- 05/16/2013, 12:13PM ET
Sneaky Geno said 05/16, 12:13 PM
Kevin Durant does not deserve a pass for losing this series even without Westbrook. Obviously they would have been better with Westbrook but they still should have won the series. Scott Brooks, the coach of the Thunder, said that they should have still won without Westbrook.
Durant, although came up clutch in the first game of the series, failed to secure wins in the last 4 games. Every game of this series, the Thunder were in position late in the game to win. They managed to do it in game 1, but could not finish off the game.
In the last game, Durant missed an open 16 foot jumper to tie the game with 4 seconds left. It was an open look that a scorer like Durant should hit. Durant shot 5 for 21 shooting. He was 0 for 4 from the 3-point line. He had 7 turnovers, and was 1 for 4 from the free throw line. Now keep in mind that Durant was a 90%+ free throw shooter in the regular season.
With or without Westbrook, there is no excuse for these kinds of number from Durant. He does not deserve a pass for this series and needs to step his game up next year if he wants his team to advance deep into the playoffs.
Mrlns Fn said 05/22, 03:50 AM
Yes, Durant deserves a pass.
Oklahoma City, more than any other team, has always been extremely lopsided in shot distribution among the players. Westbrook and Durant jack up the majority of OKC's shots so when one of those guys goes down there is an enormous void in the offense, more so than with any other team.
It's a heavy burden Durant carries when Westbrook is out; heavier than for any other NBA player, simply because no other team has two players with as high usage rates as OKC.
Westbrook's production was similar to Durant's this year, so asking KD to run the show himself was basically asking him to double his output. Just an extraordinary burden.
Point is, if anyone ever deserves a free pass, it's Durant, simply because his additional duties are far greater than anyone else's, given a similar injury situation.
Not only that but Durant killed it while Westbrook was out. Not gonna bore you with stats but basically all of his numbers went up and although he was gassed toward the end of the run, overall he put on an amazing performance, regardless of the outcome.
Couldn't really have asked much more of him, save for a few ill-timed missed shots.
Sneaky Geno said 05/23, 01:03 PM
Why give Durant a pass when if another elite player was in his position they would not get a pass?
When Lebron was on the Cavs, a team with a much worse supporting cast, we always faulted Lebron for not winning the championship. Durant is just as good if not a better scorer than Lebron. Durant does not deserve a pass!
Mrlns Fn said 05/24, 12:35 AM
I think other elite players would get a pass if they faced Durant's predicament.
Elite is one of those trendy-yet-meaningless sports phrases that spread like wild fire every year. Not sure exactly that it means, but assuming you're talking about superstar/max contract players, LBJ is the only true max-player still balling it up in this years' playoffs.
Say Wade gets hurt, misses the rest of the playoffs. If the Pacers ultimately trumped Miami (despite a hypothetical 30-8-8 series for LBJ) in seven games I'm pretty sure nobody would bash LeBron too hard for not winning a ring this year. (Well maybe, but that's because so many folks are d00shbag LeBron haters, and completely irrational to boot)
Bad example but there aren't really any other star players playing.
Try it another way... the Lakers got a free pass when Kobe went down. The Heat would get a free pass if LBJ went down. Or Wade, as I mentioned earlier. The Spurs, for Duncan. The Pacers, for Paul George. The Grizzlies, for Randolph or Gasol, etc, etc, etc.
People do get a free pass when a star teammate gets hurt.
Rules shouldn't be any different for Durant just because he's good.
Sneaky Geno said 05/27, 04:06 PM
Your last comment about Kobe going down and if Lebron went down is irrelevant because that would be equivalent of Durant going down not Westbrook. If Wade went down, people would still expect the Heat to beat the Grizzlies. If Dwight Howard went down everyone would still expect the Lakers to beat the Grizzlies. It should be the same thing with the Thunder and that is why Durant does not deserve a pass. Also he played terribly in the last couple games which is why I can blame him.
Mrlns Fn said 05/27, 10:58 PM
No, it wasn't irrelevant. Just a little too complicated to be easily understood.
I said Westbrook, because of his high usage numbers and overall huge presence in the offense, is in the same category as LBJ or Kobe in terms of how much offense you have to replace if one of those players get hurt. It's all about how do you cover for 25-30 shots a game. Wasn't saying that Kobe and LBJ and Westbrook are all equals, even though some NBA fans could make a decent case in that regard.
Point was that you just cant replace 25 shots a game, or 22 points a game. No star player, no matter how talented, can double their offensive output against an opponent that doesn't have to worry about any other players. It's just not possible. Even MJ couldn't have pulled that off.
By the way, this is sorta off topic but it deals with something you mentioned. If anybody expects LA to beat Memphis they're dreaming, Dwight Howard or otherwise. The Lakers are a bad team. Well not a bad team, but they sure ain't a good team.
Anyhoo, thanks for posting a third argument. Better than just about anybody else these days.
Good topic and good luck.
Go, Spurs, go. Get out the brooms.
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