The way Kevin Durant’s been shooting the basketball these days, questions about whether or not this guy is even human have the potential to be considered with complete seriousness. However, when the Brooklyn Nets welcome Durant and the rest of his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates to the Barclays Center on Friday night, they need to make Durant the least of their worries until the very end of a close contest.
As cold-blooded as Durant has been with at least 30 points in 12 straight games, Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd can’t put too much emphasis on trying to throw Durant completely off his game. Because the bottom line is that Durant – like any other superstar – can’t win a game by himself. The consistent play of his supporting cast has been just as important to the team’s current nine-game win streak as his red-hot shooting has been.
That’s not to say that the Nets would be completely fine with Durant going off for 40 or 50 tonight, but if their strategy is to continuously double-team him throughout the night the likes of Serge Ibaka, Jeremy Lamb, Reggie Jackson, etc. will certainly make them regret it with their athleticism.
The key for Brooklyn will be to not really try anything different than what has made them so successful in the month of January. So long as they swing the ball from side to side offensively, don’t turn it over and rotate in the half-court defense the way they have been, they should have an opportunity to come out on top in the final few minutes.
Durant is one of those rare talents who will usually get his one way or another, so the Nets are better off focusing on ways to not let anyone or anything else beat them.