Should Durant Continue Guarding James?
It was a noble approach. It certainly gave us the dream matchup, something to snap photos of and bask in the drama of. It was as exciting as it could get. The two best players in basketball, head to head, guarding one another.
LeBron James guarding Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant guarding LeBron James. The Heat eventually elected to do what they most often do, switching up coverage constantly to confuse and harrass their opponent while managing minutes and effort. Shane Battier gets a go, Dwyane Wade some, and James carries more than his fair share. It hasn’t worked, but they knew it wouldn’t. They’re not trying to stop Kevin Durant, because you can’t stop Kevin Durant. They’re just trying to contain him. You have to live with Kevin Durant’s jumpshot. It’s unstoppable.
But Durant has consistently gotten looks at James. It’s been an admirable attempt by Scott Brooks to give his superstar the challenge of a lifetime, to be truly great, and Durant has taken on the responsibility. He has given a great effort, for a time.
That time is over.