Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are in a do or die situation tonight for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Thunder are down 0-2 in the series and only 14 teams in the history of the NBA have come back from that deficit to win a playoff series. Zero teams have come back from down 0-3.
Durant is ready to “pull a Rondo” tonight if that’s what it’s going to take for the Thunder to win.
“I could play two games in one day,” Durant said.
That won’t be necessary but Durant will certainly play big minutes tonight. He is averaging 41.5 minutes per game so far in this series and 29.0 points.
The Thunder seem to struggle whenever Manu Ginobili and the Spurs’ second unit comes in. The Thunder reserves just can’t match them and keeping Durant or Russell Westbrook on the court at all times might be a good idea.
Durant played the entire second half in Game 1 and it seemed to wear him down. He was fouled a lot in the fourth quarter too and forced to go one-on-one a lot of times which didn’t help either.
Durant shouldn’t need to play the whole game. The Thunder just need to maximize him as much as possible when he is out there. Letting him isolate doesn’t accomplish this. Running Durant off screens and posting him up would.
The Thunder were down 0-2 two years ago against the Lakers in the first round and went on to win the next two at home and even up the series. They will play better and with more energy with their home crowd behind them but they will need more help than just that to beat the Spurs.