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Kevin Durant goes off in a line for a ridiculous line

Apr 15, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant AP

The new-ish trendy element to judge a player is efficiency. We’ve learned over time that a lot of guys, not all, but a lot of guys can drop 30+ if they shoot it 27-plus times. So every scoring effort is weighed against how many shots it took to get there. After all, if you’re just throwing the ball at the rim over and over again, that’s probably not helping your team as much as helping to convert a higher number of times you have the ball. Which is what makes Kevin Durant‘s line against the Wolves Saturday night all the more impressive.

Durant finished with 43 points and seven rebounds. Four turnovers is a little high for just the one assist, but when you’re scoring that much, you’re going to lose the rock a bit. OK, great, ho-hum, another 40-plus night for a shooter. Woo. How many shots did he…

23. Twenty three. Forty three points on 23 shots. Good. Gravy.

It gets even weirder when you take a look at Duran’s shot chart, courtesy of (blue line emphasis mine):




Basically Durant hit one shot from the right shallow wing near the baseline, and one juuust-to-the-right of the top-of-the-key three, and other than that, all his makes were in a straight-on path to the basket. So what does this mean?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing, it is not indicative of anything besides the fact that the Thunder weren’t using Durant out of the corner on sets which makes sense because, really, who’s leaving Kevin Durant open in the corner and two that the Wolves were forcing him middle and he was torching them with it. It’s not super-relevant in any way, it’s just kind of neat.

But not as neat as 43 points on 23 shots. That’s super-neat.

  1. abchome - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Isn’t the “true shooting percentage” supposed to evaluate shooting efficiency?

  2. diabloryno - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    So I’m assuming Russell Westbrook’s 35 points on 25 shots isn’t very impressive..

    • david8726 - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      It’s impressive. Just not as impressive.

  3. joelito19 - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    I’ve seen better from Lebron. Stop trying to build his MVP Stocks. LBJ will win it hands downs. When KD starts defending all five Positions and turn around on offense to carry his team, get back with me.

  4. jimeejohnson - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    When Lebron takes over at the end of a tight game and makes a crucial shot to win the game for his team, let us know!

    • david8726 - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:01 AM

      He’s done this many times before, so…..

  5. joelito19 - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    You are watching too much ESPN. Do some research, then LET Me Know.

  6. bknowledge - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    MVP is a regular season award. The most valuable player for the regular season.

    Lebron is not the MVP. Miami is in second place. If Miami had a “league average” starting small forward instead of Lebron, they would still be in the top 3 or 4 in the east. The most valuable player is a player that makes his team better. Lebron doesn’t make Miami all that much better.

    Durant deserves the MVP.

    • david8726 - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:05 AM

      You lose all credibility when you claim that LeBron doesn’t make Miami that much better. I’m sorry but that’s just an absurd statement.

      He is the key kog in everything Miami does on both offense and defense. And that last part is key – He is an enormous presence on the defensive end.

      Durant and LeBron are basically equals on the offense end, but LeBron is the superior defender. That is the biggest reason why he’s a more valuable player than Durant, in my opinion.

  7. scoregasmic - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    What have you been watching Joelito?

    • mrhney03 - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      Hes been watching the nanny

  8. lakerluver - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Joelito, I’m a huge Kobe fan and even I know KD is the MVP. LBJ can’t even get his team past a Bulls team that’s been beat up all season. KD is the Truth!!

  9. joelito19 - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    I would sit here and argue but I refuse to have a Fact vs Emotion debate.” Lebron doesnt make the Heat Better” did it for me.
    One guy is a scoring machine(KD) and the other guy is a scoring machine and defensive stopper, defends all 5 position and plays PG, SG, SF, and PF when his team needs him too(LBJ), but he doesn’t make his team better. #Emotions Vs Facts. Good bye OKC Fan Club

    “Take the Emotion out of it”
    – Colin Cowherd

  10. cullenand99 - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    When talking about MVP people tend to forget that offense is only half of the game. LeBron plays great offense and great defense. Durant on the other hand plays GREAT offense and average defense. Until Durant starts playing some good defense, LeBron is MVP.

    • david8726 - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:12 AM

      Also, do you have any idea just how bad Kevin Durant’s career percentage is on game winning shots?

  11. joelito19 - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Thank you. Finally someone with perspective.

  12. detroitcityryda - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Guy propping up lebron , you know damn well he’s gonna choke come playoffs most overrated player in the league . I’ll take Durant or Westbrook any day .

    • joelito19 - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Of course you would…..Emotions blocking your judgement lol

  13. vikingsinla - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    I wonder if this article’s author realized this was against the Timberwolves. He might as well have done this in pre-game warmups.

  14. lakerluver - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Hey, joelito, LBJ sure wasn’t much of a defensive stopper when Melo was dropping 40 on him today, now was he? I’ve always thought his defense was overrated. Coming from behind to block a shot does not make him a defensive stopper. And KD lit him up a week ago too.

    • livingsacrifice86 - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      Uh, were you watching the same game as everybody else? I’m pretty sure Anthony was dropping 40 on Battier. Lebron got that assignment in the 4th and Carmelo’s impact was minimal

    • asuthyo - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Did you actually watch the game or did you just look at the box score afterwards?

      LBJ was only on Melo for a few minutes in the first. The next time he became the primary defender on him was with about 9 minutes to go in the fourth. After that Melo had like 3 points and the Heat went on a run to close out the game. That seems like pretty good D to me when you consider how hot Melo was before that.

      Repeat after me…watch and then form an opinion.

    • david8726 - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:08 AM

      Funny that you reference LeBron’s performance VS Durant a week ago. I seem to remember LeBron outplaying Durant on both ends of the floor and the Heat winning that game.

  15. trinityeagle - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    I was always under the impression that LBJ was Lyndon B Johnson, not Lebron James. Just saying.

  16. lakerluver - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Yeah, he wasn’t guarding KD when they played OKC either, huh? I hope LBJ does win the MVP. Then he’ll be the ONLY multiple MVP winner WITHOUT a title!!

    • saintlaron - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:04 PM

      Steve nash has a title?

      • cullenand99 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:16 PM

        Go easy on him. Hes a Laker fan.

  17. kdmd35 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Honestly, does anyone edit their articles???

  18. lakerluver - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    What I should’ve said is he will break the tie with Nash. Considering the fact that Nash shouldn’t have two (one of them should’ve gone to Kobe) I sorta forgot.

    • boobcok - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:57 PM

      so Karl Malone won a title then?

  19. loungefly74 - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    I don’t think it would be a travesty if either Lebron or Durant wins the MVP. They are clearly the 2 best in the league this year.

    • david8726 - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      Yeah, I’m a Heat fan so I’d like to see LeBron win it. I think he deserves it. But Durant is a worthy MVP candidate too. I’d be fine with it if he won the award.

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