When you have to obliterate opposing defenses throughout the NBA, there are no substitutes...ever!
Kevin Durant skillfully and savagely crossed up the overwhelmed defender and made his ankles roll to the floor before gliding to the rim like a gazelle for a tomahawk slam. You’ve watched the game from the opening tip up to midway through the fourth quarter. You saw Durant empty his clip of hesi pull up three’s, mid range shots from the post to the key but you didn’t know to what extent Durant was torturing the defense until the camera zoomed to him at the line for free throws. Then, you see the stuffy block computer graphic bearing his name and line of the night. In case you’re wondering, Durant is now up to 41 points with eight minutes remaining.
Easy. Money. The kind of money that jingles on your favorite team and fold their asses into a 22-point blowout loss.
Meanwhile, Stephen Curry is flooding the court with a torrent of step-back, 30-foot demoralizing threes five minutes into the third stanza. Defenders try in vain to stop Curry from scoring. They bump and throw him off the three point line, he still manage to get buckets in the lane. Even fouls don’t work. There’s nothing for the defender to do but throw up his hands in disgust like Kelly Oubre did at Oracle . Steph will steph regardless and crush your team into powder with every three made.
And yes, this is all in the same game.
Scoring binges that feel different
Watching Curry and Durant dominate together is always fascinating, especially given how each player compromise their individual games to mesh together. However, what really stands out in the Curry/Durant dynamic is the fact that their scoring binges aren't the same in magnitude.
It’s isn’t the fact that they rack up the points. That’s a given with those two. It’s all about the way that their scoring is perceived.
Never in my life have I heard a crowd react to a jump shot the ways fans react when Steph shoots ... his 3 are like the equivalent of someone getting dunked on the way it changes momentum— Bryan (@fresh_hefe) October 26, 2018
KD can have 40 & you still feel like you in the game, Steph gets 40 & that shit is demoralizing— Rational Bears Fan (@Scott_CEOofSUH) October 25, 2018
Kevin Durant is in one of those moods where you’ll just look up and he’ll be at 40— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) October 25, 2018
That's the biggest difference between the two in my opinion.— Carlos Murillo (@LosMurillo126) October 20, 2018
KD will slowly kill you.
Steph will incinerate you and then dance on your ashes in 2 minutes in the most extravagant way. https://t.co/HeoXdrnEjr
I could watch a random game and see Durant get his numbers and not think much of it until the game is nearly over. He would slowly pick defenses apart and get whatever he wants offensively, but I wouldn't know exactly how much he’s scored on any given night until I hear it from the commentator or see his line on the game’s computer graphic. It’s just like looking up suddenly and he’s scored 40.
On the other hand, I know when Curry snaps. Like one of the tweets said, Curry has a way of just annihilating a team on his own. When Steph Stephs, you just know it and it seems as if when he goes on his binges it’s feels like an entire game’s worth of scoring in a half a quarter.
Sometimes it’s not what you do but how you do it, and regarding the scoring dynamics of the two, it’s all in the methods.
KD’s “quiet” explosions
Durant’s offense is steady, methodical,and efficient. He can steadily run off 10 points in a quarter quietly because he tends to establish his game in the paint and midrange first before opening up opportunities from three.
Notice Durant’s first few shots in this highlight vid:
:26- baseline jumper
:57 - dunk
1:15 - running jumper/ and one
His first three came in the second quarter followed by a finger roll in the paint and another middy. Durant is very methodical in his approach to scoring because of his ability to work from the inside out and plus his tendency to iso in occasional match ups.
Steph’s “loud” barrages
Obviously for Curry, its about the volume of shots he take and where he takes them. Usually, he would attempt and open with a three. When that three is at least 35 ft out, it’s demoralizing for defenses .
Notice some of the three’s from Curry’s 51 points against the Wizards. The distance of them seems to be such a momentum booster and if the Warriors were behind, they would be a momentum-shifter.
At 1:28, it looks as if Curry is shooting five inches beyond the three point line while at 1;56 he launches it from near half court. In the third quarter (5;46 in the video), Curry launches it from the hash mark for a heat check.
Another thing that makes Curry’s points more amplified is the tendency for the points to be concentrated. It is no secret that he takes over the third quarter with his threes. He also takes it over with his gravity which provides floor spacing for easy buckets for him and others.
What’s really impressive and devastating is how well these styles are meshing. This stretch is the best stretch they’ve had as a duo. Let this sink in. Curry and Durant combined for 151 points while shooting 55-84 from the field in two games.
Pick your poison, NBA.