With LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers missing the playoffs, many figured that this year’s NBA postseason would be dull. But, one of the game’s top players is proving them wrong. Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant is playing at a rate we have not seen in the playoffs in quite some time.
The reigning champion Warriors were challenged by the eight-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the first round, as the series was tied 1-1 after two games. Many criticized the 6-foot-11-inch Durant, specifically, as he was not shooting the ball enough while being guarded by the 6-foot Patrick Beverly.
After a game in that series he told the press to relax and said, “I’m Kevin Durant, you know who I am.”
Since that statement, Durant has reminded us exactly who he is and has scored 38, 33, 45, 50, 35, 29 and 46 points in his outings since.
Most people regard Durant as the second-best player in the world after James. But during this run he may be proving that he is not the second best player — he’s the best.
There has been no answer for Durant during this historic run as he is able to score from anywhere on the court. If the defense puts a guard on him, he uses his lanky 6-foot-11-inch frame to shoot right over the top of them. If the defense puts a bigger defender on him, Durant uses his quickness and just puts his head down and drives right by them to the rim.
“He’s the most skilled basketball player on Earth; there’s never been anybody like him,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “Six-foot-11, handles the ball, shoots threes, passes and defends. He’s an unbelievable talent.”
Durant faces a lot of backlash from fans for his decision to join an already stacked Golden State team in free agency three years ago. Putting that backlash aside, we have to start looking at Durant for what he has done on the court and realize that he is an all-time great.
He is already a two-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He has won a league MVP and holds four scoring titles.
Durant has been playing in the shadow of LeBron for most of his career as James has held the crown of NBA’s best player for many years.
But it may be time for that crown to change heads. And there is no better player in the league today to wear it than Kevin Durant.