Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors goes up for a shot against the San Antonio Spurs during Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)

Cedric Golden

American-Statesman Staff

Column

Golden: Durant’s dominance has made NBA Finals a mismatch

Texas ex two wins from first NBA title

Posted June 6th, 2017

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Story highlights
  • Durant has scored 66 points through the first two games of the NBA Finals.
  • Golden State leads Cleveland 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
  • Durant is much more active on both ends than he was with Oklahoma City.
  • Golden State would have still be favored to win the 2017 title had Durant not signed in the offseason.

Kevin Durant has been all over the place in the NBA Finals — making threes, dunking, blocking shots, leading the break, rebounding.

And winning.

The Texas ex  was always great in Oklahoma City, but many of us remember many Thunder games when he would camp out in the corner with his hands on his knees away from the play.

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We’re not seeing the same Durant with this energetic Golden State team. He’s more active on both ends than he has ever been, whether it’s beating LeBron James on backdoor cuts or providing great defensive help with his 7-5 wingspan.

KD is playing as if his last meal was on the line.

Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors goes up for a shot against the San Antonio Spurs during Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)

Dude’s a perennial All-Star who always played hard but he’s playing much harder with a Warriors team that would have been favored to win the 2017 title even had he not signed in the offseason. Durant is halfway to a Finals MVP and a championship ring and while there is the perception he jumped on the Golden State bandwagon, a blind man could see that he’s the best player on this team.

Through two games of the Finals, he’s scored 66 points. Harrison Barnes, the guy he replaced, scored 65 in seven Finals games in 2016. Massive upgrade.

With that said, a rematch between these two teams sans Durant would have made for more of an entertaining series, especially with Klay Thompson’s shooting struggles before he regained his stroke in Game 2. Simply put, when a 73-9 team adds one of the best scorers in league history, what we’ve seen through the first two games is bound to happen.

As the venue switches to Cleveland for Game 3, this series feels like a sweep or a Golden State win in five games.

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