Kevin Durant: NBA's Poster Boy for 4th Quarter Proficiency
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With complete due respect to Kobe Bryant and the mercenary mentality we haven’t witnessed since Michael Jordan, KD is the new assassin—and a completely humble one at that.
Fan allegiance, refs’ missed calls, Russell Westbrook and one unfortunate outcome aside, what Durant has done in these past two fourth quarters would make even the most apprehensive of NBA observers claim fealty to this man.
Case in point, I turned to a casual observer at a neighboring watering hole yesterday evening—a complete basketball detractor at that—and merely said watch this.
This was Kevin Durant in the fourth quarter.
What this person witnessed wasn’t necessarily incredible by numbers—although, they were great (via ESPN)—it was the persona that KD embodied, exuded and executed in a way that was natural and pleasing to the eye.
His step-back threes, driving dunks and crossover-aided layups were the product of a man that expected to do so, but in an unassuming fashion that supported his commitment for his small-town team (via ESPN).
(Juwan Howard’s sideline reaction might say otherwise.)
Durant is the closer that every other player wishes he was. He makes shots when his team needs it most and doesn’t cite would-be fouls as excuses for counter-productivity.
How would you grade Durant's performance in Game 2?
The Thunder’s Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat is not on him—he’s the reason that OKC made their ESPN bottom line-stated “furious rally” to begin with.
But don’t ask him. He’ll just corroborate these assertions in the fourth quarters televised for the masses for the remainder of the NBA Finals.
We’ll give Durant his day off for now. Just don’t expect him to be lounging poolside until he brings his Oklahoma City fanbase a title.
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