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

If you can, go back and watch the Thunder's preseason game against Philadelphia.

Pay close attention to Kevin Durant.

Watch the way he handled the ball. Controlled the pace. Picked apart the defense and made plays with his passing.

“I thought he made as many good reads as he ever has in that game,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks.

You need to see what Durant did in that game to understand what the Thunder's offense very likely will look like to start the 2013-14 season.

Durant tallied 12 assists against the Sixers last Tuesday. It was one more than his career high. He finished with 21 points on an efficient 9-for-18 shooting. But when the world's most dangerous scorer began scanning the court and searching for teammates, Durant ultimately dished out 26 additional points through his passing.

He set up five players with at least one basket. Five of Serge Ibaka's nine buckets came courtesy of Durant.

“He's one of the best scorers in the league, if not the best, so he draws so much attention,” said Reggie Jackson, who Durant assisted four times on 10 field goals. “He's slowed down a little and he's finding open shooters. Unfortunately, a lot of our shots went in and out. He probably should have had around 20 assists. But he's doing a good job of just taking what the defense gives him.”

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.

“Obviously we got to change some things up with how we play,” Durant said. “And I think coach is putting in some great offense for us. Everybody's touching the ball. We're moving it a little bit more. We're finding the open shot. And we're just trusting our offense.”


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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