It doesn't seem fair for a team with 60+ wins to add an MVP-caliber player in the season's final stretch, but that's exactly what the Golden State Warriors are doing. After an extended layoff thanks to issues with his MCL, Kevin Durant is back in action for the defending Western Conference champs, and he has just a couple games to get his legs under him before the playoffs start.
Even for a player of Durant's caliber, that's no easy task. The Warriors are aware of the challenge ahead and have a plan to get Durant going: have him focus on everything but scoring the basketball. Per head coach Steve Kerr:
I told him defense and rebounding. I'm not concerned about the offense for good reason, he's going to score points. Even if he's not shooting well he's going to score points. But the whole thing, we start our playoff series next week and we have to be locked in defensively. That has to be his focus.
On any other team, the return of one of the best pure scorers of all-time would necessitate a team expecting him to carry a significant scoring burden. But the Warriors are a unique case because of the deadly scorers they have aside from Durant—you may have heard of a couple guys named Steph Curry and Klay Thompson—and the ease with which they'll breeze through their first-round series. Even without Durant, the Warriors are equipped to blow the doors off teams like the current No. 8 seed Portland Trailblazers, and they're battle-tested after playing in the last two NBA Finals.
Kerr's broader point is on the money. Durant doesn't exactly need a lot of help to get his buckets, as he showed with his first basket following his return:
For the Warriors, Durant's ability to fit back into their defensive system is the bigger priority. They have the second-best defensive efficiency in the league this season, and maintaining that strength while adding Durant on the fly is the most important order of business.
This sort of stuff makes you green with envy if you're a fan of any of the other 29 NBA teams. Golden State is adding a player back into the lineup who is averaging over 25 points per game, and their reaction is, "Eh, we can worry about getting his scoring back later." Their owner likes to tell people the franchise is "light years ahead" of the rest of the league, and maybe he was on to something.