Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns are headed to the 2023 NBA Playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. They will face the No. 5 Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. This is hardly Durant’s first run in the postseason — he has reached the NBA playoffs with several teams, and won two titles with the Golden State Warriors. This is his first season with the Suns.
Kevin Durant playoff record
Stats: 29.8 PPG, 4.1 APG, 7.4 RPG, 47.6 FG%, 35.6 3pt%
Series wins: 22
NBA titles: 2 (2017, 2018)
Awards: 2-Time Finals MVP (2017, 2018)
Durant won the Finals MVP award in both title-winning seasons with the Warriors. His Oklahoma City Thunder teams made several deep runs into the postseason but were never quite able to finish things off. He will face former OKC teammate Russell Westbrook in the first round this year.
One of the biggest Durant criticisms is that he has not been able to win a title without an all-star supporting squad, and many believe that he went to the Warriors in search of that ring. He may still need to prove that he can get it done without Steph Curry beside him — whether that is Durant’s actual mentality or simply a point of public discussion. KD was unable to get it done with a Brooklyn squad that proved to be more trouble than they were worth — can he do it with Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton in Phoenix?
Durant said ahead of the playoffs he no longer cares about his legacy, and simply wants to produce every time he’s on the floor. This is likely the result of years of criticism from fans and media about Durant looking to avoid shouldering the burden for a contending team on his own, although he remains the primary star in any setup. A title with the Suns would help Durant continue to build his Hall of Fame resume, but it likely doesn’t move the needle for anyone who already perceives him as a player who looks for the easiest path to contention.