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Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant is the Best Offensive Player since Jordan
- Updated: March 26, 2014
The notion that Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is just a pure scorer is completely false.
Granted, Durant is the best pure scorer the league has seen in a long time, but the six-year veteran from Texas does a lot more than just put the ball through the hoop. This season more than ever, Durant has elevated his game to new heights. He’s playing so well, NBA pundits across the country are already giving him the MVP trophy despite LeBron James’ gaudy 26.8 point, 6.9 rebound, 6.4 assist per game stat line.
Magic Johnson says LeBron James made a charge for a minute, but Kevin Durant is clearly MVP this season. » pic.twitter.com/VneYjkYerM
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 24, 2014
This isn’t a debate as to whether or not KD is the league’s MVP. This is an ode to Durant for his play this year, and it’s time to sit back and watch history in the making.
Kevin Durant is the best offensive weapon the league has seen since Michael Jordan, and while that praise might seem too high, the numbers back it up.
Kevin Durant, according to Elias, now on pace for NBA’s first 32+ PPG, 7+ RPG and 5+ APG season since a certain Michael Jordan in 1988-89
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) March 24, 2014
Durant has scored at least 25 points in 36 consecutive games, the longest streak since Jordan scored at least 25 in 40 consecutive games back in 1986-1987. Only Oscar Robertson has a longer streak (47) over the last 50 years. If that’s not elite company, what is?
At 6’10”, Kevin Durant is an unstoppable offensive force. He has the height and length to elevate over defenders and knock down jumpers from anywhere on the court. His 41% three-point percentage ranks 21st in the NBA even though he puts up six three-pointers per contest. If Durant isn’t demoralizing defenses with his jumper, he’s getting to the rim at ease. Despite being a bit on the frail side, Durant finds ways to blow by defenders and finish at the rim through contact. If he doesn’t finish, he’s usually heading to the charity strike where he knocks down 87% of his attempts. KD’s 10.1 free throw attempts per game lead the NBA.
The league has never seen a player Durant’s size do the things he does. There’s not a single play on offense Durant can’t make, and there’s not a player in the league who can shut him down. He may not be as good as some of the greats when it comes to one particular skill, but he’s as well rounded as anyone.
It’s poetry in motion. It’s like watching the sun rise over the ocean from a beach. Simply put, watching Kevin Durant on offense is a thing of beauty.
What makes Durant’s 2013-2014 so impressive is he isn’t always looking to score. In fact, he’s deferring more than ever this year, especially now with Russell Westbrook back in the lineup. Durant is averaging 5.6 assists per game this year, a whole assist better than his previous career high and nearly double his career average. Serge Ibaka (15.1 ppg), Reggie Jackson (13.3 ppg – almost triple his previous career high), and Jeremy Lamb (8.7 ppg – nearly five points more than last year) and all having career years offensively,
and that’s falls right onto Durant’s shoulders. If he doesn’t have the shot he wants, he has no problem dumping it off to a teammate and letting him get the bucket.
It goes without saying, but Kevin Durant isn’t Michael Jordan. The comparisons between the two shouldn’t even be brought up until Durant has some jewelry on his fingers, but Durant is making history right now.
The NBA has had plenty of superstars in the last half decade, but only one player has even accomplished what Kevin Durant is doing right now. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, Karl Malone, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Julius Irving, Patrick Ewing. These are just some of the best players to put on a NBA jersey over the last 50 years, but none of them ever did what Durant is doing right now.
Scoring 25 points isn’t easy. There are players who go 10-years in the NBA without ever scoring 25 points in a single game. For example, former NBA All-Star Ben Wallace played 16 NBA seasons and never scored 25 points in a game. Wallace wasn’t known for his offense by any means, but it just goes to show that scoring 25 isn’t a feat every player accomplishes in his career.
And Kevin Durant makes it look easy. Durant could score 25 points with his eyes closed right now.
Kevin Durant may not be the best overall player in the league right now, but he is the best offensive player the league has seen since Jordan.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have 11 games left in the regular season. If Durant doesn’t extend his streak to 45 games, the world will be shocked. So sit back and enjoy the show Durant is putting on for the world right now because it could be a long time before another KD-type player comes around.
Do you think Kevin Durant will pass Michael Jordan’s on the list for most consecutive games with at least 25 points? Leave it below.