James Harden and Kevin Durant are Top 5 players in the game who are crumbling in the face of playoff pressure right now. Considered the perennial scorers of our day, both All-NBA studs have lost their shooting touches at the worst possible time. Theyve chosen the Western Conference Finals to play as poorly as they ever have in their lives. Its ironic and indicative of how the pressure of playoff ball and the cruelty of social media can quickly challenge everything you believed to be true about basketball.
They arent just struggling, they are looking tight. Every shot is short-armed. Sometimes Harden looks as if he is higher than Lil Wayne on a World Tour. A lil too much Jimi Hendrix and not enough P. Diddy on a Bad Boy reunion Tour.
Chris Paul tries to pump up a struggling James Harden, then immediately takes over the huddle during timeout #leadership https://t.co/byb6iPpjQU
And Durants back looks as if it has an entire planet on it. Draymond Green’s mom blasted him on Twitter in Game 1 and it’s been downhill ever since.
@samcbady @urkle9 What you talking about? It’s more to a game than shots! It left everyone else standing around never to get into position. SWING THE BALL. Pass the ball & around the 7 second mark take the shot(not at the 21 second mark). ISO ISO ISO!
It actually seems as if Durant is personally trying to prove her wrong as he’s gone iso in these playoffs more times than he has all season, according to ESPN’s Jalen Rose.
I know the greatest of players go through shooting slumps, but the playoffs arent the time for them to lay down and go into full sleep mode. Or start wildin out like a scrub.
Harden has been missing in action. The MVP who dominated the league with his scoring prowess and isolation madness shot 0-11 in the fourth quarter of Game 5. Hes missed his last 20 3-point attempts!
James Harden of the Houston Rockets scored 60 points, a career-high and franchise-record, to go along with 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the first ever 60-point triple-double in NBA history. Top Performers Which players owned the night? Catch up on all the top individual performances around the league in the Top Performers series.
He’s so far from the player he was in January, at times he’s unrecognizable on the court. Like his soul was snatched by alien invaders.
Thats just inconceivable considering the stakes. Or maybe its just who Harden is because this offensive ineptitude in the playoffs has become a habit. Every playoff it’s the same song.
James Harden is struggling again. He’s now a combined 18-for-60 this series. #HOUvsPOR
Statistically, he’s a dude that just cant take the pressure. Im not knocking his greatness as a scorer on most days, but late May playoff games are a different beast and you have to be built for the marathon.
If not for the equally woeful shooting exploits of Kevin Durant — especially in the fourth quarters of Games 4 and 5– and the fact that CP3, Eric Gordon, and PJ Tucker all picked up the slack and made key buckets down the stretch, Harden would be getting dragged through the social media mill.
KD has gone from NBA finals MVP to a guy that looks a bit shook and unsure on the court. A superstar with pressure on his back that doesnt seem tuned into the rest of his team. Durant was brought to Golden State to be the ultimate closer. He was added to a mix that had already won an NBA championship and last season he played his role to perfection, staying focused and lethal and offensively dominating LeBron James in head ups during the finals.
Kevin Durant, where ya been at during the 4th quarter and down the stretch the last couple games? https://t.co/dYAarwgQqA
On Thursday night, when the Warriors needed him to come through, Durant came up short shooting 0-for-4 from the field in the fourth quarter. The unstoppable offensive machine that is Durant couldn’t muster a bucket in the most important quarter of the season. In fact, hes 0-9 in the last two fourth quarters from the field, which makes those close loses harder to blame on anybody but KD.
According to Michelle Beadle on ESPN, hes scored just 18 points on 3-of-12 shooting since the first quarter of Golden States gut-wrenching Game 5 loss.
In the words of Keith Sweat, one of contemporary R&Bs legendary pioneers, Something, something just ain’t right.