• Joseph Thiel

Kevin Durant Displaying Dominance in the NBA Finals

This is exactly what Kevin Durant was daydreaming about last July when he made the decision to move on from the Oklahoma City Thunder and join forces with Stephen Curry and the 73-9 Golden State Warriors. Almost a year later, Kevin Durant has the NBA world talking about him being the best scorer on the planet while guiding the Warriors to a 2-0 series lead. Unlike last year’s 2-0 series lead, the Warriors have given the Cleveland Cavaliers very little to hang their hat on heading back home into Game 3. Durant and the Warriors have outplayed the Cavaliers in almost all aspects through the first two games of these finals.

Kevin Durant has always been a dominant player in the NBA, but the supporting cast between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors is much different. Throughout his time in Oklahoma City, Durant had to learn to coexist with Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is also a superstar who need the ball in his hands at all times to be successful and two guys like that on one team is just a disaster waiting to happen. When given the opportunity to go anywhere in free agency, many believe Durant signed with the Warriors for the opportunity to win multiple championships. However, he could have done that with multiple teams. The San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics were ready to win now and could have helped Durant achieve his goal of becoming a champion, but that’s not all he was after. Kevin Durant wanted to play an unselfish brand of basketball where his teammates played an equal part in their victories.

The Warriors have not lost a game in this year’s postseason and are sitting at an impressive 14-0. Most shocking is their ability to make so many crisp passes throughout the course of a game. It makes them look like they’ve been playing together for years. Just in Game 2 alone, the Warriors as a team had 34 assists on 46 total field goals made. Everyone on the team knows their role and has helped make Durant their leader on and off the court. Even the Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had something to say when asked about the Warriors talent on the court.

“They are really talented, but that’s not the whole equation. That’s not everything that describes them. This is, you know, maybe the best defensive team in the league on top of everything. So they don’t just play with talent. On offense, no team is more unselfish finding the open man and that sort of thing. Coaches are always trying to get their team to do that. But they’ve got a multitude of people who are unselfish in that regard and play a beautiful game, and on top of that play D at the other end. So they deserve a lot more credit than, ‘Well, they’re talented. They’re supposed to win.’ That is disrespectful to them in my book. They’re way, way more than just their talent.”

In Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Durant put up an astonishing 33 points 13 rebounds six assists 5 blocks and three steals, a statistic even Michael Jordan never accomplished that in the playoffs. With everything said, the most important thing to take away from this is that the Golden State Warriors allow Kevin Durant to play his style of game without having to worry about giving other people the ball to keep them happy. The Warriors focus is on winning in an unselfish environment. If this play continues for Durant and the Warriors during their two games in Cleveland, then we may just see our first finals sweep since the San Antonio Spurs beat the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007.

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