Player Focus – Kevin Durant
One of the most known basketball stars presently, Kevin Durant is one of the most dynamic scorers we have seen in league history. His jump shots and penetrating ability make him one of the most feared scorers in the NBA today. Together with Russell Westbrook, they made the Oklahoma City Thunder perennial title contenders due to their talent and leadership. Today we shall take a look at the best aspects of Durant’s game and what makes him a great player.
Perhaps the best known aspect of Durant’s game, his scoring arsenal has been one of the best we’ve seen in the history of the basketball. He can score both inside and outside, making him a nightmare to defend while also making his teammates a threat to score also because of the attention that he draws from the defense. He is a former scoring champion, averaging 32 points a game that season, using moves that makes the defenders shake their heads. While his shot selection certainly leaves a lot to be desired, his ability to hit them can really deflate the confidence of whoever is guarding him.
Just like a player before him, Tracy McGrady, Durant poses a ton of problems to the opposition due to his height and length. If you are going to face someone who is almost 7 feet tall yet has the skills of a guard and can score anywhere on the court, how will you guard him? Put a small on him, and he will have no problems putting up a shot. If you put a big man on him, he will take him outside and shoot jumpers all day or penetrate and leave his slower man. This is a dilemma that most teams have when playing against KD.
An underrated aspect of Durant is his leadership capabilities. This might be due to having a teammate that is not only talented but also a perennial MVP candidate in Russell Westbrook, but make no mistake, KD is the heart and soul of the OKC Thunder. Of course this may not be the case today when he announced that he would sign with the Golden State Warriors, but the fact remains that he has been the leader of those Thunder teams that advanced deep in the playoffs and even reached the finals once.
There may be flaws in his game and his defense most of the times leaves a lot to be desired, but Kevin Durant is still one of the best players in the NBA today. He is just a couple of seasons removed from winning the MVP and he is still very young, so he still has a lot of years to dominate the league, especially scoring wise. However, due to his move to Golden State, we may see a drop in his production but this may be a blessing in disguise, as he will have more room to improve other aspects of his game to be a more complete player.