Kevin Durant doesn’t think his Brooklyn Nets will make the NBA Finals without him and Kyrie Irving.
In fact, he believes the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks will meet with the Larry O’Brien Trophy on the line.
“If I had to choose-and I hate doing that s–t because you never know what could happen, you seen that with us last year-but if I had to choose, I’ll go with Clippers and Bucks for the championship,” Durant said on the Play For Keeps podcast (h/t Royce Young of ESPN). “And I’ll go with the Clippers.”
Durant certainly knows what it’s like to see Kawhi Leonard in the NBA Finals, as his Golden State Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in a battle for the title last year.
Durant missed the majority of the series with an injury but acknowledged the combination of Leonard and Paul George will be key this time around.
“They’re just so deep,” Durant said of the Clippers. “They haven’t had their whole team together at once for a long period of time yet, and that talent is just undeniable. When you have [Paul George] and Kawhi [Leonard] at the wings, that’s what you need to win is wings. You got those two at the wings, arguably top three, top four at the wing position on one team.”
While LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers have the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, it’s hard to argue with the assertion the Clippers will emerge in a potential series.
The Clippers won two of the three head-to-head matchups during the regular season before play was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic and then pushed the Lakers to the final possession in the first seeding game in Walt Disney World even though Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell were out.
Leonard was also a plus-16 in just 33 minutes in the seeding game, suggesting the Clippers would have won if he played 40-plus minutes like he surely will in a potential Western Conference Finals series.
Kawhi also defeated Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals when he was on the Raptors.
Durant thinks the Claw will emerge victorious in an NBA Finals rematch this time around.