How Far Can Kevin Durant Take The Suns in The NBA Finals?

Kevin Durant’s trade to the Phoenix Suns could be one of the most impactful of recent years. His arrival has drastically shaken up the NBA finals odds, with a Suns’ title victory now looking much more likely.

The Phoenix Suns are sitting comfortably in the playoff qualification spots after an unremarkable season. After a good start, Jones’s men seemed poised to achieve greatness this campaign. 

However, their woes started in December and carried into the New Year as the team hit a horrid run of form. From December 3rd to January 16th, the Suns won just six of the 24 matches they played in the period. 

Since, performances have been much better with wins coming consistently. A squad with significant potential, a new addition was needed to elevate the team to the next level.

Enter Kevin Durant, a future Hall of Famer and one of the best on the current roster. Having already made a significant impact, just how far can Durant take the Suns in the NBA finals?

What Does Durant Bring to The Team?

Firstly, Durant will bring a winning mentality to a team that is chasing its first title. The 34 year old is an Olympic gold medalist and two-time NBA champion, winning finals MVP on both occasions.

Durant also won the league MVP in the 2013-14 season with Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Having a proven winner in the dressing room is essential for morale and helps instill confidence during poor form. Champions know how to overcome adversity, and bring a never-die attitude in important matches. 

Durant is also known for being a very hard worker both on and off the court. Constantly working hard is contagious, and will undoubtedly have a positive influence on his teammates. 

Versatility is another strength of his, and Durant has covered every position on the court over the course of his career. At the Seattle Sonics, KD played guard during his career’s infantile stages. 

He’s good at initiating offense as a power forward as he plays now. Durant is also more than capable as a center and rim protector, shown by his time at Golden State and Brooklyn. 

Finally, Durant is an excellent shooter which will ease some of the Sun’s offensive problems. A free throws percentage of 0.931 puts him among the league’s most accurate.

The Sun’s power forward is averaging just under 30 points per game at 29.5. Durant’s solid defensive game has also seen him averaging 3.4 turnovers per game. 

How Might The Team Perform?

There’s no question that the team is much better with Durant in it, and the results have already shown as much. Since his February arrival from the Brooklyn Nets, the Suns have won all three games in which he’s featured. 

The Charlotte Hornets were brushed aside in his first outing, before a victory against the Chicago Bulls. Durant’s most impressive performance came in a razor thin contest against the Dallas Mavericks, in which he scored 37 points. 

Alongside fellow stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker, the Suns have a big three that can rival any in the division. Not only do they now have the potential to win the title, many are labeling it an expectation. 

With 15 games left until the season’s conclusion, ensuring Durant remains injury free is a must. This has been an area in which he’s struggled, having failed to play a full season for a number of years. 

The remainder of the season won’t be easy for the Suns who have the third toughest remaining strength of schedule. They only have a one game lead on the Los Angeles Clippers who have the 16th strongest schedule.

Considering the LA based team’s three winning streak, the Suns will definitely be looking over their shoulder for the season’s remainder. 

What Are The Sun’s Weaknesses?

Even with the acquisition of Durant, the Sun’s are hindered by a number of weaknesses. The issue of a stagnant offense that the MVP winner was brought in to remedy will reappear should he get injured. 

The trade also didn’t come cheap for the Arizona team, with three players going the other way. With poor squad depth, keeping key players fit is crucial. 

The Suns haven’t been defensively sound during the season, which has repeatedly cost them. Lapses in discipline and a lack of communication have been seen in crucial moments 

They also have slight spacing issues that are exacerbated by teams that pack the paint. They’ve struggled to stretch defenses at times, and have been shut-out by physically superior opposition.

In spite of these, the Suns are in a better place than they’ve been for a while. An acquisition of Durant’s caliber will only bolster what is already a competitive team.

As a proven winner that shines both on and off the court, KD is expected to lead the Suns to glory.