I’ve gone against Oklahoma City Thunder in both of their match-ups so far in the playoffs, and after todays action it seems as though for a second straight time, Kevin Durant’s got me eating my words. I’d like to say that I didn’t underestimate the combined talent of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook – but I did.
I’ve always had an appreciation for what KD brings to the floor, 30+ points, 7+ rebounds and a seemingly unrivalled ability to make big shots in late game situations. Adding Westbrook and Harden to the mix gives Oklahoma City a trio of looks from the perimeter. From Russell’s dribble pull-up, to Harden’s pick and roll, the Thunder get plenty of efficiency from those three spots on the floor, but if they’re going to make it out of the west, it will take more than just outside scoring against (presumably) an extremely deep San Antonio Spurs squad.
3 votes – Kevin Durant. I’m not sure how many more of these plays Kevin Durant will have to make before everyone considers him the most clutch player in the NBA. But I’m already sold. If there’s big shots to be had, I can’t think of a single player I’d rather give the ball to than Kid Clutch, Kevin Durant.
2 votes – Tim Duncan/Tony Parker. It’s pretty unbelievable to see what Tim Duncan is still able to do for the Spurs at this point in his career, particularly when he makes huge defensive plays at the rim against one of the league’s supreme athletes in Blake Griffin, but it’s happening. And with a crippled CP3 — whose been far from efficient in this second round matchup — Tony Parker has made a meal of the Clippers backcourt and shows no signs of slowing down. I just can’t wait to see what happens when the Oklahoma City youth clashes with the San Antonio experience in the western conference finals.
1 vote – Russell Westbrook. Russell was huge for Oklahoma City in this game and if it weren’t for the two big Durant plays down the stretch, his 37 points would have probably been enough to earn him the top honours. After we saw the kind of numbers Ty Lawson was able to put up against the Lakers backcourt of Sessions and Blake, it was inevitable that Westbrook would eventually post some astronomical figures, but the timing couldn’t have been worse for the Los Angeles Lakers.