Game 1 of the first-round series between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets was a barnburner that portends great content for the most entertaining early playoff matchup in recent NBA history. It was many things, but it was not a good game for Kevin Durant. The Nets superstar made only nine shots on 24 attempts and was caught ball-watching on the final play of the series. His inattention allowed Jayson Tatum to sneak into the paint and lay in a game-winning buzzer beater.
It's extremely rare to see Durant that off, and it very well may not happen again this postseason. But it wasn't fluke chance. The Celtics absolutely hounded Durant, pushing the limits of physicality allowed by the officials both on and off the ball and forcing him to turn the ball over six times. Durant wasn't just off. He was forced into a bad game.
The wild playoff game has dominated the sports talk sphere all morning, and Kendrick Perkins said Durant got "punked" by the Celtics during Monday's First Take.
We all know that Durant is eternally online and will undoubtedly see this eventually. Perhaps he already has. And he'll have thoughts. He usually shuts down on Twitter during the postseason so that response may simply be in the form of a dominant performance in Game 2, which feels inevitable given players of Durant's quality like to respond in a big way after a bad game.
But if it's possible for a player like that to get punked, it happened last night. Durant had shots blocked and missed open looks. He spent time complaining to the referees instead of getting back on defense after a few of his turnovers. It was bad, and there's only more in store for him over the course of the series.
He'll bounce back because he's Kevin Durant. But it was a remarkable performance by Boston's defense and one they have the ability to replicate.