Scottie Pippen vs. Kevin Durant #WhatIfWednesday #WhatYouThink
LA native and employed by Ballislife since Oct. 2017, Randy is a content editor and supervisor for Ballislife’s various media platforms.
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What if Scottie Pippen in his prime and Kevin Durant matched up? Could KD drop 30 on him or would Scottie lock him down? All these thoughts came across my mind after watching the Dream Team Documentary and seeing Scottie Pippen and MJ tear Toni Kukoc apart. Now I know Toni Kukoc is no Kevin Durant, but it got me thinking how Scottie and KD would match up. Kevin Durant in only his 5th year has won 3 scoring titles consecutively and seems to only be improving. He’s 6’10 with crazy range, a solid post up game, and a strong enough handle to break him open for his silky J or to take you to the hole and dunk with his 7’4 wingspan. He was meant to drop buckets. No doubt about it. But Scottie Pippen was the defensive backbone to the Bulls teams and their 6 championship rings. He would guard 1 through 5, and gave every superstar problems. If any opposing player was getting on a roll, Scottie Pippen would stick him. He was on 7 straight NBA All-Defensive First Teams, and probably would have won Defensive Player of the Year a few times if MJ and him weren’t winning NBA Championships every year. David Stern couldn’t let the Bulls couldn’t take every award. That just wouldn’t be fair. But anyways, if KD and Pip were to match up, it’d be one for the century.
After watching Kevin Durant in the first 4 games of the Finals, you can’t help but see how great of a scorer he really is. And even though the Thunder are down 3-1 to Miami, Kevin Durant is putting up some of the most efficient numbers for the NBA Finals. He’s averaging 30.3 points per game while shooting 55% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc. And he’s doing it against LeBron James, arguably the best player and defender in the League, and Shane Battier who’s also known for his extremely tough on-ball perimeter defense. And Kevin Durant is only 23 years old. Let me repeat this… He’s dropping 30 a game in his first NBA Finals against two of the best perimeter defenders in the game while shooting over 50% and he’s only 23. If all that doesn’t convince you how great of a scorer he is, here’s a few highlights to get the point across.
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Scottie Pippen was probably one of the more underrated superstars in the League mainly because of that dude named Jordan. When MJ retired the first time, Scottie Pippen was third in NBA MVP voting that year, and the next year he lead his team in every major statistical category including points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks yet defense was his specialty. His 6’8, 220 lbs frame allowed him to guard every position. The combination of athleticism, tenacity, and basketball IQ made Scottie Pippen the ideal defender. He would create all types of havoc whether he was harassing the PG full court, getting weak-side blocks on driving guards, or stealing entry passes leading to easy transition buckets for the Bulls. His defense was so good, someone made him two Youtube mixes of only his defensive highlights.
So, if KD and Scottie matched up, who do you think would win the match up? Would KD score 30 or would Scottie lock him up?