Kevin Durant comes up short against the Bucks

Kevin Durant interview 2021 after loss to Bucks

Kevin Durant and the Nets were down 2 to the Bucks in game 7 with the clock winding down, and Kevin Duran had the ball in his hands. Durant launches a spectacular jumper . . . for the win? No, his foot was on the line. It could have been a career-defining shot, but his feet were on the line. The shot tied the game as opposed to winning it.

Fast forward to overtime, and Durant had another chance. But he was exhausted by then, and that three-pointer caught nothing but air. An air ball to end the game.

It was a great series, and you have to give Giannis Antetokounmpo credit, but it seems pretty clear that a Healthy Nets team would have won this series. Kyrie Irving was dominating the Bucks before getting hurt, and James Harden did his best to pay on an injured hamstring, but he just wasn’t himself in this series.

The Bucks clearly had some good fortune on their side, though this gritty performance to somehow pull out this series has left them in a good position. The Bucks are now favored to win it all, as there certainly isn’t an elite team standing in their way. But it’s certainly not a lock. The Bucks are good, but not great.

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Kevin Durant explodes for 49 points against the Bucks

Kevin Durant 49 points against Bucks

Kevin Durant had one of those career-defining nights last night in Game 5 of the Nets series against the Milwaukee Buck, dropping 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the depeleted Nets to victory. Kyrie Irving was out and James Harden clearly wasn’t himself with his hamstring issues. Jeff Green helped pick up the slack, hitting 7 of 8 threes, so Durant definitely had some help.

But it was clear in the second half that Durant was taking over the game, and the Bucks didn’t have an answer. Durant is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history and he hit some monster shots in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo again failed to close out a critical playoff game. He missed a late free throw (not a surprise) and fumbled a short pass under the basket late in the game when he could have tied the game. He was clearly rushing as he didn’t want to get fouled, and that’s the key flaw in Giannis’s game.

Also, the defensive player of the year wasn’t asked to guard Kevin Durant in the fourth quarter when Durant was taking over the game. Giannis said after the game that he wants to guard Durant in those situations, but you have to wonder what Mike Budenholzer was thinking. I know he’s an experienced coach, but his experience seems to be coaching playoff collapses.

“He’s the best player in the world right now,” Giannis said of Durant. It’s hard to argue that. Durant has been a dominating force for years, though he his two rings don’t get much respect after he joined a 73-win Warriors team after losing to them with the Thunder. The Warriors probably don’t win more titles without Durant, but Durant certainly didn’t take the hard road to his titles.

Now he has two amazing sidekicks in Kyrie and Harden, but the Nets haven’t been at full strength much at all this year. Kyrie’s ankle injury looks pretty serious, so Durant may have his chance to carry a team to a title and truly earn the “best player” label.

The odds for the Nets to win the NBA title keep fluctuating through the ups and downs of this series. Durant’s performance and the game 5 win will help the odds swing back to their favor. Now we’ll see if Giannis and the Bucks can turn things around in Game 6 and somehow win a Game 7 on the road. Budenholzer needs to put Giannis on Durant in crunch time, or at least throw serious double teams at him to try to change this dynamic.

Kyrie Irving and the Warriors

Kyrie Irving did it again on Christmas day, and the Golden State Warriors have to be thinking about how they can stop this guy in crunch time. And that’s after dealing with Lebron James and Kevin Love as well.

For all the hype about Kevin Durant, we’re seeing the Cavs playing together like a real team, and that has to be scary for the Warriors and the rest of the NBA.

Russell Westbrook sticks with OKC

This is great news for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and I’m glad for Russell Westbrook. Following Kevin Durant’s departure, many assumed Westbrook would bolt as well.

I love OKC’s squad, which has some serious size and athleticism and can still make a run at the NBA Finals. Westbrook is an amazing player, and now he’s the clear leader of this team. The drama with Durant is gone, and Billy Donovan is a great coach. With Westbrook tied up for three years they can also try to lure another superstar.

I love this for OKC and the NBA!

How good will the Warriors be with Kevin Durant?

Kevin Durant has declared his independence and taken his talents to Oakland. He’ll sign a two-year deal with the Golden State Warriors in an attempt to form a super-team and finally win a title.

I don’t blame Durant for leaving, it’s his decision, yet I also feel bad for the fans in Oklahoma City. As a Cavs fan I know how they feel. But I am a little confused by this decision, as Durant had a very good team in OKC with a clear shot at getting back to the Finals. He clearly didn’t have to leave, which makes this even more painful for OKC fans.

Many assume that Durant and the Warriors will be unbeatable, but how many scorers can a team accommodate? We’ve seen Kevin Love and Chris Bosh make real sacrifices to win a title in a Big Three environment. Who will make the sacrifices here? Who takes the big shot at the end of the game? Durant thrives on ISO basketball. What happens now?

Chemistry is critical in basketball, so now we’ll have to see what kind of chemistry develops in Golden State.

Also, the Warriors will have to shed salary in order to make this happen, so say good bye to players like Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli. Who will play center now for the Warriors? How will they handle bigger teams? Will Draymond Green wear down as he’s forced to handle the load against big centers over a long season? The starting five of the Warriors looks like a dream team, but there’s so much more that goes into winning a title.

In many ways this is great for the NBA, driving some serious buzz heading into next season. Lebron James and the Cavs can play the role of underdog yet again. It should be fun to watch!

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