Gazing At Game Two...Can K-D Come Back?

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:22 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Apr 19, 2010 6:12 PM CDT

I watched Kevin Durant struggle through the Thunders opening-game loss to the Lakers Sunday.&#160; I listened to the experts tell me that Ron Artest did a great job defensively and scoffed at that notion.&#160; Durant just missed several open shots that he hits regularly hits 8 out of 10 times.&#160; </P>The stat line was not pretty for K-D.&#160; 24 points, but on 7 of 24 shooting, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range.&#160; He also turned the ball over 4 times.</P>I decided to alleviate the fears of Thunder fans everywhere and take a look back at the first career playoff game for some of the NBAs biggest stars.&#160; I figured, surely, someone else struggled in his postseason debut.</P>Heres what I found:</P><BR/>Kobe Bryant was a non-factor for the Lakers in his debut.&#160; 19-year-old Kobe was little-used as a rookie anyway.&#160; His opening-game playoff stat line of 2 points in 1 minute of play in an 18-point win over the Trailblazers was underwhelming at best.&#160; Cheer up Thunder fans, Kobes 4 title rings are proof that that sometimes it takes time. </P>LeBron James could not have been better.&#160; In the first game of the 2006 playoffs the king became the just the third player ever to post a triple-double in his first career playoff game.&#160; 21-year-old (same as Durant currently) LeBron delivered 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the Cavaliers 97 to 86 win over the Wizards.&#160; Okay, hes a freak.&#160; Lets cancel that comparison.</P>In 2007, Magic star Dwight Howard was predictably good in his first playoff game.&#160; Superman scored 13 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.&#160; But, alas, his Magic lost to the Pistons.</P>The best first-game comparison that I could find for Durant was Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony.&#160; In the opening game of the 2004 playoffs, a 19-year-old Melo scored 19 points on 6 of 17 shooting as the Nuggets lost to the Timberwolves.&#160; Lets hope, for Thunder fans, that the comparison stops there because it got worse for Melo.&#160; He finished the series 21 of 64 from the floor, including 2 points on 1 for 6 from the floor in the final game.&#160; The Nuggets were beaten in 4 games (first round series were only best of 5 back then) by the T-Wolves.&#160; </P>What does all of this mean for Durant and the Thunder?&#160; Nothing.&#160; Sundays game was just one game in what is going to be a brilliant career for Durant.&#160; In my opinion, what bodes well for the Thunder as we move toward game two is that It does not take them long to learn from their mistakes.&#160; &#160;&#160;I still believe L-A will win game two, but it will be closer and require some squirming on their p<BR/>