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Colin Cowherd says Kevin Durant is ‘so easily disrupted’

Kevin Durant, Colin Cowherd

Kevin Durant is one of the most gifted basketball players of all time, and currently has a legitimate claim as the best player in the world. After his utterly dispiriting performance in the Golden State Warriors’ shocking loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, though, the two-time reigning Finals MVP is facing widespread criticism for his inability to help his team stem the tide of a 31-point comeback.

It’s not just Durant’s play on Monday that’s drawn the ire of league followers. His increasingly fragile mindset, at least according to FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd, is what most commonly proves Durant’s undoing – whether on the court, in the media, or elsewhere.

“Kevin Durant needs insulation. Kevin Durant, right now, is living in a basketball bubble,” Cowherd said on Tuesday’s edition of The Herd. “He needs to, because suddenly 6-foot-1 Patrick Beverley is completely in his head. Patrick Beverley! The best basketball player in the NBA is Kevin Durant; Patrick Beverley is in his head.

“When you go to New York, no Steph, no Klay, no Kerr, no Boogie, no Draymond, no friendly media,” he continued. “Kevin Durant is so easily disrupted. It’s incredible.”

Durant’s penchant for emotional outbursts and implosions is well-known by now, and indeed one of the reasons why Doc Rivers has decided to hound him with a dogged instigator like Beverley throughout the first round of the playoffs.

Less discussed are his sustained struggles dating back to his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder to consistently beat small, stout, intense defenders who make it a priority to be as physical with Durant as possible, pushing him off his spots. Chris Paul, for instance, has long frustrated Durant when the two are matched up one-on-one.

Obviously, Durant, a free agent this summer, will be better going forward than the eight-shot, nine-turnover performance he put forth in Golden State’s epic collapse on Monday night. But if opponents are able to get in his head throughout the remainder of the playoffs, the Warriors’ route to a fourth title in five seasons will be far more difficult than most anticipated.