Kevin Durant is making all the news right now because of his dominance in the playoffs. After overcoming the odds and averaging 26.9 PPG for the Brooklyn Nets following his Achilles injury, he is putting up 32.0 PPG for the Nets in the playoffs. Alongside Kyrie Irving, Durant is taking over the second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
On the other end, 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is getting a lot of criticism for failing to make an impact in this series. While the entire blame should not be on Giannis for falling 0-2 in the series (Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton haven't shown up either), it is clear The Greek Freak isn't on the level of 4-time scoring champion Kevin Durant and here are the reasons why.
Lack Of Postseason Success
Kevin Durant has got it done in the playoffs throughout his career. He has yet to average under 25.0 PPG during a playoff series over his entire career and has averaged over 30 PPG 3 separate times. Even when playing with some all-time great teammates such as Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and Klay Thompson; Durant was always the best player on his team for every playoff series he was in. He also got it done in Golden State, winning 2 Finals MVPs and 2 championships.
While Giannis hasn't had the luxury of playing with stars on the level of Curry, Westbrook, or Thompson; he has always faced criticism for his inconsistent shooting and inability to control games at times. As a 2-time MVP, Giannis should not be down 0-2 against the Brooklyn Nets with an embarrassing blowout in Game 2. Giannis doesn't dominate the postseason as he does in the regular season, regardless of his teammates, while Durant always shows up.
Free-throw shooting isn't the most attractive stat to bring up in player debates, but it must be brought up when discussing Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis makes a living near the basket, and teams prepare for him by either clogging the lane to prevent drives or fouling him. When Giannis gets ahead of steam, hacking him has been the best strategy in limiting the production of the 2-time MVP. Giannis shoots a career 71.7% from the stripe and is only nailing 53.5% in the playoffs this year. This is unacceptable for a superstar with the accolades of Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Kevin Durant, at all times, must not be fouled. Opposing coaches know that Durant is lethal from the stripe, draining 88.3% of his free throws in his career, and their best bet is to challenge his jumpers rather than giving him 2 easy points at the line. Durant cannot be limited by foul shooting and thus doesn't have an Achilles heel, something that seems to hamper Giannis Antetokounmpo every postseason.
No matter what critics have to say about Kevin Durant, from forming unbeatable superteams to his ridiculous burner accounts on Twitter, there is no denying he was born with a clutch gene. Since he was a star with UT in college, Durant was always the go-to scorer who everyone feared the most at crunch time. After all, he is a scorer capable of going 50-40-90 during any series. Durant can just shoot over any defender and he will take the clutch shots every time.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, on the other hand, is very limited. His coach might not want to place Giannis in a circumstance where he gets fouled, because it is most likely a 1-point conversion instead of 2. Teams can also force Giannis to make a decision by passing instead of scoring, something that should not be synonymous with an all-time great talent like The Greek Freak. Unless Giannis can strike fear in opposing coaches' hearts with his clutch performances, he pales in comparison to Kevin Durant in this aspect.
All-Around Offensive Ability
Giannis Antetokounmpo is unstoppable down low and he is a load to handle when he goes to his patented spin move or euro step during rim drives. After all, he averaged 28.1 PPG during the regular season and finished in MVP voting. But Giannis can't be an effective offensive player when the paint is clogged, because he is shooting 12.5% from three and 53.5% from the free-throw line in the playoffs. Clearly, he is a liability.
Kevin Durant doesn't have that problem, because he is a top-3 offensive player of all time. After Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant is the most unstoppable offensive force ever. 4 scoring titles and his consistency makes him a far more deadly offensive player than The Greek Freak. In the playoffs so far, he is shooting 55.0% from the field, 50.0% from three, and 91.1% from the free-throw line. There isn't much more to debate on this because there is no comparison.