Kevin Durant is averaging 25.5 points on 34.1 percent shooting in this series with Dallas.
Russell Westbrook is averaging 28.5 points on 52.3 percent shooting.
Yet, the Mavericks have continued to throw their best defender at Durant while Westbrook eats them alive.
“He’s been the guy that’s been killing us,” Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki said of Westbrook following the Thunder’s Game 2 win.
For the Mavs, the Thunder’s two-headed monster has become a pick-your-poison equation. Durant is struggling primarily because of Marion. He’s 4-of-16 against Dallas’ bulldog defender, with 12 of those 16 looks being contested attempts. Marion has suffocated Durant, and the Mavs’ team defense on the three-time scoring champ couldn’t be better.
But that’s allowed Westbrook to go bananas. And the question now is whether that’s a proposition the Mavs can continue to live with?
“Can we live with it?” Carlisle asked. “With him scoring 28.5? That’s a lot. It’d be one thing if we were winning the games. But at this point, when you’re down 0-2, we got to do better on him.”
The Mavs have thrown Delonte West at Westbrook, as well as both Jasons, Kidd and Terry. Dallas also has given Westbrook and the Thunder a steady dose of its puzzling zone. Westbrook has plowed through it all. The last option seems to be Marion.
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