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NBA Playoffs: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Who Should Lead OKC Thunder?

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27:  (L-R) Russell Westbrook #0 and Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder sit on the bench late in the fourth quarter while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Nicholas GossCorrespondent IApril 27, 2011

Oklahoma City Thunder superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook got into a heated verbal exchange in the first half of Game 4 versus the Denver Nuggets. While players yell at each other all the time in the heat of battle, there may be a cause for concern.

Westbrook scored 30 points in Game 4, but it took him 30 shot attempts to reach that mark. Meanwhile, Durant scored 31 points on just 18 shot attempts.

I'm not going to pretend and declare that the argument was over who should shoot the ball the most, so I'll discuss the issue.

Westbrook has had an amazing 2011 season and was a legitimate candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year, an award given to Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Westbrook is a great scorer, and he improved his shooting range this season. He is also a great rebounding guard and puts up solid assist numbers.

However, his shot selection is often poor, and he is nowhere near the quality of a shooter as Durant.

Durant won his second consecutive scoring title this season, even though Westbrook took more shots and scored more points than he did in 2010.

Durant is a much better outside shooter and can shoot threes far better than Westbrook. He is also better at getting to the free-throw line and has a softer touch at the basket.

The two of them are great players and have shown their games are capable of complimenting each other quite well, but in crunch time—Durant needs the ball.

With a young and inexperienced team tasting new playoff success, one often worries about players trying too hard or letting their egos take over.

In Game 4, Westbrook was taking bad shots left and right and looked like he was trying to model former NBA MVP Allen Iverson.

He's not the scorer Iverson was. When Westbrook is taking 30 shots, he is taking opportunities away from his teammates.

James Harden and Serge Ibaka need to get their shots, and with Westbrook taking 30 of them, there isn't enough offense to go around.

Durant is a more efficient scorer than Westbrook and has better offensive skills. Durant takes better shots and creates matchup problems for many teams because of his length and quickness.

Westbrook is a fabulous player who has had a great year, but he isn't the No. 1 offensive threat on the Thunder.

Kevin Durant is the face of the Thunder and their best player. No one else should take offensive priority over him—not even Westbrook.

Nicholas Goss is an Oklahoma City Thunder Featured Columnist, follow him on Twitter for Thunder news and analysis. 

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