“Leonard, he wasn’t a superstar in the past…” Durant ahead of an exciting showdown

Durant and Leonard clash from the first round.

The Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers will begin the 2023 NBA Playoffs Round 1 schedule, starting with Game 1 at the Phoenix Footprint Center on the 17th (hereinafter Korean time).

As the play-in tournament concluded on the 15th, eight teams were determined to participate in the Western Conference playoffs. In the match between Minnesota and Oklahoma City, Minnesota was the team that won the last playoff ticket.

The first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, with many interesting matchups. Among them, the clash between Phoenix and Clippers is one of the series that is receiving a lot of attention메이저사이트.

The biggest battle between the two teams in the first round series is the battle of pride between superstar forwards Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. Only one of the league’s top two forwards can secure a ticket to the second round.

Durant and Leonard are players who have been called the best forwards of their time along with LeBron James. It is the first time the two players face each other in the playoffs since the 2019 Finals, when they were in Golden State and Toronto, respectively. However, it is difficult to say that a head-to-head match was made because Durant could not properly participate in the series due to the aftermath of an injury at the time. 

Although they have excellent skills, the paths the two players have taken are somewhat different. While Durant, from the 2nd overall pick in the 2007 draft, has been active as the team’s ace, raising an average of over 20 points since his debut season, Leonard, who was picked outside the lottery (15th overall in 2011), has stepped up from a role player to his current position. . 

The two players, ahead of the fierce battle, showed respect for each other and expressed their anticipation for the match. 

First, Durant said, “I think it would be fun to match up with (Kawai) Leonard. When Leonard played against him as a kid, he wasn’t as superstar as he is now. So I watched his development over time. That’s really cool. It was a thing,” he said.

“It’s really hard to match up with Leonard, but when I watch his game, I think it’s great. Leonard is a player who raises the level of his teammates around him every time he steps on the court,” he praised.

Leonard also said, “Kevin Durant is a great player. It’s fun to go out on the court and compete with people like him every year. Durant maintains that performance year after year. It’s a challenge that everyone should do, not just me.” raised up 

Regarding Durant’s strengths, “The ability to create shots is one of the reasons Durant has risen to such a position. He shows that every year and has high efficiency. He succeeds in shooting in any space regardless of direction.” he explained.

In a short-term game where momentum is important, the team that wins the first game can lead the series to an advantage. Who will laugh in the first game of the series between Durant and Leonard?

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