Published On: Mon, Aug 29th, 2016

Warriors will play Durant at PF, 'expect a lot' from him defensively

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Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Though four-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant is best known for his offensive prowess, the Golden State Warriors are excited about what he can do at the other end of the court.

Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams, who focuses on the team’s defense, spent two seasons in Oklahoma City where he worked with Durant early in his career with the Thunder.

He’s itching to integrate the 6-foot-9 forward into Golden State’s defensive unit, which allowed the third-lowest field-goal percentage in 2015-16 en route to winning 73 regular-season contests. He raved about the former MVP’s ability to effectively guard every position.

“(Durant’s) versatility is outstanding,” Adams told Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area. “He’s a terrific defender, who played with great defensive consistency in our playoff series. We will expect a lot out of him in that regard.”

Golden State experienced Durant’s defensive proficiency firsthand against his former team during the Western Conference finals.

“He’s a really good rim protector, in a non-traditional way,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “When he played the four against us in the playoffs, he was brilliant. He blocked some shots and he scored a bunch of times. So he’ll play a lot of ‘four’ for us, for sure.”

In addition to his 28.2 points and five assists, Durant pitched in defensively with 8.2 boards, 1.2 blocks, and a steal per game last season.

He represents a huge upgrade over Harrison Barnes – who signed with the Dallas Mavericks this offseason – and will help the Warriors improve upon their switch-heavy defense.



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