Originally posted on Extra Pine Tar  |  Last updated 5/17/12

If the Lakers had any hope at this series it dissapeared last night with this shot. Maybe if Mike Brown wasn’t the Coach then I would have some faith that Kobe could go all Kobe, but until The Black Mamba officially becomes the player-coach – the Lakers are going to find themselves going through stretches like they did in the end of the 4th quarter.

Can anyone explain to me how Brown wasn’t able to get the ball into Bynum when he had been outplaying Perkins the whole game? I think it has something to do with the fact that the Lakers had Bynum just standing about a foot outside of the paint with his hand in the air while Perk fronted him. The length of Durant on the other side made a pass over the top impossible and Bynum was rendered basically useless.

So then the Lakers offense evolved in to some kind of Kobe Bryant fade-away contest in which Kobe could neitehr lose or win, because he wasn’t playing against anybody. Bryant couldn’t see anything but the hoop and that tunnel vision resulted in poor shot after poor shot.

Through it all the Lakers still had a chance at the end and got a great look by Steve Blake in the corner. People miss shots, sure, and I bet if Blake took another wide open three right after that one he would make it – but how can Ramon Sessions just not get any minutes down the stretch? It’s Steve Blake for Christ’s sake. So he hit a couple threes the other night – big deal. Teams don’t even respect  Blake enough to not leave him wide open in the corner for three when his team is trailing by two.

The Thunder may have taken a huge step last night, but they tried as hard as they could to hand that game to the Lakers. Before this shot, Durant had missed a couple threes that would have been absolute daggers. What I love about him, though, is that those two misses didn’t even register. Kobe has that in him – where misses aren’t even a blip on the radar because he is absolutely positive the next one is going in. And if it doesn’t? So the **** what? I’m Kobe Bryant and I’m ******* better than you.

Well, Durant is Kobe + 3.5 inches – 1,000,000,000,000 NBA minutes + a better outside shot.

I know Lebron won the MVP and with his defense he may be a more complete player than Durant – even with his spotty free throw shooting and lack of consistent 3pt shooting – but on the offensive end, there is no comparison Durant. He’s 6’10 so the only other person who’s that size doing that is Dirk and Durant is a better ball handler and just overall more athletic than Dirk. Wade and Lebron can’t shoot like that on a nightly basis, and Durant was showing last night that when he drives to the basket there’s really nothing you can do about it. He’s George Gervin and Bob McAdoo’s love child who graduated from the Tracy McGrady School of Ballhandling for Guy’s 6’8 and Above. And what seperates Durant from many of the young superstars today – save for the D Rose – is that he gets mean.

I saw a question posed by ESPN, I think, that was basically – “If the Thunder win the championship, is Kevin Durant the best player in the world?” And I think the answer is unequivocally, yes. The only other player that is in Durant’s class is Lebron James – the MVP who a championship is the only thing lacking. If Durant gets a championship before Lebron does? It’s not even a question.

Kevin Durant and the Thunder appear to be ready to take that extra step and take their place at the top of basketball. Luckily, for us, they still have to play the games, because we get to watch Kevin Durant play every other night.

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