Everyone has been waiting on Kevin Durant's debut with the Phoenix Suns. It happened Wednesday night in Charlotte, and it didn't take long for Durant, who has been sidelined for nearly two months after spraining his MCL on January 8, to remind us all how awesome he is and how awesome he's going to be for the Suns.
In his first half of action, Durant posted 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting (including 2 for 3 from 3-point land), three rebounds, two blocks and an assist over 12 minutes. During those minutes, the Suns outscored the Hornets by 15 points.
Durant got to the rim for his first bucket. He hit midrange jumpers playing pick and roll with Deandre Ayton and another against drop coverage. He was masterful defensively, getting out on the perimeter to contest shooters and sinking down to the protect the paint with the same seamless transitions he showed while in Brooklyn.
One sequence stood out. Durant starts to track Gordon Hayward toward the baseline, but then falls back to pick up Mark Williams, who tries to get up a quick jump hook thinking Durant isn't in position to defend yet. Wrong. Durant stuffs the shot, then runs the floor for a transition 3-pointer.
That is the elite two-way play that had Durant in the thick of the MVP conversation before his injury. He is having one of his best defensive years ever, and you know what he does on offense, where he's having a ridiculous shooting season even by his own standards. This guy can do it all, and much of it was on display in this early sequence.