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Dime 1-on-1 NBA Tournament, NBA / Jul 11, 2011 / 2:00 pm

Dime’s 1-On-1 NBA Tournament: Kevin Durant Vs. Dwyane Wade

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Rob Hammer)

THE RULES

*You can also vote for the LeBron James/Paul Pierce matchup. Voting closes on Tuesday at 11 A.M. EST.*

Either the Kevin Durant venom is more widespread than I thought or the love affair with Monta Ellis is more than a fling. Either way, Durant only skated by with a three-vote victory thanks to some last-second faithfuls. He may not be so lucky this week. Clearly length is hardly a deterrent for Wade, who bulldozed Joe Johnson and then kicked him in the teeth for good measure.

Part of my goodness will vanish when one of these guys is eliminated. But probably more so if it’s Dwyane Wade. Kevin Durant will always have the Thunder and the assurance that his dominance will reign supreme in Oklahoma city. But how often is a top five (top three, in some circles) NBA player’s legacy shaped by the trajectory of another? Miami, really, is riding the LeBron James rollercoaster. But we’ll always return to the ephemeral conviction that Miami is Dwyane’s team. It’s why he’ll always be introduced last, placed in the center of Big Three photographs and generally regarded in high esteem.

It all seems like a pitiful attempt to elude the hovering truth: Wade’s legacy is pretty much defined. Great scorer, clutch performer, unquestioned Hall of Famer. But he’ll never scratch the surface of the G.O.A.T. conversation and will ultimately rest somewhere near Clyde Drexler‘s general vicinity. As an individual, he’s already eclipsed the HoF shooting guard threshold by miles. But his team accomplishments from here on out, well those will always live under the domain of the The King. It doesn’t matter whether you think it’s fair or not. It doesn’t even matter if Wade outperforms LeBron in the future. Teams are always defined by their best player.

1-on-1 Tournament Bracket

updated bracket w/ included equivalent scores (based on voting %)

Defying the odds, taking down giants. That’s been Wade’s calling card his entire career. Even though Kevin Durant’s physical advantage is seemingly insurmountable, it’s never stopped The Flash before. But Durant is no Joe Johnson or Tyson Chandler. He’s in the middle of carving out his own legacy, building a path that has mirrored LeBron’s in every way. Savior of a desperate franchise, constructing a contender out of nowhere. Making names irrelevant like Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha relevant. At this same point in LeBron’s career, we couldn’t even conceive of his departure. Why would a star on the cusp of a championship with his own team ever depart? But LeBron’s heel turn forced us to latch onto someone else, even if it might have been a little quick. And that man is Kevin Durant. If he ends up finding greener pastures somewhere else, we just might throw him in jail for unspeakable blasphemy.

However meaningless this one-on-one tournament may seem, I’d expect Durant and Wade to take it more seriously than most. On the one hand, we’ll have a Miami star seeking individual accolades to match a backcourt mate that will always sit on a higher throne. And then we’ve got the young gun, the one looking to break away from the “we only love you because you represent everything that LeBron is not” branding. So expect a close game filled with heated exchanges and an unrelenting pursuit of unquestioned greatness.

*also vote for the LeBron James/Paul Pierce matchup*

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  • nizzio

    Dwayne Wade is too fast for Kevin Durant. And Wade will definitely get some steals and blocks on him. They are both amazing scorers, but Wade has a slight advantage on speed, strength and defense

  • Promoman

    I think Dwyane will take it. Kevin will have to stick his jumpers to win. Posting isn’t a major facet of his game yet so I’d have to lean with Wade.

  • First & Foremost

    He has to stick his jumpers?!?!?! As if he doesn’t do that. Stop hyping up Wade blocking a 7 footers dunk. The dudes are still dunking on a 10 foot rim so it is more about timing than how high he gets. He does have great timing though. Anyway, not like Wade was being backed down and those 7 footers tried to dunk on him. They caught a lob pass and Wade rotates from their blindside. LT made a living tackling QBs from their blindside.

    Are you telling me that Wade will go from a defensive position and then pogo stick up to black Durants jump shot? You all need to look at said player plays defense in a 1 on 1 situation and not through defensive rotations.

    Wade will win due to Durants lack of shot creating. No screens to run through, no double shoulder shrug free throw attempts, and Durant just isn’t good enough on defense.

    12 – 10 Wade

  • top_gun

    This is a tough one….Durant will be able to get shots off over Wade due to his height advantage and Wade would have to depend more on his driving ability. Wade isn’t the greatest shooter and Durant’s length would bother him. I just can’t see Wade driving to the hole and scoring at will. I could see Durant scoring on Wade.

    F&F made a great point about timing. The shorter you are, the better timing you would have to have in order to block a shot. There is close to no chance Wade is blocking Durant’s shot when he’s just as quick and gets his shot off at ease on any defender.

    This could’ve been a finals matchup, but I’d say Durant takes it.

  • King

    too much length and his jumper is pure Kd takes this match up

  • barons_beards

    Wade takes this all day every day and twice on sundays. Wade is too strong, too fast, too good around the rim for the most babied player in the league, KD. Height is not much of an issue as Durrant is too weak to post up on Wade

  • Mandirigma

    On a game of one on one, the slasher will always win over the jumpshooter.

    Plus, KD doesn’t play defense.

  • http://dimemag.com/2011/07/dimes-1-on-1-nba-tournament-kevin-durant-vs-dwyane-wade/ Jordan

    DANG…… This will be a very good one!! 2 of the top 5 players in the NBA; but player VERY different styles of game. OK it will be a very close game but let’s compare the 2 and see who has more of an advantage:

    LENGTH:Kevin Durant>Dwyane WADE
    Speed:Kevin Durant<Dwyane Wade
    Athletism:Kevin DurantDwyane Wade
    One on One moves:Kevin Durant=Dwyane Wade
    *both players have pretty decent one on one moves; but in order for Wade to score on KD he’ll have to get to the rack becuz those fadeaways he makes on smaller guards will not work on the 6’10 Durant with a 7’5 wingspan. Wade’s most notable one on one moves is the crossover, the inside out cross, the hesitation dribble, and Euro step. Durant’s mpst notable one on one moves is the jumper in ur face, the crossover, the step back, the back down and fade away. Both players use lots of screens to get their shots of: Wade uses screens while dribbling and KD uses screens to get an open jumper off the ball. Neither player is just automatic in isolation situations like a Kobe or a Carmelo who are the best iso(one on one) players in basketball.

    STRENGTH:Durant<Wade
    Basketball IQ:Durant OR Wade: IDK?

    Who wins: I think Durant wins in a long, tough drawn out game and he wins 11 to 9. His length will be too much for D-Wade.

  • Krayzie

    “It doesn’t even matter if Wade outperforms LeBron in the future. Teams are always defined by their best player.”

    How is Wade not the best player on his team? Whoever doesn’t think so really needs to understand the game of basketball and not believe the marketing hype! Wasn’t LeBron called out for being a pussy in the finals and then was never seen nor heard from again for the remaining 3 games!

  • Mandirigma

    We’re forgetting one thing here.

    Wade is arguably one of the better guards in stealing the basketball. Weakside or strongside. Help or not.

    Durant, as good as he is, doesn’t have great dribbling ability.

    What’s he going to do, shoot jumpshots after every inbound?

    Slasher/defender > Jumpshooter