Mar 10, 2014, 9:35 AM EDT
Kevin Durant leads the NBA in points per game (31.7) and usage percentage (32.7).
But even though his scoring average is the league’s highest in nine years, his usage rate falls far below what’s typical for such a big scoring load. In fact, the only precedents are Michael Jordan in 1988-89 and George Gervin in 1979-80.
In other words, Durant shooting even more – even if those extra shots are relatively inefficient – would make him more similar to history’s other high-end scorers.
And that option remains on the table for him.
Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“Let’s face it: If he wanted to score a bunch of points or more than he’s scoring now, he really could do that,” Brooks said before the Thunder played the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. “His assist level has gone up, he impacts the game. Defensively, he impacts the game. He can guard 1 through 5. So a lot of things that he does (are) all about the team.”
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $70,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
You know who could score more than they’re currently scoring? Every player in the NBA who gets on the court. They all have the ability to hijack their team’s offense, at least temporarily.
Durant and LeBron are two who could do so without consequence, but neither are the selfish players who’d do that, which is part of the reason both are having such great seasons.
As they come down the homestretch of what has become a tight MVP race, let’s focus on what they do, not what they could do.
- Five top candidates for NBA Rookie of the Year 6
- NBA GMs surveyed predict LeBron will win MVP, Spurs will repeat as champions 13
- Owners vote down NBA Draft lottery reform, system to stay same for this season 33
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 preview: Houston Rockets 21
- Kobe Bryant responds to ESPN article with basically a shrug (VIDEO) 15
- Paul George refutes report he didn’t want to play with Kobe Bryant: ‘Media reaching again’ 21
- PBT Extra preview: Lakers, Celtics big name teams headed to lottery 11
- Could lottery reform be bad for small market teams? Sam Presti argues yes. 23