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Kevin Durant: A near seven-foot who can play basketball like a 6-3 shooting guard

The 6-foot 9-inch forward proved to be an increasingly difficult matchup. Durant could shoot over or run past post defenders and over smaller guards. Beginning with the 2009–10 season, the dynamic Durant led the NBA in total points for five straight seasons and in scoring average four times (he finished second in 2012–13). In his dominant 2013–14 MVP season, he set career highs of 32 points and 5.5 assists per game (along with 7.4 rebounds per contest). The following season saw Durant play in just 27 games because of a fracture in his right foot and a troubled recovery process. He returned to form in 2015–16, averaging 28.2 points per game and a career-high 8.2 rebounds per contest that season. In the playoffs, Durant led the Thunder to a 3–1 series lead in the conference finals over the Golden State Warriors, who had set an NBA record during the regular season by amassing 73 victories, but Oklahoma City ultimately lost the series in seven games. During the following off-season, Durant shocked the NBA by leaving the Thunder in free agency to sign with the Warriors.

Despite playing on the most talented team of his career, Durant continued to thrive with the Warriors, scoring 25.1 points per game while helping Golden State post the most wins in the league (67). The Warriors then set an NBA record by opening the postseason with 12 straight victories en route to a Western Conference title. The team’s dominance continued in the NBA finals, as the Warriors lost just one game to the Cleveland Cavaliers en route to capturing the league championship. Durant averaged 35.2 points per game in the finals and was named Finals MVP for his performance. Durant averaged 26.4 points and a career-high 1.8 blocks per game during the 2017–18 regular season. He once again excelled in the playoffs, leading the Warriors to another NBA title with a sweep of the Cavaliers. His stellar play in the finals, he averaged 28.7 points per game and earned his second finals MVP award.

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