Nearly two years after Kevin Durant collapsed in the NBA Finals with an Achilles tendon rupture, he excelled in leading the Nets to the biggest post-season explosions in team history. He looked as good at everything as old Durant.
When asked by the court after Milwaukee’s 2nd 125-86 game on Monday – after beating the Bucks by 32 points – his reaction was pretty good if he thought he would be so good again.
“Is that a real question?” Duron asked rhetorically. “What do you want me to say to that? Of course I did. “
TNT employee Jared Greenberg said his return to form was very impressive, but Durant was looking forward, not behind his shoulder.
“Thank you; I appreciate it. But it was two years ago. I’m just waiting to get up, go to classes, watch a movie and see how we can improve. I appreciate it, but it was far ahead.”
Exactly two years ago on Thursday, it would be a night when Durant would bring his nets to Milwaukee for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. They took the lead 2-0, mostly because of his brilliance, averaging 32 points in 55 percent of shots and 50 percent of 3 points in this playoff. Despite injuries that knocked 85 percent of NBA victims out of the league in two years, he did it all.
After Durant tore Achilles in the 5th game of the 2019 NBA Finals with the Golden State, experts told the Post that he would return as that player again, but many were skeptical. After all, Elgin Baylor, Patrick Eving, Kobe Bryant and DeMarcus Cousins have never done that.
And Durant wasn’t the same.
In many ways he was even better than that.
“He just let the game go and he’s playing so easily. And we’re so used to Kevin seeing that, ”Kyrie Irving said.“ So you can put him wherever he is, in the best player rankings, or in the best players who play our game, and so on. for whatever it is, for us – as a historian of history, the culture we maintain here, the brotherhood and the respect we have – we see it continue to improve.
“I know it sounds crazy, but for him it’s too slow. The game is very slow. He can reach his place and lift everyone. If you have 6-11 or 7 meter items, if you do these special things, it will make the property easier for us. If you can do that, it will be a bit of a problem for the opposition, because now they are playing on their heels. ”
Durant was somehow his best version. He fired from 12 to 18 yards and 4 to 6 yards on Monday, passing six assists and catching four rebounds despite never coming off the bench in the fourth quarter.
Durant, who paired up with Irving and then James Harden, had his most productive season, with career highs in goals percentage, 3 points and effective goal ratio on the field. . The next season went better.
This is Durant’s 10th season and so far his most effective, “Net Rating,” “Offensive” rating, “3 percent percentage,” “free throw,” “obstacles,” and even “Player Efficiency” (Via the “Basketball Reference”).
“Yeah, it’s really hard to tell the difference,” Steve Nash said. “Not only does he perform at that level, but he can play minutes and maintain such high efficiency. So it’s hard to say he has any diving right now. And his game went up when we went.
“He’s got more representation, more comfort, especially on defense and on the boards, and when you’re a player you haven’t played in a while and you’re a top scorer, try to get him back first. So he did that and then he started picking out the other parts of the game. That’s why it’s very difficult to tell if he was against it before the operation. “
It was really hard to tell. But look carefully enough and it can be said that Durant is not the same.
He is better.