Quiet Warriors debut for Durant

BOSTON MA- NOVEMBER 05 Jared Sullinger #7 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket against Patrick Patterson #54 of the Toronto Raptors in the first half at TD Garden
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07 October, 2016

His eyes were closed and, with headphones on, he quietly bopped his head to music. Despite his stellar season with San Antonio, West was quick to take a pay cut for the chance to play with a team that seems destined for a ring.

"I really don't like him", joked Stephen Curry after the game. McGee was active on the boards, blocked and challenged multiple shots; he displayed the athleticism we are so used to seeing from him. I came through segregation, I know what it looks like. But what's clear is the team making Durant feel at ease with the transition.

In other words, there was always going to be some backlash.

Kevin Durant had nine points in his preseason debut with the Warriors and was booed by the Rogers Arena crowd every time he touched the ball. Or most of the time, at least.

Kevin Durant's first appearance in a Warriors game was profoundly forgettable, 19 fitful minutes he'll never get back but surely is happy they're relegated to the past. It's his team Durant is joining. It was a chance to shake off rust and lethargy after the season break. Whether we use it for motivation or not, in this organization we want to win anyway. While there isn't much to glean from a preseason game that was far from a competitive environment - for example, at one point, Draymond Green simply slid aside and allowed a wide open layup on a fast break by Toronto - we were given our first glimpse of the new and improved Death Lineup.

"I did think that was an advantage for us", Green told The Vertical. "And we'll keep it moving". It's just amusing kind of buying into a narrative that doesn't really make sense. "It probably won't be the last time, but he handles it well, and at the end of the day, it's about playing basketball".

Durant sees it as a big plus for him going forward.

"We want to do it the right way", said Anthony. It's not anything that bothers us.

It remains to be seen just how much the stars for both teams play tonight, with both the Warriors and Raptors also having players to evaluate when it comes to filling out the 15-man opening night roster.

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So what did Durant make of it all?

When Durant emerged for his moment in front of the microphones, he was smiling. All the while, coach Steve Kerr said he will be looking to dial back the minutes for his stars, even before Thanksgiving, after they either played into June two seasons in a row or, in the case of Green, Thompson and Durant, just had a short summer because of the Olympics. Of course, he wasn't going out of his way to listen for boos, he said. "I may shoot 25 shots one game, I may shoot 7".

"My shot looked good", he said.

With a smile, he then said, "So that's great for me".

He acknowledged that, despite this being only an exhibition game, the feeling was a little different, if only because of the significance of putting on a different team's jersey.

But on Saturday it was only a glimpse of what could be one of the great teams in National Basketball Association history.

It nearly seems insane to call it a positive, but it reinforces the rhetoric that this team just needs court time together to gel.

There's no line out on this game just yet.


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