Thunder Shock

Kevin Durant has suffered a fractured foot and will miss 6-8 weeks or about the first month of the season.
Durant is suffering from what is called “Jones” fracture. This is terrible news for basketball fans everywhere.

This is a tough loss for the Oklahoma City Thunder with the season just around the corner. The Thunder are one of the hand full of teams with realistic aspirations to make it to and win the NBA Finals. Durant is coming off of his MVP season where he carried the Thunder for the majority of the season with his running mate having and recovering from knee procedures. Durant was on tear last year. He is undoubtedly the second best player in the league, I know Durant doesn’t like hearing that from people. He isn’t far off from catching Lebron James. What Durant is missing is what alluded Lebron for many years and that’s an NBA championship.

Unfortunately for Durant his season is already off to a rocky start. Obviously this isn’t how Durant wanted to defend his MVP. The recovery time usually associated with this injury is 6-8 weeks. But that doesn’t include getting back into NBA shape or being in the type of shape Durant would what to be in. It’s crazy to think that Durant withdrew from Team USA after seeing Paul George suffer a season ending injury during an intra-squad scrimmage game to prevent himself from getting hurt and get some much needed rest. Yet one week into the preseason and he’s on the shelf , It goes to show you that you can get hurt anytime anywhere.

What will be really interesting to watch while Durant is out is how Russell Westbrook responds and carries the team in Durant’s absence. By now you either are a fan of Westbrook or not. There really is no middle ground with him, he’s that polarizing as a player. He’s been criticized sometimes unfairly of being too selfish. So it will be fun to watch Westbrook have the greenest light he’s ever had in the NBA for 6-8 weeks as he tries to keep the Thunder afloat till Durant can return, which he is more than capable to do. Westbrook averaged better numbers with Durant not on the floor. Westbrook is arguably the most athletic point guard the league has ever seen. The one thing that Westbrook does great is attacking the rim and either finishing or kicking out to an open shooter. Westbrook is an explosive offensive player and he will unleashed in the beginning of the season. And I can’t wait to see him play under these conditions

However, the absence of Durant will be felt because as great as Westbrook is he can’t as Stephen A. Smith would say on the ESPN FIRST TAKE “pull up from 30!!”. Kevin Durant will go down as one of the greatest scorers in the NBA and one of the greatest to play the game of basketball. Durant is a matchup nightmare for every team. He can shot over anyone and has handles of guard. What makes Durant such a unique player is his ability to play off-ball and get open for open jumpers. This is something that Westbrook doesn’t necessarily do well, it’s not part of his game. Westbrook usage rate will be the highest in league during Durant’s absence. It’s all on Westbrook and see if he can lead the team and be the alpha dog.

The Thunder will be fine for the first month or so without its all-star forward in Kevin Durant, if he only misses that much time, but he will definitely be missed. I just can’t wait to see “The Westbrook Show” to begin as it will be must watch tv. Russell Westbrook “you’re the real MVP.”

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4 thoughts on “Thunder Shock

  1. Good post Isaac. I really followed Durant’s progress last season and with a little luck, they could be the next NBA Champion. The Spurs are getting a little older and the Clippers are an up and coming group. I don’t see anyone in the East Conference other than, perhaps, Indiana as a threat.

    On another topic, no ALCS game today because of rain. That means that there will be no off days the rest of the series. Hopefully, that won’t hurt the Royals.

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  2. Nice read. I really do think the Thunder will be fine and that Russell Westbrook will but up some unbelievable numbers. They might drop off a little, but it won’t be as big of a topic as all the thunderous dunks he is going to throw down in KD’s absence.

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  3. one of the first things i said what is was very ironic he ended up injured…i think the Paul George injury scared him with FIBA and he used the fatigue excuse as an out…extra rest certainly doesn’t hurt but here we are…on the shelf likely for a couple months plus..Westbrook will be fun to watch going solo Alpha for a while and this is an excellent chance for the rest of the team to explore the extra freedom in their roles in the short term

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  4. The best thing about Durant being down as I mentioned in my blog is that this team is used to playing without one-half of their dynamic 1-2 punch. IN the playoffs the year before they were without Westbrook and got swept by Memphis. A year after losing to eventual champion San Antonio Spurs they will be without, arguably, the best player in the game in Durant. This first month or more (maybe less) will truly show if westbrook is a product of playing alongside Durant or if he too can carry a franchise while running the floor as a pass-first pg. This should only help the role players build their confidence and establish their respective games. OKC’s biggest problem has been the bench play and that is whats separating them from a return trip to the Finals and potentially winning the Larry O’ Brien trophy. I enjoyed the piece sir and read a few others as well. Definitely good stuff !

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