Mela now stands around 40 acres and ensures smooth and soaring movement of visitors. The year 1989 had a footfall of mere 1.75 lakhs while the year 2010 saw a whooping 7.54 lakhs of visitors in the Mela. The year 2011 saw a 20 per cent increase in the number of visitors as compared to 2010 and over the last couple of years, the numbers have been escalating.Surajkund Crafts Mela has gone beyond cultural amalgamation of various countries. The Mela has gone international this year with the participation of 20 countries. The Mela has been enriched by various foreign cultural troupes. It boasts of dedicated fan following who visit every year.last_img read more

Cab owner killed while trying to stop vehicle loot

first_imgKolkata: Kundan Maharaj (24), who was driving his own cab while ferrying some passengers to Burdwan from Howrah, has been murdered when he resisted their attempt to loot the vehicle.He was a resident of Howrah’s Liluah. The accused are believed to be car lifters, who booked the vehicle under the pretext of going to Shaktigarh.According to the investigation, police came to know that four youths boarded the vehicle from Howrah and told the victim, who is also the owner of the car, that they would go to Shaktigarh. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe family members of the victim told the police that when he reached Shaktigarh, the youths asked him to drive 10 kms further towards Burdwan side. Maharaj then captured some photographs of the passengers and sent to his father through social a networking app on Saturday night.Police on Saturday night recovered the body of the victim that was lying on National Highway 2. There were several stab marks in his abdomen. The car was found at a distance of around 10 km from the place where the body was spotted. A sharp weapon was also found inside the vehicle which was carrying blood stains. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPAccording to a preliminary investigation, police suspect that the miscreants stabbed the victim and dumped him on the road side. Then they sped up the vehicle in an attempt to loot it. On their way, they met with an accident as the vehicle was at a top speed. When the car met with an accident, the accused youths fled the spot leaving the vehicle there.Police suspect that the miscreants might be a part of interstate car smuggling racket. Police have seized the car and recovered the mobile phone of the victim. The family members called up the victim several times but the phone remained unanswered until the district police recovered his body. They have started a detailed probe and are conducting raids.last_img read more