Breaking Down What Makes Kevin Durant the NBA's Greatest Offensive Threat
Ranking the best scorers in the NBA is often a heavily debated topic, but it's hard to argue against the case of a player like Kevin Durant, who has proven himself to be deadly with the ball in his hands just about anywhere on the court.
Durant has won the scoring title in three consecutive seasons and looks poised to repeat this feat this year, being only slightly behind (.4 points) Kobe Bryant for the league lead in points per game. Though Bryant is still ahead of Durant, a closer look at the numbers still shows that Durant is by far a more efficient and dangerous overall offensive threat.
Bryant is scoring 29.7 points per game with a field goal percentage of 47.4 on 21.9 shots per game. Durant, on the other hand, is scoring 29.3 points on a much prettier 52 percent shooting and taking about three fewer shots per game (18.5).
Given Kobe's age and history with injuries, his high usage and heavy amount of shots should be much harder for him to maintain compared to a more youthful Durant, making him a threat to reclaim his lead in scoring.
These numbers are just one major indicator of Durant's dominance in the scoring department, showing that he can still be the best scorer and do so in an efficient manner.
Another large aspect of KD's offensive game is his ability to get to the line and convert. Just recently, Durant dropped 52 points on the Mavericks, but most of those points came from the charity stripe. In that game, he was able to go 21-for-21 at the line, bringing his free throw percentage to a ridiculous 90.6 percent, good for third in the league.
Durant also ranks third in the league with his 9.1 free throw attempts per game, meaning that he is almost guaranteed to get a good chunk of points just from being fouled on a nightly basis.
Besides just the superb foul shooting, Durant's use of his length (7'5" wingspan) helps him to shoot unblockable jumpers and throw up some ridiculous shots around the rim.
Having the ability to finish at the rim with dunks rather than layups benefits Durant and his shooting percentage and makes for a lot more poster worthy plays like the one on Earl Clark seen below:
Above all, Kevin Durant's general versatility and creativeness with the basketball make him the most dangerous offensive threat in the league.
KD can shoot the ball with great range, drive and finish at the bucket or pull up with floaters or mid-range shots, making him dangerous from just about anywhere past the halfcourt line. After a summer of training with LeBron James, Durant has also found a pretty good niche in the post-up game too, being able to get some buckets with his back to the basket.
His shots don't always look conventional or pretty, but they have a high tendency to drop anyway, especially in clutch situations like a recent game against the Mavericks when Durant dropped his 52 spot.
Another often overlooked benefit to Durant's scoring success is the fact that he has other offensive threats on his team that can help take the defensive focus off of him. With guys like Russell Westbrook, Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka able to score pretty well, Durant can often find himself open on the perimeter or able to make a cut to the hoop.
Being a multi-faceted player on offense makes it hard to gameplan for KD, who is capable of going off on a scoring rampage at any given time in a game. Even if it seems that he is at slumber in the early stages of a close game, Durant has proven time and time again that he can and will show up when it counts the most to close out an opponent seemingly single-handedly.
As hard as it may seem to be this dominant in the NBA, Kevin Durant has made it look easy, even when going off for bundles of points. His cool, calm and collected demeanor makes it all the more frustrating for the opponent when he is lighting up the scoreboard at his own ease.
With his versatile skill set, great shooting range, ability to finish plays at the free-throw line, and great use of athleticism, there's no question that Durant is the most potent scorer in the NBA, and his numbers continue to stack up and prove that he stands alone at the top of this mountain.
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