Is Kevin Durant really feeling the effects of being in a small market for the first time?
Durant is only the second player in the history of the NBA to be averaging at least 33 points, nine rebounds, six assists and one steal per game in the playoffs (LeBron did it in 2009).
Curry and LeBron have had great postseasons but it’s just not on the same level as what Durant is doing.
This isn’t me saying that Durant is better than LeBron. Think about this though: If Durant averaged what he’s doing in the playoffs for an entire NBA season, he would be the clear-cut MVP. Curry’s numbers aren’t even close and even LeBron’s aren’t.
Durant should even get bonus points for the situation he has been put in. He’s playing without Russell Westbrook for the first time since his rookie season.
This is particularly a challenge since Scott Brooks has designed the Thunder offense to rely so much on Westbrook’s ability to create something out of nothing. Now, with nothing replacing the something Westbrook would create, it’s left Durant literally playing one-on-five at times.
The fact that Durant’s numbers have gotten better while sustaining efficiency is the most remarkable thing about what Durant has been doing since the Westbrook injury.
I’m as big of a Durant fan as you’ll find and even I thought we’d see a much less efficient KD post-Westbrook.
Durant has quickly made us forget that the Thunder shouldn’t be able to make the same NBA Finals they did a year ago because they are now without two of the best 10 players in the league in Westbrook and James Harden.
Maybe more people are counting the Thunder out now, but there is still a definite chance that they beat Memphis and maybe even win the West.
In closing, Curry has been great in these playoffs and maybe more entertaining than Durant. LeBron is still the best player but what Durant is doing definitely makes him the most valuable player in these playoffs so far.