Today at 3:30 p.m. EST, the Oklahoma City Thunder will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers.
It’s not only a meeting between two of the top teams in the NBA today, but two of the best individual closers as well.
Kevin Durant and Chris Paul have each made a strong case to be considered the best closer in the NBA.
Paul looked like the definite best closer in the NBA for much of last season. In his first year with the Clippers, a predictable offense often left Paul going one-on-one late in games and rarely did he not come through.
Once the playoffs came around, it was Durant who really started to stand out late in games. In the Thunder’s first playoff game, he hit a game-winner at the buzzer to sink the defending champs.
In the next series vs. the Lakers, Durant had a number of clutch shots including one in which he walked up and drilled a three in the face of Metta World Peace.
Durant would prove impossible for the Spurs to stop in the Western Conference Finals as the Thunder rolled to four straight wins against San Antonio after losing the first two in the series.
It looked like Durant might be able to lead the Thunder to a title when OKC beat the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals while Durant dropped 17 in the final quarter.
Durant and Paul go about their business in different ways but when the game is on the line, they are more similar.
Durant is the most elite scorer in the NBA right now and can score in such a variety of ways. He is the game’s best shooter making it nearly impossible to decide which way to defend him, especially late in games.
Paul is always a threat to find any open teammate and he then has the luxury of knowing he won’t be doubled. He’s as crafty a player in this league and can get to whatever spot he wants as well as anyone.
We might get an answer, at least for now, as to who the best closer in the NBA is when the Thunder and Clippers meet up this afternoon. It’s the kind of game that you’d be surprised if it wasn’t close.
So who you got? With the game on the line are you rolling with KD or CP3?