Kevin Durant is a basketball god. He can make ridiculous shots from anywhere on the court with anyone on him. Basketball is an offense advantage game, where even the most off balance toss up has a chance of going in despite the defense’s best efforts. When a superstar is going supernova, as KD did in Game 4, there is nearly no stopping it.
The NBA is a make-or-miss league and when your team is in a damned-near must-win game, you want your super star to give you one of THOSE games where they can’t be guarded. The great thing about the Spurs’ reorganization around Kawhi and LaMarcus is that San Antonio finally has that kind of player that can do that. Leonard does amazing things that ‘normal’ NBA dudes can’t. We all saw that rebound (well, two rebounds) in Game 3. We all saw him smash on Kanter in game 4. LaMarcus went off in Games 1 and 2. The Spurs don’t need to have the entire whirring machine produce points like it did in 2012. The problem — as any long time Spurs fan who remembers 2000-2002 — with relying on a Super Star (like young Timmy) was that that person can’t carry the burden alone. You need a happy medium of contributing role players and a super star game.
In Game 4, the Thunder got 41 from KD and huge contributions from their role guys — Dion Waiters, Adams, etc. Those guys were bricking threes and our guys were hitting ours (Danny Green was offensively useful in Game 3, garbage in game 4). And even though the Spurs’ stars played well, they weren’t brilliant. Our three guys had 21+ points. It is interesting to contrast that with the earlier game where three 21+ games were enough for the Cavaliers’ big three in Atlanta. I suppose the difference was that the Hawks don’t have any one guy that can explode for 40+.
I appreciated the Spurs, and Kawhi in particular, going all-out for a win, and not just enjoying the time. The Thunder are a good team. There is no shame in the loss, nor is there time for panic. The Spurs still have two very good players that are at least 90% of the raw talent of the OKC duo, and sport a much better coaching staff.
I’m confident. Not even worried man. Basically I agree with what Draymond Green said about Portland, except about the Thunder.