Kevin Durant, as everybody knows, is a special type of player. Six foot nine (or ten, or eleven), with incredible handles for his height and a silky smooth jump-shot is rare to find. But just how good is this kid?
Durant is a 3 times scoring champion and took the Thunder to the NBA Finals last year. To accomplish this in only five seasons in the NBA is a spectacular feat.
How many of you remember when Kenny Smith said in 2010 that “In 3 years Kevin Durant will be the best player in basketball”?
Well, that three years is up. Is Kenny Smith right? No, but at the time Kevin Durant was rated by ESPN as the 11th best player in the league and right now he is the undisputed second best player. Smith also added that Durant’s improvement is something that will carry him to the number one spot. While he may have been wrong about his positioning, he was certainly right about his improvement!
Last season we was Durant lead the league in scoring for the third consecutive time and set career highs per a season in rebounds (8.0), assists (3.5) and FG% (.496)
Now, one cannot argue that LeBron James is a better all-around player than Durant but it should be noted that they play in two totally different teams and contrary to tradition, it may be okay to be second best.
LeBron is playing at a team in which he is the dominant scorer, rebounder and distributor. He has no choice but to score, rebound and pass the ball. Durant however is playing alongside Westbrook who is averaging 8.2 assists per a game this season (top 5 in the league) and alongside Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. So what is the point that I’m trying to make? Durant is doing exactly what his team needs him to do!
While its hard to see LeBron slowing down any time soon it’s amazing to see a player in the form of Durant putting up the scoring numbers he does. Now the next question that comes to mind is “Will he lead the NBA in scoring for a 4th time?”
At the moment Durant is currently leading the NBA in scoring with 29.6 points per game (accurate as of 30/01/13) while Carmelo is in second place with 29.4.
I predicted that Durant would secure the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award last year as I expected the media would continue to portray LeBron James as the villain of the NBA. Despite LeBron claiming his third MVP, Durant still had an amazing season. Again this year I’m picking Durant to be the MVP of the league and with him currently leading the league in scoring and free throw percentage it’s hard not to at least consider him as a candidate.
In addition Durant is currently shooting over 40% from the three-point line, over 50% from the field and over 90% from the free throw ling. If he finishes the season like this he’ll be part of what’s commonly known as the “50-40-90 club” of which there have only been five players.
In conclusion, it’s a joy to watch Durant play, its rare that such a superstar enters the league and even more rare that they stay dominant for such a length of time. With former superstars such as Allen Iverson trying to make a comeback to the NBA and Tracy McGrady playing in China one can only hope that Durant doesn’t go down a similar path.