Before Game 5, Kyrie Irving was a scratch and James Harden a game-time decision, the Brooklyn Nets were in a perilous situation. Without his two co-stars, Kevin Durant and the Nets were in danger of losing the momentum and the series against the Milwaukee Bucks. For others, the pressure was too much. But KD was built different.
KD unleashed statement game
What was a must-win game for Brooklyn became a legacy-defining moment for Durant. He torched the Bucks with 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. KD played all 48 minutes and so efficiently did the damage with a 70 percent field goal percentage. It was a masterclass, and fans were all blessed to have witnessed it.
Had the Nets lost, the momentum would have clearly shifted to Milwaukee. No one wants to face Giannis Antetokounmpo in an elimination game with Eastern Finals berth on the line. KD knows that, and he did what almost no one had done before. He played 48 minutes in his first season back from the worst injury in basketball – a season in which he spent a lot of time in street clothes.
All NBA Team snub
The All-NBA Teams were announced earlier in the day. The First Team was composed of Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kawhi Leonard. Meanwhile, Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard, LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Julius Randle made the All NBA Second Team. The Third Team consisted of Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, and Kyrie Irving. Notice someone missing? No Kevin Durant at all. It was baffling to fans who even questioned why other players made the All-NBA teams.
Curiously, Brooklyn’s savior was not included. Granted that Durant missed games due to various injuries. But so did Jimmy Butler, LeBron James, Joel Embiid, and KD’s teammate Kyrie Irving. All of them missed games due to different reasons, yet made one of the teams.
Did Kyrie deserve to be named to the All-NBA Team?
Irving missed a lot of games this season. Some for injures and some for unexplained personal reasons. As we know, two times during the season, Kyrie bailed on the Nets, and not only did he ignore the media, but Irvin didn’t even give a heads up to the Nets! On the other hand, Durant just came back from an Achilles injury but came back impressively. The sweet-shooting forward was legit hurt in games that he missed. Rushing him back would have become a disaster for the Nets. Good thing he came back earlier than expected and showed no rust from the long layoff.
The former Finals MVP only played in almost half of the games in the shortened season this year. This probably affected the decision of the voters. In a standard season, that argument would make sense. But in a shortened season like this, with so many players missing games, it’s on thin ice. We know this will add extra fuel to Durant’s fire – that’s bad news for everyone else on the Playoffs.
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