I think this year, it's just been harder overall, just because of the cumulative wear and tear of the journey. But we should probably go back to Kevin Durant, shouldn't we? The signature play was his go-ahead pull-up jumper from 3-point range with 45 seconds left in Game 3, which he swished with LeBron in his face.
Game 1 was hardly Durant's best performance.
After that experience, Durant didn't dispute the growing notion that he was one of the game's top five players, or perhaps No. 2 after LeBron.
More often than not, Durant playing inside the flow of the Warriors' offense meant he was facing off against George Hill and J.R. Smith, as the Cavs wanted to keep James from having to expend energy guarding Durant. "Just tried to take my time".
Eventually, the Cavs started putting James on Durant, who kept scoring, though his flawless night from the field was broken (he started the game 5-for-5).
So it's not entirely surprising that he would mention wanting the validation of those he looks up to in the league.
The opening game of this series reflected Durant's entire postseason. He was an elite player before he went to Golden State.
Durant can take some credit for helping slow down James, who dropped from 51 points in Game 1 to 29 in Game 2, with his defense as well. "I thought our defense was subpar the other night". "He was getting after it". So I just get back to work tomorrow and figure out a better game plan.
Can he be that player again, with the trophy on the line? That's how talented he is.
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As Anderson said: "I have to rebound quickly and I can't really dwell on it for too long". The overall path remains upward, but this is one he will want to forget.
Durant contested 10 shots in Game 2, second on the Warriors to Green - he also recovered four loose balls and deflected two passes.
Yes, Durant was active.
"Different game, different season, different feel", Durant shrugged afterward, knowing full well how similar it was to the one he hit last season and knowing what it means right now.
It's obvious that Kevin Durant has found his stride as a member of the Golden State Warriors.
"As you try to lock in on the details as much as possible, that luck factor - good luck, bad luck - you don't have it creep in if you figure out the detail parts", Durant said. "Good defense, good, intense defense and excellent offense". "I mean, the fact they're saying KD had a bad game is kind of amusing, just with what you expect from him every night". I didn't plan on anything else, but this is the National Basketball Association, and anything can happen.
The Warriors hope to be far better with a chance to take a 2-0 series lead before the series shifts to Northwest Ohio.
"It has yet to be decided what contractual route Durant will take, sources say, but there are no real incentives - for himself or for the team - to take such a drastic reduction in pay this time", ESPN reports.
Keep this up, and the Warriors won't have to play another home game this year.