The league's most deadly lineup will be back for the 2016-17 season, and it'll be better than ever.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr confirmed the obvious when he told Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area that he has designs to deploy newcomer Kevin Durant in the frontcourt along with Draymond Green.
"We’ll play Draymond at the five and Kevin at the four," Kerr said, "And we think that can be a great defensive lineup."
The Warriors were tremendously successful with a version of the so-called "Death Lineup" that saw Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, and Harrison Barnes surround Green at center. That unit outscored opponents by 47 points per 100 possessions.
The only change to that formula would see Durant taking Barnes' spot, and while Durant would certainly demand more shots and touches than Barnes did, the added firepower should only bolster the league's strongest unit.
"Our closing lineup, both at the end of the first half and at the end of games, was generally with Harrison at the four," Kerr said. "Now we’re just putting KD in that spot. That probably won’t change."
However, as always, Kerr will reserve his ace in the hole for times when it's absolutely necessary. The reigning Coach of the Year said he plans to use it for roughly 15 minutes per game.
"That’s not a lineup you play for 48 minutes," Kerr warned. "That’s a short-burst lineup. It’s probably our closing lineup."
If last year is any indication, Kerr will likely open each half with a starting five that includes a traditional center like Zaza Pachulia. But once it gets to crunch time, Pachulia will remain on the bench while the Warriors turn to their ungodly finishing group.