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It’s make or break time for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, not just in terms of their Western Conference finals series against the San Antonio Spurs but perhaps the very survival of their Oklahoma City Thunder pairing.
The Thunder have dropped the first two games of the series by a combined 52 points and to say the natives are growing restless would be akin to saying Game 2s 35-point beatdown lacked any level of suspense.
That is, other than the uneasy alliance that now exists between the league’s MVP and top-scorer and arguably it’s most explosive talent being put on full and public display.
How ironic that Westbrook reportedly screamed “wake up” to Durant at a time when more and more of Hoops Nation have grown convinced it’s time to put their five-year union to bed.
“We butt heads just like any other players because we are both competitive,” Durant told reporters earlier this year. “We both want to go at it, we both have ideas. I don’t want any other point guard. We’re all competitive, especially me and him. We are going to have disagreements. That’s what all good players on good teams do.”
But the first two games of the Spurs series have been so one-sided it could easily have eternal repercussions for the Thunder franchise. In two years Durant stands to become a free agent and if he and Westbrook haven’t proven to themselves by then they can get over the hump that is the ultra-competitive Western Conference, the Slim Reaper may be ready to press on.
That Durant enjoyed his most dominant stretch of hoops in his six-year NBA career, going 41 games with at least 25 points, only adds more fuel to the bubbling inferno.
Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday in Oklahoma and more than the series, the long-term future that is Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook could be in play.
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