May 27, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half in game one of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at the AT

It’s time for Kevin Durant to have a huge playoff series

Soobum-Im-US PRESSWIRE

Kevin Durant is quickly becoming one of the best players in the NBA. He finished second in the MVP race for the second time in his career this season and also took home his third straight scoring title.

Durant led the Thunder into the playoffs this year and into the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Thunder now find themselves trailing in a series for the first time this postseason after losing 101-98 in Game 1 in San Antonio. Durant had 27 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in 43 minutes in the loss but it wasn’t enough.

You can point fingers at Russell Westbrook and James Harden for their poor shooting nights or Scott Brooks for not playing Serge Ibaka but maybe it’s Durant who needs to step up.

This Spurs team shouldn’t be able to contain him. It’s time for Durant to start taking over.

Durant is only averaging 26.7 points per game this postseason which is less than he averaged in the regular season. Durant is playing more minutes in the playoffs and his production really should be rising rather than dropping.

The Spurs should be afraid that Durant is going to drop 40 or 50 on them in every game if they don’t bring their best stuff. That’s how teams felt when they played Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant in a series and that’s the next step for Durant, to become like how they were.

There isn’t a feeling surrounding Durant that he will go off like that and average 35 points per game in a series. It’s kind of surprising too when you think about it that Durant doesn’t have more huge scoring nights.

Durant has averaged 27.4 points per game in his playoff career and only once in a series did he average more than 30 per game, against Denver in the first round last year. Isn’t it a little surprising that Durant doesn’t routinely average more than 30 points per game in a playoff series?

He’s due for a big series and what better time than now? The Spurs don’t necessarily have one guy who can shut him down so the opportunity is sitting there for Durant to start taking over this series.

Durant becoming the unquestionable alpha dog on this team is the Thunder’s next step toward becoming a champion. The Thunder are still a great team when Westbrook or Harden can be their best player but they won’t become a champion until every night Durant is that guy.

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Tags: James Harden Kevin Durant NBA Playoffs Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook San Antonio Spurs Scott Brooks Western Conference Finals

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