Few people understand basketball as well as Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant. And few people love talking about pure, unadulterated hoops as much as KD does.
For all the headlines Durant made for his media silence a few months ago when he didn’t want to address his upcoming free agency, the 10-time All-Star is always ready to break down the game.
At Wednesday’s practice, Durant delivered a few tremendous answers regarding his play, the team’s play, and how the Los Angeles Clippers are defending him. If you love hoops, you’ll want to listen.
Kevin Durant goes extremely in depth on the Clippers style of defense, the overhelp, why he won’t get caught up in a 1-on-1 battle with Patrick Beverley pic.twitter.com/nOdmTDY4yi— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 17, 2019
“Well, we had a nice flow of the game,” Durant said about what he saw when breaking down Monday’s contest. “Let’s go back to the last whole month of the season, we’ve been playing this way for a while. And we got to this series, Game 1 we had some nice momentum.
“They’re playing a gimmick defense, which has been working, top-locking everything on the perimeter. so guys not even looking at the three-point line, they’re just forcing guys inside the three point line. So for us, when I get the ball in my spots, you know I got a pest - Patrick Beverley, who’s up underneath me - who I can definitely shoot over the top and score every time if it’s a one-on-one situation. But we got a guy who’s dropping and helping, and then we got another guy that’s just sitting under me, waiting for me to dribble the basketball.
“If I put the basketball on the floor, I can probably make 43% of my shots if I shoot them like that, but that’s not really going to do nothing for us with the outcome of the game, ‘cause we got a nice flow, everybody touching the rock. Everybody shooting and scoring. So I’m not gonna get in the way of the game because I want to have a little back and forth with Patrick Beverley - I’m Kevin Durant. You know who I am. Y’all know who I am.”
Durant expanded further, when asked about if the Clippers were doing anything defensively that he’d never seen. Once again, his answer was outstanding.
“I’ve been playing against every defense,” Durant said. “It’s not just that type, but the constant help on my drives, the poking at the ball as I’m dribbling, the two guys rushing at me as I’m beating somebody off the dribble. That’s how I learned how to pass the ball, and to kind of be patient, be a little bit more patient before the catch. So I gotta set up shop sometimes, and clear out space so I can get my stuff going.
“But in this series it’s kind of weird because when the guy’s that small you got the advantage, but the refs see - we hear David and Goliath a lot growing up, so that story is pretty much prominent in people’s minds. So when you put that out there on the court against me, then the ref’s gonna give him a little bit more. So when he run up on me like a pitbull - grab me, hold me - I don’t mind it. That’s how he makes his money, that’s how he feeds his family. But if I throw something back, then let us play. You get what I’m saying? So I got four or five offensive fouls like that. I’m just trying to figure out each possession how I can be more effective without getting offensive fouls.”
Kevin Durant: Almost as fun to listen to talk about hoops as he is to watch play hoops.
In the series, Durant has taken just 24 shots, which has drawn the criticism of some, but the offense has performed incredibly well with him on the floor.