Durant Will Wear Extra Minutes Well

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HOUSTON — Scott Brooks
says there’s a reason he sometimes wears glasses to TV interviews.

“I’m trying to look smarter than I am,” joked the Thunder coach.

That said, after playing Kevin Durant for all but 44 seconds of Game 3 on Saturday night against the Rockets, Brooks won’t be foolish enough to wear out his top dog.

Durant will likely have to bump up his scoring a bit in the absence of the injured Russell Westbrook from the lineup. Durant will have to handle the ball more, get the offense started and carry more of the overall burden. But that doesn’t mean he’ll become a marathon man.

“We’ll keep an eye on Kevin’s minutes and not try to just wear him out right down to the floor,” Brooks said. “It worked out that we needed him to play a lot of minutes the other night, but that wasn’t my intention.

“Actually, I wanted to get Kevin out for a rest in the first half for about five or six minutes. But Fish (Derek Fisher) got this third foul and Reggie (Jackson) already had fouls, so I needed Kevin to stay in the game to run the point.

“The other thing you’ve got to remember is that Kevin’s a player, a basketball player, and he just loves to play. You see that every time he steps onto the floor.”

Anyone could see that on Sunday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse on the campus of Rice University, where the Thunder arrived for a light practice and Durant chafed at not being allowed on the court.

“I feel great,” Durant said. “I really want to practice right now, but they told me I can’t.”

The Thunder will try to keep a rein on Durant on off-days and Brooks will try to plan his in-game rests around the TV timeouts that are usually longer during the playoffs. But taking him off the floor through a full timeout with several commercials, Durant can often get five to six minutes of real-time rest while minimizing the time he’s out of the games.

The truth is Durant has been a high-volume player in the five years the Thunder have been in Oklahoma City. The 38.5 minutes per game he averaged in the regular season this year is the lowest since was a rookie in Seattle and Durant still played the second most minutes in the league.

“Ill try to get as much rest as I can and when the game rolls around just press on the gas and get ready to play. Whatever, if he decides to pull me or to keep me in the game, I’m cool with it. I’m just gonna give it my all.”

Oh, to be 24.

Series Hub: Thunder vs. Rockets

35 Comments

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  2. Gary Payton says:

    Spurs are ready to run at title!!

  3. Jintan says:

    I’m an OKC fan but I believe a healthy Spurs will beat an non-westbrook OKC team. Unless Durant finally shows the flashes of his huge potential. Then They could win but Duncan, Parker, Ginobli and the whole strong and serious Spurs as a whole is too much. I’m sure that even Lebron by himself without another “star” (Kevin Martin is not right now lol) wouldnt beat this Spurs either.

  4. Worn-out Durant & OKC vs. Well-Rested Duncan & SPURS …

    SImply means: SPURS will win the Western Conference Finals.

    GO SPURS GO !!!

  5. Damian says:

    It’s gonna be a great excuse (losing westbrook) for thunder when they lose to spurs in the conf finals. that injury is very strange cause he played that game until the end and suddenly it occurs that he has an injury that makes him end the season, like they know they are losing to spurs so whatever, let durant score as many points as he wants, we’re losing anyway

    • try harder says:

      Another fortune teller. It wouldnt suprise me if last year you predicted that SA would swept OKC. OKC might not beat the Heat but SA is no match for them. Wait and see.

  6. SYDALE says:

    The Thunder have thugs on their team??? LOL Maybe Perkins… But, seriously, this is playoff basketball… You’re supposed to rough up the other team somewhat… No one called Patrick Beverly a thug when he took out Westbrook’s knee…

    Anyway… This is a time where Durant can show his mettle… and, it’s not like he’s old…

    Jordan and Iverson always played 40+ min per game in the playoffs…

  7. Tony says:

    I havent seen Durant take this many shots before but yesterday Anthony took more than him. He shot 10 out of 35, plus 20 free throw, that alot of shots….

  8. MJfromOKC says:

    The Kevin Durant timeout steal on Lin is hilarious. It looks like he just hangs his head and wants to cry.

    Expect no quarter from OKC. Beverly started it by injuring Westbrook on a timeout ball.

    OKCs first offensive play of the game was a nice hard screen from Perk, that was for you, Fran B.

    • TT says:

      Good riddance of Lin-liability. Tic-for-tac move by KD. He probably can’t stand Lin-liability slowing down the entire Rockets team. Houston Rockets will be better off without him. We shall see tonight, guys!

  9. Derreck says:

    As for now..my prediction is going well : finals: SAS v CHI :) Please Bulls knock Miami off!! :)

  10. Duv says:

    Come on Rockets! Show some fight and bury these Sonics, ummm, Thunder THUGS! IBAKA, I hope Asik smashes you in Game 4, but Asik is a genuine big man and not thug piece of trash like you!

  11. Shank says:

    44 sec rest in a game with the lead of 26 points reflects bad on coaching. Would hate to see KD become ball hog like KB. WB injury opens up west for SA or resurging GSWs. OKC will miss harden through rest of the playoffs. Good luck OKC!

    • OKCKD35 says:

      what part of “my other 2 point guards had early foul trouble so I had to keep Kevin in the game” did you not understand?

      • Cinde~fukin~rella says:

        It’s called accountability. The 2 guards should’ve been able to do their part and stay in the game without fouling. Coaching obviously doesn’t have the faith in the players to do so. Yes, they secured a 3-0 lead but at what cost? KD is young but it’s atill a long road ahead. He could’ve been injured and taking the chance is not worth it.

  12. ant chung says:

    OKC has no chance of winning th e title this year…..especially without westbrook…..

  13. RocketsThunderFan says:

    Durant will be great w/ the extra minutes and other Thunder guys will step up as the post season progresses. I’m interested to see how Durant progresses without Westbrook, though I much prefer Westbrook to still be playing. I still think OKC will take the West. Ibaka, Sefolosha, Martin, Collison Jackson, etc. are all talented and can step up to be the second star.

  14. Anon says:

    Lol, Durant plays all but 44 seconds in game 3, people start worrying about him and people tell him it’s too much for him to take. Really shows how much of a beast Kobe was this season at the age of 34.

    • eris says:

      But Kobe was the precautionary tale, and his injury is pretty much why they’re concerned about Durant’s minutes. obviously Kobe’s an excellent player, but we can’t look down at KD as if he couldn’t handle the same thing. Brooks just doesn’t want to take the chance, so he’s justifiably going the way of Popovich rather than D’Antoni

  15. uzair says:

    OKC still has a small chance of going to the finals. I still think they can beat san antonio

  16. silencio says:

    I used to think kevin durant was a humble nice guy but this year he showed that he’s just a thug, including purposely aggravating Lin’s injury.

    • eris says:

      You can still be a humble and nice guy, even when you make mistakes based on over-emotional judgements. I thought it was completely unnecessary, but it didn’t make him as a “thug”

      • TT says:

        KD did not try to re-aggravate Lin-liability’s injury deliberately. It was an accident. He was going for the ball and he got called for the personal foul, that’s all. Kevin McHale should realise that there are players on his roster that can replace Lin-liability anytime, anywhere.

  17. rick says:

    too much for kevin.. he’s forcing to many tough shot

  18. Chuckkk says:

    That said, after playing Kevin Durant for all but 44 seconds of Game 3 on Saturday night against the Rockets, Brooks won’t be foolish enough to wear out his top dog. <<<Uhmm,,, 44 seconds? or Minutes?

  19. STAR89 says:

    It is nice that Kevin plays a lot as the team needs him but don’t make the same mistake the lakers did with Kobe. OKC was winning the game by 26 and his coach was not able to get him some rest. In my opinion they won’t even get to the west finals that way. so Miami is winning it all again.

  20. amitpal says:

    I thought he did get worn out in the second half. Playing the entire game while trying to carry the whole offense is asking to much from one player. Scott should have taken durant out during the 26 point lead and maybe the rockets would have never caught up but oh well. Scott just needs to make sure durant has some rest next game.

  21. NBA fan says:

    bitter KD will not get his 1st ring this year