Brooklyn Nets Stud From Loss vs New Orleans Pelicans: Kevin Durant
Another unfortunate theme from last year was on full display last night — the Brooklyn Nets playing poorly while Kevin Durant puts them on his back.
While Durant’s efforts were not enough to keep the Nets afloat, he put together a dandy of a performance. The Slim Reaper dropped 32 points, shooting 11-21 from the field. He also put in work at the line, going 8-9 from the charity stripe.
Durant also stepped up at the defensive end, coming away with a steal and tallying four blocked shots. That tied a career-high mark with the Nets for him and also included a loud one on Brandon Ingram that closed the first half.
The only thing concerning with Durant’s efforts last night stems from how it might affect his mindset. Everything he spoke about this offseason relating to why he originally made his trade request was on full display. He was once again asked to play “hero ball” and his faith in the organization to build a winning team around him had to have taken a hit.
You never want to overreact after a first game and Durant likely understands that as well. He knows better than anyone how long a season is. However, the Nets could have made a statement to the league and to KD last night by playing well around him rather than leaning on him entirely.
It’s a shame when a standout performance from Durant results in a missed opportunity at large for the team, but that’s what you get with an opening night wash like the one we just witnessed. We know he’ll keep it up — hopefully the team follows.