And not just on defense.
Parsons has a history of making Durant work on offense.
According to NBA.com/stats, Durant shot just 37.9 percent with Parsons on the court this season. Against the Rockets while Parsons sat, Durant shot 58.3 percent.
“When you play against a player as good as KD, you just try to make it as difficult as possible for him,” Parsons said. “That's all I try to do.”
With a 6-foot-9, 227-pound frame, Parsons has ideal size and strength to combat Durant. He also is in great condition, possesses nimble feet and plays with extraordinary energy. It's enough to give Parsons confidence he can hang with Durant despite obvious differences in their statures.
“My job is to just try to be physical with him and try to make him uncomfortable,” Parsons said. “I've watched tons of film on him. I know everything that he's going to do. I know where he's going to go on the floor. I'm just trying to beat him to those spots and not let him catch the ball where he wants to catch the ball.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the Thunder must match Parsons' energy.
“He's one of those guys that just never stops moving,” Brooks said. “You always have to know where he is, because if you just plant yourself in the spot where he was last he's not going to be in that spot much longer.”
Brooks remembers watching film of Parsons in college and coming away most impressed with his motor.
“You knew that he was one of those guys that was going to get better because of the energy that he brought to the floor,” Brooks said.
“I don't know the draft that well. I just know once you get drafted that number doesn't mean a thing. You're either going to be able to play in this league or you're not. And if you don't you get shipped away or you don't play. It doesn't matter.”
Evidently, it still matters to Parsons.