Kevin Durant’s exacting season for the Brooklyn Nets is on the brink of an official end as they are down 3-0 against the Boston Celtics. A loss tonight would mean two first-round exits and a second-round elimination since KD left Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors to play with Kyrie Irving.
This season has been, arguably, Kevin Durant’s most challenging. Not only did he deal with injuries, he virtually had to carry the whole team without much support. KD had to play through James Harden’s disillusionment and Kyrie Irving’s absence or unreliability when available.
Colin Cowherd, on his podcast, explained how KD’s terrible decision-making has led to everything he is going through right now:
"He traded in Steve Kerr for Steve Nash. He traded in Steph Curry for Kyrie Irving. Those are massive downgrades. He chose the wrong guys to ride with and this is what you get. The Warriors, arguably, have A++ at owner, GM, head coach and star."
"And because he’s non-confrontational and couldn’t handle a spat with Draymond Green, he goes to the second most popular franchise in New York, a brand new coach and Kyrie Irving."
Kevin Durant’s playoff record offers a big picture of what Colin Cowherd was claiming. With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the floor with him, Durant is 38-10 in the postseason. Steve Kerr’s roster was savvy, hardworking, reliable and selfless.
Teaming up with Kyrie Irving in two years has already cost him eight playoff games and a dismal 59-47 overall record playing outside of the Bay Area team. And unless the “Slim Reaper” wins a title on his own, most basketball fans will always question his championship haul and consequent finals MVP awards.
Kevin Durant and Brooklyn Nets could use a bit of Steve Kerr’s motion offense
Heading into the postseason against the Boston Celtics, the biggest issue concerning the Brooklyn Nets was their defense. Playoff basketball is won mostly on defense and the Nets were one of the worst playoff-bound teams on that end.
In three games against the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn’s total score has gone lower. They have had 114, 107 and 103 points in those three losses. Their offense has become so predictable that Boston head coach Ime Udoka is calling out the Nets’ offensive sets from the sidelines.
Brooklyn is isolation reliant, which isn’t surprising because they have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But they are so stagnant that any sort of movement from the players and the ball could give their two superstars some breathing room.
Ironically enough, the motion offense is something Kevin Durant wasn’t convinced about in his championship years with the Warriors. In a Wall Street Journal interview, Durant explained why Steve Kerr’s motion offense wasn’t built to defeat elite NBA defenses.
“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point. We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix individual play.”
“So now I had to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create points for me.”
Boston’s aggressive blitzes have more impact as the Nets often stand around waiting for KD and Irving to manufacture points. Bruce Brown, whose scoring has jumped to 18 PPG against the Celtics, is making a living by simply moving and cutting hard to the basket.
Kevin Durant's posture after the Game 3 loss was also alarming. He looked tired, deflated and almost resigned to the inevitable. Durant left the Warriors to have a team of his own and to play with Irving, but he probably never envisioned how badly it would turn out for him.