Can KD Put the Team on His Back? – The Brooklyn Nets were struggling mightily in the first half of Game 5 of their series against the Milwaukee Bucks, as Kevin Durant was tasked to go up against a team mostly at full strength without Kyrie Irving by his side. James Harden played, but there was no doubt he wasn’t even close to full strength.
However, Durant went off for 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, becoming the only player in NBA history to put up that statline in a playoff game. He also appeared in all 48 minutes of action, which is an extreme rarity in the modern NBA.
Durant scored 31 points on 10-of-13 shooting in the second half, as he carried the Nets from down as many as 17 in the first half. Not only did KD put up 31 points in 24 minutes, but he also dished out seven assists and grabbed eight rebounds.
Coming into the game, many people thought of this as a legacy game for Durant, as he would be put to the test without his two superstar teammates.
People didn’t think Durant had what it took to carry a team on his back all by himself, especially after his decision to join the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
That is foolish thinking. Durant is the second best player of his generation, trailing only LeBron James, who just so happens to be considered a top two player of all-time.
People start to think that just because Durant isn’t as good as LeBron that he isn’t capable of putting up a legendary performance to carry his team to one win with their backs up against the wall.
KD has the smoothest jumper known to man. If you get him in an isolation set, you pretty much lost. All KD needs to do is take a couple of dribbles, create enough space and get his jumper off and just sit back and watch it swish through the net. He has the most automatic jumper in NBA history.
If you happen to get into his skin just enough, all he needs to do is call for a screen and if enough space is created, he can pull up. Otherwise he can just take the defender off the dribble and drive to the rim for either a dunk or layup. KD just has way too many tools in his bag for you to be able to shut him down for a long period of time.
The Bucks limited Durant to just 9-of-25 shooting in Game 4 of the series, but he finished with 28 points anyway. A 28 point night is considered an off night for Durant. He can still get to the free-throw line and put up points that way.
It’s time to put some respect on Durant’s name and appreciate his extremely efficient scoring performances on a near nightly basis. Appreciate how smooth his jumper is and be wowed by his explosive drives to the rim which lead to thunderous dunks on many occasions.
When it’s all said and done, Durant will be considered a top 10 player of all-time.