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Durant says Thunder better when Westbrook shoots more

Apr 3, 2012, 11:32 AM EDT

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook AP

Skip Bayless’ job at ESPN2 is to get people to watch him. He’s good at it — saying often outrageous things will get people to watch to see what you will say next. (His ultimate goal is no different than this blog or anywhere else in the media, our job is to get you to read or watch or listen. There are just a number of ways to go about it.)

One of Bayless’ favorite NBA topics is that Russell Westbrook is taking too many shots away from Kevin Durant. That he should be more of a traditional point guard and defer more to one of the great scorers of the game.

Hogwash, Durant told the Oklahoman. He wants Westbrook to fire away.

“We’re worse when I take more shots (than Westbrook),” Durant said. “Like I said, that guy (Bayless) doesn’t know a thing. I don’t think he watches us. I think he just looks at the stats. And traditionally, a point guard is not supposed to take more shots than everybody else on the team. But we’re better when he does do that and he’s aggressive. And I’m better when I’m out there facilitating, rebounding, defending and being more efficient on my shots with less shots.”

The Thunder have the most efficient offense in the NBA — by a point per possession according to the NBA’s own stats — and part of the reason that works is a two-pronged attack. For the record, they take about the same number of shots per game (Durant averages 0.2 more shots per game). Durant has been more efficient as a shooter than Westbrook, but that is in part because he can pick his spots. If Westbrook defers KD will get more shots but it would be a mistake to assume they would be of the same quality. Durant’s shooting percentages would drop.

Frankly, James Harden is the guy on that team who should be getting more shots.

But the Thunder offense is not the problem (and I don’t think it will be in the playoffs, either). If it is working, don’t “fix” it.

  1. losangelasbasketball - Apr 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    OKC has a Miami Heat thing going on… minus the experience…. Lakers in 6…

  2. boilerup1869 - Apr 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    I love when people rip on skip bayless. That guy is such an obnoxious little loud mouth. Thanks Kurt (and Durant)!

    His brother Rick is way cooler and I think it makes Skip jealous.

  3. davidcl77 - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Skip is the man!

  4. drunkenjunk - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Skip should crawl in a hole and die. Yelling really loud doesn’t make your right about something.

  5. zblott - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Why bring this up and then not take the 15 minutes to check OKC’s records when each takes more shots than the other? Facts exist that allow us to check the validity of people’s statements.

  6. ihavenonickname - Apr 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Skip makes controversial points back he always backs them up with good reasons or stats. So he seems rediculous but he’s actually quite logical. The thing that REALLY bugs the crap out of me is rarely do the people on the other side of the table ever address his points, they just call him names and laugh at him… ADDRESS THE ISSUES!! Come on!

  7. mistercharitystripe34 - Apr 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Skip is hypocritical. He bashes Derrick Rose for barreling into the lane to get fouls, but verbally blows Dwyane Wade for his “heroic” 2006 Finals performance, when Bennett Salvatore was all too happy to oblige Wade. He also says Scottie Pippen is wildly overrated and isn’t a top 50 just because he played next to Jordan. He’s overly religious so he worships Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin (to the point where he claimed Lin would out-duel Rose in an EC playoff series!). I can’t take him seriously with some of his arguments.

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