Steve Kerr Comments on Stephen Curry's 3-Point Shooting, Kevin Durant's Impact

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 16:  Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry #30 react during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The $54.2 million question heading into the 2016-17 NBA regular season was how Kevin Durant's acquisition was going to affect the Golden State Warriors and two-time defending MVP Stephen Curry

While there have been some hiccups along the way, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has the answer, as he spoke with Bill Simmons on his podcast on Wednesday, via Ananth Pandian of CBSSports.com: "Our team even realized that when Steph just is aggressive and is shooting his 30-footers in transition and going nuts, that's when we are at our best. KD not only appreciates it, but enjoys it and feeds off of that."

Coming off a historic 2015-16 season when he averaged 30.1 points per game and made 402 three-pointers, Curry seemed hesitant at times while on the floor with Durant. 

Last year, he averaged 20.2 field-goal attempts per game, but in his first 35 games this year with Durant joining him and Klay Thompson, Curry hit that 20-attempt mark just six times.

It still didn't do much to negatively affect the team, as it started 30-5.

Since then, though, Curry has hit his stride, attempting 20 or more shots in 10 of his last 15 games while leading the league in both made three-pointers (210) and three-point attempts (497). 

He recently dropped 43 points on the Los Angeles Clippers in which he drained nine threes in three quarters:

The early-season jelling did take a small toll on his numbers. Though they are still impressive. 

His points per game have dropped to 25.6, and his made three-pointers are down from 5.1 to 4.2 per game.

"He realized he could be aggressive and shoot 25 times and it wasn't going to affect KD," Kerr said. "I think early in the season he felt like, 'Man I've got to get this guy involved, I've got to get him the ball.'"

Durant, though, doesn't need a lot of shots to be a force on the floor. Despite averaging a career-low 17 attempts per game, he is still averaging 25.8 points while shooting 53.7 percent from the field. 

It's been a revelation for Kerr: 

But what makes KD so unique is that he doesn't need the ball. He doesn't even need volume of field goal attempts. He's had multiple games this year where he's had 12 shots and 25 points. It's incredible -- his efficiency. He doesn't care that he doesn't have to be the alpha. He doesn't have to get 20 shots.

The first-year Warrior has had 13 games this season in which he's hit the 20-point plateau with 15 field-goal attempts or less, adding another dimension to an already loaded roster.

Entering Wednesday night, Golden State leads the NBA with 118.2 points per game, almost four more than the second-place Houston Rockets

With different offensive threats that can take over a game on any given night whether it be Curry, Durant or Thompson, there's little to suggest that the Warriors won't be competing in their third straight NBA Finals. 

                

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.