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Starting Five

The Starting 5: Kevin Durant torched his former team

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (35) celebrates during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot

The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet

1. “Kevin Durant shows no mercy as Warriors embarrass Westbrook and the Thunder” — Matt Moore, CBS Sports

It took just one dunk for Kevin Durant to go guns blazing against the Thunder. After Jerami Grant dunked over Durant and stared him down, Durant went on to score 36 of his game-high 39 points, showing no mercy for his former team. The Thunder understandably had no answer for Golden State’s star-studded team. The Warriors, on the other hand, had the luxury of double- and even triple-teaming Westbrook without any consequences. Westbrook didn’t show up to this game, shooting below 30 percent from the field and turning the ball over six times, but one would expect him to have a thunderous game when the two teams meet in Oklahoma.

2. “Stephen Curry proving he’s more than just a three-point shooter” — John Schuhmann, NBA.com

Steph Curry is highly touted for his perimeter game. The step-back threes and turn-away jump shots. What hardly goes noticed, however, is his proficiency¬†around the rim. His game against the Blazers is a testament to his diverse skill set when he was finishing reverse layups through contact. Most of the misconceptions about Curry stems from his slender 6’3″ frame. Most proficient three-point shooters can’t handle the ball and slice through the lane like Curry does on a nightly basis. Those criticisms were somewhat validated when Curry first entered the league, but he improved his shooting percentage in the restricted area from 58.4 percent (decent for a guard) through his first five seasons to 66.5 percent in his first MVP season.

3.”R.I.P. Warriors 3-1 memes” — Tom Ziller, SB Nation

After Cleveland sports fans spent the entire summer trolling Warriors fans for their team blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Indians blew a 3-1 lead in the World Series. While the Chicago Cubs were completing their comeback, the Phoenix Suns’ Eric Bledsoe made an incredible game-winning three to give the Suns their first win of the season. Tom Ziller recaps that and much more in Thursday’s NBA newsletter.

4. “We all forgot about Anthony Davis” — Matt Blum, The Sports Quotient

After an injury-riddled season for Anthony Davis last year, we quickly pushed a generational talent to the side in a hasty search for the next big thing. The spotlight turned to Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis after just one good season from the rookies. Injuries and a poor supporting cast have prevented the Pelicans from reaching their goals, and it’s almost unfair to dock Davis for things that are out of his hands. Davis has the talent to be the NBA’s best player and seemingly has no weaknesses in his game as his range has expanded over the years. With the way his season has started, Davis has made it a point to make sure we don’t forget about him this time.

5. “Ten things I after Week 1 of the NBA” — Zach Lowe, ESPN

The NBA season is a week old, and Zach Lowe gives 10 things he likes and doesn’t like so far. Among those things are Thabo Sefolosha’s strong start, Jusuf Nurkic breaking out and the Warriors regaining their footing. Additionally, the Spurs somehow replaced Dewayne Dedmond’s hooves for real hands. Not only is he blocking shots, but he’s catching the ball on the move and finishing on offense. Check out the rest of the list in the link above.

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