Brooks has stressed to Durant to be a playmaker, not simply a passer.
There’s a difference.
“I was a passer,” Brooks said. “I couldn’t make plays. Kevin can make plays. And by doing that he helps our guys get easy shots with his passes. That’s what he’s worked on.”
Durant’s struggle is most readily seen in the turnover column of the stat sheet. Entering Sunday’s game, Durant paced all Thunder players with four turnovers per game. He was third-to-last league-wide behind Jrue Holiday and James Harden, the reason many groan when Durant defers.
Sunday’s triple-double, though, served as vindication for Durant mostly because he racked up 10 assists while turning the ball over just twice in 39 minutes. Four different players benefited from Durant’s playmaking, led by Kevin Martin, who buried five buckets while benefiting from Durant being a wizard for much of the night with the penetrate-and-pitch game.
This is what it looks when Durant is totally in sync.
“He’s always been a great passer. It’s just up to us to make the shots,” said Russell Westbrook, who scored a game-high 30 points and finished three plays off Durant passes, including a monster breakaway dunk just before halftime.
“I think we’re doing a better job of making shots for him and making sure we’re spaced out and he has space to work and he has an opportunity to make good passes.”
Perhaps is time to look elsewhere to find the player who’ll provide our points in bunches. Durant, the reigning three-time scoring champ, proved again Sunday he’s long past that.
And the Thunder doesn’t mind one bit.
“Some guys can just pass. Some guys can just shoot. Some guys can just rebound,” Brooks said. “Obviously with Kevin, he can do many things on the floor and we always have to challenge him because we don’t know how good he will end up being.”