The playoffs can’t come soon enough as the Suns take on the Clippers in the first round, a series where everyone will be watching the contest between former OKC teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
The pair played eight seasons together in Oklahoma and had a formidable record (331-195) in the regular season and a 47-35 playoff record, but their relationship has become noticeably strained since then.
However, Westbrook told the media this week that there’s “no beef” between the former dynamic duo, meanwhile, Durant was asked if there’s still a competitive edge that exists between them.
“I think Russ is competitive against any player he plays against,” Kevin Durant per AZ Central. “I don’t think it was just specific to me. I think a lot of the fans and the people that were watching, it was high-intensity for them, it was entertainment for them. For us players, it’s just another game, it’s regularly scheduled programming, but Russ is that way. I’ve played with him for so long and watched him for so long, he was that way against everybody, so I don’t expect anything different.”
15-season veteran Durant explained that the postseason is a new type of mentality compared to anything else and teams may have to mix things up to succeed, as he prepares for his first playoffs for the Suns.
“That’s really what playoffs is,” Durant said. “A lot of the stuff, the [signature] plays you ran through the regular season, might not be there. Just got to knuckle down and guard up and play strong on offense and see what happens.”
If Phoenix beat the Clippers, progress through and win the championship, they will be the first team to do so after winning less than 50 games in an 82-game season since the 1994-95 Rockets.
With Durant on the court, their chances are infinitely better. In the eight games he has played for Phoenix, they have a perfect record and the experience he brings to the table is almost unmatched.
The forward has played 155 games in the playoffs – that’s the 36th most in NBA history.