We witnessed a legendary performance by Kevin Durant. By now you’ve seen all the highlights,
But did you notice how and why Giannis wasn’t guarding him on any of those possessions?
Let me go deep and break down the hidden details that you may have missed.
What up everybody, my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
First things first, let me start off by saying I admire the courage of James Harden to go out there clearly injured and limited in what he could do but regardless give everything he got. Although he looked awful and I kind of felt sorry for him at times. Watch how he’s getting blown by guys in their first step. I know the joke was on him for years about his defense, but let me tell you there is no way he gets abused on defense like this if he’s healthy.
Like look at this: Pat Counaghton just flies by him like there’s nobody in front. And there were multiple instances where Harden’s man created an advantage which resulted in a 3 for Milwaukee.
And the situation was just as obvious offensively. 1 for 10 shooting, and you can clearly see that there’s no burst of speed, no acceleration, just jogging up and down the court, trying to preserve that hamstring which is where you fire off of when you want to speed up.
Still despite all of that Harden played almost 46 minutes which is crazy. The team needed him to be on the court to just be a threat and have a defender close to him at all times, which as we saw was enough to open things up for KD to go ballistic.
To me the real hero of this game was Jeff Green. 7 for 8 from downtown, a scorching hot shooting night when nobody expected that from him.
With virtually nobody else stepping up to help KD carry the load, Green was out there knocking down shot after shot, keeping the team within striking distance, and allowing for that offensive explosion by their leader to secure a comeback.
And that same leader was loud in praising these 2 guys Green and Harden for how they battled in this game.
DURANT PRAISING HARDEN AND GREEN
But let’s now go to the main point of this video. Why and how did Kevin Durant score his 49 points, and could the Bucks players as well as coaching staff do something else to prevent this catastrophic outcome for them.
This tweet by CJ Mccollum might look weird at first glance but let me decode it for you. This right here means easy money. And this is who that is. Easy Money Sniper on IG.
So CJ is trying to say that while KD has been cooking in the second half, Giannis kept standing to the side guarding guys like Bruce Brown and Landry Shamet.
Like for real, the Nets absolutely destroyed Milwaukee with this high screen for Durant letting him get a head of steam, switch the primary defender off of him, and then Brook Lopez is left on an island here, he drops to protect the basket, and KD just raises up and knocks down the jumper.
This is exactly how Brooklyn cut down the lead in the third quarter that was as big as 16 points and made this game interesting.
While that was in transition- in the fourth quarter in the half court, it was pretty much the same thing of just trying to get the main guy whether PJ or Middleton switched off of him.
And once that happens, you can see how easy it is for Easy Money Sniper to get a shot up and splash it.
And you can see throughout that whole time, Giannis Antetokounmpo- the 2020 defensive player of the year, and this year’s first team all defense is standing in the corner guarding guys who are nowhere near the threat of scoring 50 points in a game.
And the media kind of pressed him on this topic in the postgame interview, about him taking the challenge and guarding the best player in this series.
So as he says right here, I guess it’s Coach Bud to blame for not putting him on KD?
I don’t know, at some point when you’re the leader of the team, you gotta step up and take the responsibility in my opinion.
And I guess I can understand the fact that Giannis is the main weapon offensively so maybe the strategy was to save him as much as possible on defense so that he could go all out on the other end, but maaan, KD was playing alone in this game and he still battled on defense.
To me there had to be some possessions where if not directly on him, Giannis should have at least been higher up closer to the perimeter so that it’s tougher for Brooklyn to look for the switch.
This way, Durant got blistering hot and when the game was on the line, he was able to fire off one last heat check, a contested shot from waaay downtown, which ultimately sealed it.
And this reaction says it all. KD CELEBRATION
Of course we don’t know what happens in games 6 or possibly 7, but to me, this iconic performance by KD a triple double with 49 points 17 rebounds and 10 assists, playing every single second of the game. Exactly 48 minutes out of 48 minutes on the court.
16 Ιούν 2021