MVP Kevin Durant scored 30 points or more in eight of 13 games playoff games prior to the start of Oklahoma City Thunder‘s Western Conference Finals matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. Contrary to that stat, KD has yet to score over 28 points in the series so far, even scoring as low as 15 points in Game 2. It’s not clear exactly what’s bothering Durant, but most of the credit should go to the Spurs’ gritty effort on the defensive end. The league’s Most Valuable Player — who averaged 32 points per game during the regular season — is only shooting a playoff-low 43 percent through three games in the series.
Knowing Durant, he isn’t going to continue to shoot at low percentages. He’s poised to strike at any moment and I believe it will come tonight in Oklahoma City. If things do not go their way, this could be the Thunder’s last home game of the season. That said, Durant should be ready to strike. The most field-goal attempts for Durant in the series is 19 — shooting 19 times in Games 1 and 3. Tonight, Durant has to indeed take matters into his own hands and shoot at least 25 times in order to ensure his team has a chance to win.
With Serge Ibaka back in the lineup, the Thunder will have more possessions. Ibaka’s presence on the defensive end will force the Spurs into bad shots and multiple turnovers, giving KD the opportunity to hoist up shots in hopes of making them. Knowing the situation his team is in, Durant should be aiming to score around 35 or more points, but 50 wouldn’t be too much. Russell Westbrook is going to get his shots regardless, whether we like it or not. He has that killer instinct that Durant sometimes lacks, even though Durant is still “the guy” in OKC.
With the Thunder facing a 3-1 deficit tonight, Durant will surely be looking to dominate in every facet of the game. I’m confident the Thunder will walk away with a victory on their home court since Durant knows he hasn’t played his best basketball through three tough games.