HOUSTON — The Golden State Warriors didn’t add Kevin Durant with your feelings in mind. Basketball fans can lament all that they want about how Durant’s presence is unfair on what already was a great team, but that was the plan. The Warriors wanted to be unflappable at times when they appeared vulnerable; to not miss a beat if Stephen Curry was unavailable or physically compromised; to limit their opponent’s margin for error to zero. They wanted to be able to walk into a visiting arena, in the first game of a playoff series against a team that has had its sights fixated on them all season — and watch Durant burn down the whole place with flamethrower turnaround jumper after flamethrower pull-up jumper.
The Houston Rockets entered the Western Conference finals with home-court advantage and the hope that they could dethrone the defending champions with the likely MVP in James Harden and a member of the last team in the conference to defeat the Warriors in the playoffs in Chris Paul. But in a matter of 48 minutes, the Warriors snatched away home court with a 119-106 victory Monday night and allowed some concern to creep in that the hyped-up series fans have been anticipating since last summer will be another in a collection of light work operations since Durant took his talents to the Bay.