Durant comes up short in big moment - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Durant comes up short in big moment

Cleveland (WOIO) - Kevin Durant is not LeBron James. He's not Michael Jordan. And he's not Kobe Bryant. I have to admit, I wanted him to be. Especially last year, when he and the Thunder took on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. And he may get there, someday. But he's not there yet.

I'm not talking about titles, although Durant will certainly be judged differently until he wins one. I'm talking about big moments. I'm talking about big shots. I'm talking about missing an 18-foot open jumper to tie, in the final seconds on Wednesday, as the Thunder were knocked out by the Grizzlies in five.

I get it, Durant was forced to carry the load in this series. Russell Westbrook, the Robin to his Batman, and a player who'd likely be the "A" guy on most other teams, is out. And James Harden, the other key player in last year's run to the Finals, is in Houston. But that's when superstars elevate the others around them. That's when they have to carry the load. LeBron did it in 2007.

The Memphis Grizzlies are a good team, much better than many people thought. They deserve credit. But for Kevin Durant to throw down only 21 against 'em in a must-win situation, well, it's not awful. It's not even bad. But it's certainly not greatness.


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