Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City Thunder agree to 5-year contract extension - Article Photos 8/13

THE DEFENDER : The first-round NBA Playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers gave the Thunder and Kevin Durant their biggest stage. His shooting struggles throughout the series were an important storyline, but so was his growth as a defender . Durant asked for and drew the assignment of covering Kobe Bryant during key stretches of the series. The part of his game that was seen as a weakness his first two seasons showed the potential for becoming a strength last season.