Perhaps the most interesting part of this whole Russell Westbrook injury was seeing how well Kevin Durant managed to be the lone superstar on the court for Oklahoma City.
There's been countless people claiming that Durant would be much better off without Westbrook, saying that Russell is taking too many shots away from him.
Sure, it seemed like KD would be just fine running the show by himself when he dropped 41 points on the Rockets in Game 3, but there's a deeper truth behind the high scoring.
That truth is that Durant has always had someone to lean on when his shots weren't falling. Don't get me wrong, Durant is an amazing basketball player, but the team's success has depended so much on both him and Westbrook being able to create their own offense. Without Westbrook now, Kevin Durant is forced to try and create everything on his own.
But when KD struggles, his second options are limited and inconsistent. This creates a dreadful mix for the team, which is what we saw in the second half of Game 5, especially in the fourth quarter where Durant was 0-of-5.
Besides his more recent struggles, KD has done everything he possibly could to carry this Thunder team offensively, scoring 41, 36 and 38 points in the games without Westbrook. Additionally, he's been filling in at point guard, and he's been able to rack up some assists (6.0 per game) as a result.
We don't know how much longer Kevin Durant can carry the load that he's used to sharing a lot more equally with Westbrook. What we do know is that his effort will be there night in and night out and for that, he will get the highest grade.