Perhaps the Denver Nuggets have another defender to stick on Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant, who erupted for 41 points in Game 1. Assistant coach Stacey Augmon was a superb defender during his 15-year NBA career and throughout his collegiate days at Nevada-Las Vegas.
Q: How would you defend Kevin Durant?
A: I'd be physical with him underneath the basket and out on the wing. When the refs were watching, I'd use more chest and keep my hands out of it. I'd also make him put the ball on the floor. Easier said than done, though.
Q: How has he improved in his four years in the league?
A: Coming in, it was jump-stop and run. But every year, he's added a piece to his game. This year, he is so much more comfortable not even putting the ball on the ground, just shooting it. Jab-step, shoot it. It's just amazing what he can do and his athleticism.
Q: Do you wish you had your shot at him?
A: I do, yes. But as you get older, you tend to say that about a lot of guys.
Q: Does Durant remind you of anybody when he gets on a run?
A: Nah, any great shooter who gets on a run, the basket is wide and they can't miss. I just hate to be the defender when someone gets like that.
Q: Sometimes there's not a thing you can do about it?
A: No matter how many guys you run at him, it doesn't matter who's in front of them. They're just locked in.