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Kevin Durant calls Phoenix Suns playoff exit ‘embarrassing’

Publish Date: 13/05/2023

Thinking about how I convinced myself betting a Suns future was a good idea, tags: kevin durant - @br_betting (twitter)

Phoenix Suns star forward Kevin Durant felt “embarrassed” by his team’s playoff exit in their recent defeat to the Denver Nuggets Thursday night.

The Suns suffered a blowout 125-100 loss with Denver’s Nikola Jokic delivering a stellar performance of 32 points, a triple-double, and leading his team to victory. The win secured the Nuggets a spot in the Conference Finals, marking their first appearance since 2020.

Phoenix’s elimination from the playoffs in this year’s Conference semifinals marked yet another premature exit for the team, despite being viewed as contenders during what was considered their “championship window” – which describes a set period of time during which a sports team’s likelihood of winning the title is at its highest.

This loss came on the heels of their defeat to the Dallas Mavericks at the same stage of the playoffs just one season ago and two seasons after their NBA Finals loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

2023-05-13 10:10
The Phoenix Suns getting blown out in a must-win game at home?
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Durant’s disappointment

After the game, Durant expressed his disappointment, calling the defeat “embarrassing” despite the Suns’ strong start.

“It sucked. It was a bad feeling. It was embarrassing,” Durant said. “They came out and hit us in the mouth. We couldn’t recover. You got to give them credit for being a disciplined team.”

Adding KD to Phoenix’s roster was seen as the team’s ambition to repeat their success in reaching the NBA Finals in 2021, but Durant has to delay his hope until next year.

As he sets his sights on next season, the 13-time NBA All-Star remains focused on pursuing his third ring and the Suns’ first-ever championship banner. Having secured his two NBA titles during his time with the Golden State Warriors, KD aims to continue his hard work and preparation while also being present for the organization whenever and wherever he is needed.

“I just try to control what I can,” Durant said, emphasizing his commitment to putting in the effort and utilizing his skills to contribute to the team’s success.

After the game, the former Brooklyn Net said he would ensure that there would be a continuous dialogue between him and the Suns during the summer break.

“So I’m sure we’ll check in with each other throughout the whole summer,” Durant said. “But I just think my job is to continue to keep getting better and keep finding ways to get better as a player.”

Williams takes full responsibility

Suns head coach Monty Williams took full responsibility for his team’s lackluster performance during this season’s playoff game, which resulted in the home crowd booing them due to a 30-point halftime deficit.

Despite missing key starters such as Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul due to injuries, Williams accepted the blame for the team’s disappointing performance.

ESPN Stats & Info
2023-05-13 10:10
The two largest postseason halftime deficits in Suns franchise history have now occurred in the last 2 years. May 15, 2022: trailed by 30 at halftime facing elimination at home vs the Mavericks May 11, 2023: trail by 30 at halftime facing elimination at home vs the Nuggets.
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“81 points in the first half was deflating, to just see them score like that and running down the floor getting easy buckets,” he said. “That falls on my shoulders — not having us ready to play at the highest level in the biggest game of the year.”

Williams emphasized that as the coach, it was his responsibility to prepare his team to perform at their highest level during such significant games and that he had failed.

“The next 24 hours will be what you can imagine. You don’t feel that great. I take that personally, not having our team ready to play in the biggest game of the year,” Williams said.

“That’s something that I pride myself on and it just didn’t happen tonight. So that’s something that I have to really take a deep look at everything I’m doing to allow us to be successful on these days.”

Critics on Twitter didn’t hold back in evaluating Williams’ coaching performance after the Suns’ defeat. Many called for his removal as the team’s head coach, citing his team’s back-to-back blowout losses in elimination games as evidence that his time is up in Phoenix.

azcentral sports
2023-05-13 10:10
VOTE: Should the #Suns fire Monty Williams after their #NBAPlayoffs series loss to the #Nuggets? #WeAreTheValley #MileHighBasketball (Reaction: @azcentral
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