“I think it’s not so much about what we did the last month. I think it’s the 82 games leading up to (the postseason),” Sefolosha said. “It’s got to be some accountability every night. It can’t just be, ‘OK, we’re playing against a team that we’re supposed to beat so it’s OK to get away with a few things and we’re not going to put the finger on things that we don’t like to look at.’ I think it’s about us winning a title, and it starts Game 1. There can be no weeks where you don’t address the issues that guys maybe taking nights off defensively a little bit.”
Durant has a bit of a built-in excuse, though he’ll likely never use it. He led the league in total minutes in the regular season with 3,122 and followed that up with a postseason-high 815. His 3,937 total minutes were one more than he could have played in a full regular season with no overtimes.
If at any point Durant was tired, he had every right to be.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti said coach Scott Brooks and his staff monitored Durant’s activity in other ways, limiting him in practice sessions and shootarounds to maximize his availability in games. But even that practice, like everything else, Presti said, is worth examining.
“I think that as we go forward there’s no question that’s something we want to look at and understand,” Presti said. “Not only for the long term, but to also make sure we are getting the most out of the minutes that are played during one particular game or another. … I can’t tell you what comes of it.”
Something’s got to give.
Because for perhaps the first time publicly after a season-ending loss, Durant, a renowned gym rat, said he would take some time away from the game. He didn’t know where he would go or what he would do. He hadn’t planned on vacationing before the end of June.
The subtle way that Durant said he needed to spoke volumes.
“But I left everything out there,” Durant said. “Every game, I sacrificed for my teammates, so I can live with the results.”