After dealing with foul trouble in Games 2 and 3, Kevin Durant will not begin Game 4 by guarding LeBron James. ESPN’s Mike Breen reports that Durant will instead guard Heat point guard Mario Chalmers. Ostensibly, this will shift Russell Westbrook to Dwyane Wade and Thabo Sefolosha to James.
The switch is understandable, but still feels like an overreaction to me. Durant is capable of guarding James — he did it well in the two games during the regular season. He’s just committed silly touch fouls, as well as some borderline calls that could have gone either way.
If Durant simply defended smarter, he could guard James without problems. I think it would have been smarter to stay the course and just tell Durant to do better.