Kevin Durant set to decline 2019 player option with the Warriors

Kevin Durant signed a discounted two-year $51 million deal with the Warriors last offseason that included an opt-out clause

Teams have been forced to adapt to defending Curry and not having to make that call in the scouting report makes for a simplified game plan - no matter who the Warriors face in the first round. "We have a chance to do something special, and we know how to do that. It's not the ideal set of circumstances, but it could be a lot worse". "The fear factor for the Warriors without Curry does not exist".

109.9. In their last 10 games of the season, the Warriors' defense unraveled, allowing 109.9 points per 100 possessions, which ranked 28th in the league in that span. In addition, Stephen Curry will be out at least one round while recovering from a sprained MCL. The injury could force him to miss the entire first round of the postseason and perhaps some of the second, should the Warriors even advance that far.

San Antonio ended the regular season with a 47-35 record, and qualified for the National Basketball Association playoffs for the 21st consecutive season. A first-round win is no guarantee.

Another NBA Finals victory would be the second of Durant's career and second since he's played for Golden State.

And while those questions - that doubt - could create anxiety for Warriors fans, it also creates intrigue heading into the playoffs.

The Golden State Warriors have looked sloppier than usual in recent months thanks to a rash of injuries and general malaise, and now the rest of the National Basketball Association may see them as more vulnerable than ever.

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Utah, the NBA's stingiest defensive team over the last few weeks, was the last team Golden State wanted to face early in the playoffs this year.

Most in the National Basketball Association world believe the answer is yes, mainly because the Warriors have noted all season long that this year would be a grind as they wait for the playoffs, their true season, to begin.

The Spurs lost at New Orleans in Wednesday's regular season finale and will now open the 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs on the road against the defending National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors.

But it's been so long since we've seen the Warriors at their best that it's fair to wonder if that level of play is still accessible.

Who will emerge from the competitive NBA Western Conference as the victor and move on to the NBA Finals? Before this season began, many thought the Warriors winning the championship was all but ensured.

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