Kevin Durant's Top 10 Plays from 2011 NBA Playoffs
While we should be talking about training camps, summer leagues, rookie development and roster moves right now, the CBA gridlock has us watching women's coccer and interviews with caddies.
Sure, things are bleak right now for NBA fans, us Thunder fans included, but last season provided enough highlights to last us through negotiations.
Here are video clips of our Chosen One, Kevin Durant, putting his stamp on the 2011 NBA Playoffs.
P.S. Let's be honest. This is just another excuse to watch that Brenden Haywood dunk again.
10. Mavs Game 4, Steal and Dunk Cap Off 9-for-9 Start
We begin our countdown in the Mavericks series, Game 4. The Thunder were down 2-1 in the series and had just been beaten at home. Slow starts had been killing the team throughout the playoffs and needed to be corrected.
OKC answered coach Scottie Brooks' call and came out scorching hot as they made their first nine shots from the floor. The run was capped by an impressive steal and dunk by Kevin Durant.
(Just watch the first 30 seconds.)
9. Grizzles Game 1, Steal and Coast-to-Coast Dunk
Kevin Durant's under rated defense got to shine early in the second-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The young superstar swiped one of several bad passes from Zac Randolph, blew by Mike Connelly as if he isn't even there and finished strong at the other end.
8. Nuggets Game 5, Tough "And-1" Puts Thunder Up 1 Late
As the announcers put it over and over again, Kevin Durant "sealed his legacy" in this opening round series against the Denver Nuggets.
It seemed much tougher than a five-game series as the Nuggets fought hard every minute. Game 5 was no different, but KD took over late in part because of this play.
7. Mavs Game 1, KD Rips Jason Terry
Another play where defense creates offense.
Against the Dallas Mavericks, Kevin Durant gets isolated on Jason Terry at the top of the key. The Mavs think they have KD right where they want him until he embarrasses "The Jet" in front of his home crowd.
6. Grizzlies Game 7, No Look from Harden Ices Series
After an epic series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Oklahoma City Thunder, OKC fans got a much deserved treat in Game 7.
The game was never really close, and with a few minutes left in the game (and series), a wild play ended with a diving no-look toss from James Harden on a fast break and a sweet finish for Kevin Durant.
5. Grizzlies Game 4, KD Muscles Up on Zach Randolph
Game 4 of the 2011 Western Conference semis between the Memphis Grizzles and Oklahoma City Thunder will go down as one of the all-time great games in playoff history.
The triple over-time thriller was a game for the ages, no doubt. The game may have finished with fireworks, but in the third quarter, Kevin Durant took on the vaunted Memphis frontcourt all by himself as he crossed over Marc Gasol and dunked all over Zach Randolph.
4. Nuggets Game 5, Late Game Takeover With Big Shot and Block
We continue Kevin Durant's takeover of Game 5 against the Denver Nuggets from No. 8 on the list.
After that impressive "And-1," KD gets open on an inbounds play and hits a tough runner with 12 seconds to play, putting the Thunder up three.
On the next sequence, Kevin blocks the shot of dangerous three-point shooter J.R. Smith to preserve a series-ending victory for the Thunder. This game will go down as one of Kevin Durant's all-time performances.
This clip is pretty long but worth a watch.
3. Nuggets Game 1, Impossible Up-and-Under Layup
It was the first game of the 2011 playoffs for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and it showed. The Denver Nuggets came out hot and kept a lead throughout much of game, until the Thunder took over late.
Midway through the second quarter, Kevin Durant put himself on the highlight reels for the night with a ridiculous layup.
The replay angles are great, but the shot still doesn't make any sense.
2. Grizzlies Game 4, KD Puts the Dagger in Shane Battier's Heart
One of the great moments in the short Thunder history came late in the third overtime period during Game 4 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Just as the announcers agree that, "You don't need to rush it here," Kevin Durant puts a school yard move on Shane Battier and breaks the hearts of all the bandwagon Memphis fans (didn't sell out a game during the regular season).
An iconic shot of a blonde Memphis fan looking forlorn flashed right after the shot.
1. Mavs Game 2, Durant Posterizes Brenden Haywood
When Kevin Durant got the technical foul called on this play, it reminded me of the the Will Ferrell flick Semi-Pro, a retro-themed basketball movie.
There is a scene where a player performs an alley-oop for the first time in history and the referee is so caught off guard by how amazing the play was that he yells, "Foul! No, uhhhh.... Two Fouls!!!"
I think the ref was taken back by how far above the rim KD got and called a tech for him being too awesome. I'll take it.