Is there more pressure on Durant?

10/17/13 in NBA   |   andrewgilman   |   20 respect

OKLAHOMA CITY – If Kevin Durant is worried about having to carry the team this season, he sure isn't letting on.
Well, he did gain about five pounds, but past that, he isn't showing any signs of having to do too much. Not yet, anyway.
Point guard Westbrook is out with a knee injury and is expected to miss at least four weeks of the regular season. It could be up to six weeks. The Thunder have never set a timetable for Westbrook's return since he went down with the knee injury during the playoffs last season, so that seems to leave Durant in a spot where he's going to have to do a lot – kind of like he did last year in the playoffs. The Thunder lost in the second round to Memphis in five games.
Oct 15, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts to a play in action against the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports"I don't feel pressure or any expectations," Durant said. "There are going to be nights when I play terrible and nights where I play OK. "I'm never going to worry about it. I'm not going to worry about what outside people say about winning champopjisbnos or timetables. I'm just going out there and having fun. I'm going to have my good days and I'm going to have my bad days."
Tuesday was a good day for Durant. He played just 23 minutes but scored 36 points. The Thunder plays New Orleans tonight in Tulsa. It's the team's fourth exhibition game.
So, while the Thunder are working on paring down their roster – they have 16 now and need to get to 15 by the start of the season – Durant is the subject of all sorts of talk.
Can he carry the team by himself?
"I think that's manufactured through the media," Brooks said of what pressures Durant may or may not feel. "The pressure is to play for your teammates every night. He does that every single night and I could not be more proud of him." 
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