Ex-NBA Champion Discusses Kevin Durant’s Improved Performance in Phoenix

‣ Kevin Durant’s role in the Phoenix Suns is evolving, with the player not only scoring but also contributing significantly as a playmaker.
‣ ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins believes that the Suns’ success is largely due to the coaching staff, particularly head coach Frank Vogel.
‣ Despite their offensive strengths, Perkins suggests that the Suns need to improve their defensive game, particularly highlighting the importance of Jusuf Nurkic’s role as the playoffs approach.

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The Suns are on fire, folks. They’ve just bagged their seventh consecutive win, toppling the Mavericks this Wednesday. And guess who’s shining bright? Kevin Durant. He’s not just scoring, he’s back to being the playmaker we all know and admire.

Durant, a seasoned forward, scored a modest 12 points in the recent game. But he also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 7 assists, helping Phoenix to a 132-109 victory over Dallas. Kendrick Perkins, a former teammate, reckons we’re seeing a new KD, a side of him that’s been hidden for a while.

“Right now, we’re witnessing a polished Kevin Durant,” Perkins, now an ESPN analyst, shared in a recent interview. “When he’s in his zone, everyone watching is like, ‘That’s going in.’ And he believes it’s going in.” Perkins added, “It’s a joy to share the floor with him. Even better to watch him as a fan and a student of the game.”

Frank Vogel, commenting on Durant’s performance, said, “That’s the beauty of this win. Kevin Durant scores 12 points. He had 10 boards, seven assists and he’s perfectly fine scoring just 12 points because we got the W.”

After 36 matches this season, Durant is playing like he’s turned back the clock. He’s averaging 29.6 points on 53.1% shooting from the field and 46.4% from beyond the arc. Plus, he’s pulling down 6.3 rebounds and handing out 5.6 assists in 37.1 minutes per game.

Many attribute Phoenix’s winning streak to their Big 3 being healthy and finding their rhythm. But Perkins thinks the credit should go to the coaching staff. He believes the key is trust in their head coach. “The thing about the Phoenix Suns is the word ‘trust’ comes to mind,” Perkins said. “They need to trust Frank Vogel. Frank Vogel is a hell of a coach. Frank Vogel knows what the hell he’s doing.”

Perkins continued, “The success has been Kevin Durant taking over the game. But I think you’re starting to see the spirit there. The more KD trusts Frank Vogel, the rest will follow. Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Grayson Allen will follow.”

Perkins also touched on the importance of Nurkic’s defense for a championship run. Despite the Suns’ offensive prowess, Perkins believes they still need to improve defensively. He emphasized the role of Jusuf Nurkic, saying his defensive intensity will be crucial as the playoffs approach.

“I’d like to see a bit more from Nurkic on the defensive side,” Perkins said. “He needs to embrace that defensive role like Anthony Davis has done. He’s made major strides, but for them to reach the NBA Finals, Nurkic will be key.”

Devin Booker, who scored a whopping 46 points against the Mavericks, said he feels extra motivated when playing stronger teams. “When teams have a recent playoff series against each other, it just heightens the atmosphere,” he said. “The media does a good job of continuing it because they know it gets traction, which is good for the game, it’s good for viewership. I have no personal problem with anybody from Dallas, no fans or anything.”

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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