Originally Posted by iLLoQuent aka DSK
Not in this case. Durant played the distributor role and was willing to let Russ take the shots in those spots. It's not like KD was calling for it and Russ kept waving him off...
I kept waiting for KD to ditch that **** and look for his but it never happened.
I agree but the gif was more in reference to the airball by Westbrook at the 32sec mark. Read this by some OKC reporters and I would agree.
Nuggets from my notebook from Sunday's loss to the Lakers
Pinpointing the cause of the Thunder’s problem was tricky before this game. Not after. I wrote about it for Monday’s paper. This team is no longer playing for each other. Too many guys have different agendas. Too many are doing their own thing. Too many are playing for the wrong reasons. Kevin Durant is gunning for his first most valuable player award. Reggie Jackson is playing for a lucrative extension this summer. Russell Westbrook is working himself back into shape. It’s selfish basketball, the kind we’ve rarely seen take shape in OKC. It doesn’t define all 48 minutes. But it’s seen in stretches. Far too many of them. The Thunder simply isn’t playing with the right focus. Winning simply hasn’t been the sole mission. Other objectives, various things for various players, are being targeted while winning stands as the greater goal. But that’s become a problem.
Kevin Durant’s triple-double was the unfortunate example of that in this one. He had 10 points, five rebounds and five assists after one quarter. And after checking back in with 7:58 left in the second, he spent the entire quarter padding his stats, searching for the assists he would need to notch the triple-double. It was obvious what he was doing, and it was a bad decision once the Lakers started mounting a comeback.
Durant took just one shot in the final eight minutes of the second quarter. It came with 43 seconds left. My guess is he felt comfortable enough with an 18-point lead to start manipulating the game and playing for numbers. It backfired. Because while he was padding his stats, the Lakers were storming back, cutting an 18-point deficit to two. Durant didn’t score in the period. Didn’t get to the stripe, either. The Lakers were taking command of the game, seizing all the momentum, and the best scorer on the planet got up just one shot while it was happening. That was a problem.
In Durant’s defense, he made some really good passes during that stretch. Deliberate, no doubt. But good nonetheless. He got teammates Derek Fisher, Caron Butler and Serge Ibaka quality looks. They missed. But that’s where Durant should have stopped passing it to them. Ordinarily, it’s ideal to continue to trust your teammates. But the Lakers were rallying and yet Durant continued to be consumed with getting his assists up.
I wonder if the MVP race is getting to Durant’s head. Forget what he says. Study his play. One night after LeBron James scored 61 points, Durant answered with 42 through three quarters. Today, Durant was hellbent on getting a resume-boosting triple-double. His missing free throws — perhaps the most mental thing in the game — at a relatively alarming rate. All these things are potential signs that it’s weighing on him. And how could it not? Despite what Durant or anyone on his team says, this award matters to him. A lot. It would be his first one and would be another step toward solidifying his place in the game’s history. It seems natural for this race to seep inside his head.