Kevin Durant is scoring 28.5 points a game, but one of the most efficient elite scorers ever — he had a ridiculous true shooting percentage of .635 this season — has been slowed down in the playoffs.
With Tony Allen being physical on him and good help defense (including Marc Gasol) Durant is shooting 39.6 percent this postseason, with a true shooting percentage of .493. He was 5-of-21 shooting in Game 4. You can see it is bothering him, with Durant rushing his usually fluid shot. The only games they are winning is when someone other than Durant or Russell Westbrook step up (such as Reggie Jackson’s 32 in Game 4).
Durant admitted that Tony Allen’s defense is starting to get into his head, reports Brian Windhorst at ESPN.
“I’m worrying about a guy coming from behind trying to block the shot,” Durant said. “I’ve just got to focus in on the rim and my shot. I can’t go out there and think too much, I have to let my instincts take over….
“I’m not being disciplined enough in my shot,” Durant said. “I’m either pulling it back too quick or shooting too quick.”
Can Durant find a comfort zone back at home in Game 5? You can say, “the Grizzlies can’t hold this great a scorer down forever” but they don’t need to hold him down forever, just keep him in check three more games. Don’t let him become the super efficient Durant from the regular season.
What matters more is if Durant gets some help. If it’s just him and Westbrook against the world Memphis will have the upper hand.