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OKC Thunder: Expect Kevin Durant to be more of a playmaker

For as long as starting point guard Russell Westbrook is sidelined, the Thunder figures to use Durant as a playmaker more frequently. Think of the three-time scoring champion as a decoy.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 13, 2013

The coaching staff has stressed ball movement throughout training camp, and the Thunder's 52 assists on 76 field goals in the first two preseason games suggests the players are listening. It's clear that without Westbrook the Thunder will try to rely on a more balanced attack to preserve some semblance of its high-scoring attack.

It's up to Durant to lead the way.

“It's by design,” Brooks said. “We want all of our playmakers to continue to look for guys that need help scoring. We have guys that can do a lot of things offensively, but they need help. And (Durant) has the ability to get shots for Thabo (Sefolosha), get shots for Serge and get shots for all of our bigs.

“Once we start knocking some of those shots in I think it's going to add to what we do offensively.”

Durant averaged a career-high 4.6 assists last season and, for the first time in his career, finished with more assists than turnovers. Brooks thinks we'll see another jump in Durant's playmaking this season.

“I never predetermine anything,” Durant said. “I just kind of play how the defense plays me. I never come into a game looking to score this many points or get this many assists. I'm just going out there and playing and trusting in the offense and my teammates and myself. Whatever happens after that then it happens.”

There is one condition.

“I've got to be aggressive,” Durant said. “It's not always aggressive to score but aggressive to make the right play. If I do that we'll be fine.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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