OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant wants to shoot less, play smarter

Over the past four days, the Thunder star and frontrunner for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award has gone on and on about how he needs to be better. Seriously.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 12, 2014
Advertisement
;

photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots defended by Milwaukee Bucks center Ekpe Udoh (5) in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. Oklahoma City won 101-85. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots defended by Milwaukee Bucks center Ekpe Udoh (5) in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. Oklahoma City won 101-85. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Kevin Durant has been on some kind of kick lately.

Over the past four days, the Thunder star and frontrunner for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award has gone on and on about how he needs to be better.

Seriously.

He's talked about his perceived need to do more. To shoot less. To play smarter.

“That's what I love about him,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He's always tough on himself.”

Despite appearing at times like a one-man band since Russell Westbrook underwent his latest surgery, Durant is shouldering the responsibility for the Thunder's recent sluggish play.

Oklahoma City is 7-5 this season without Westbrook and just 5-4 since he was shut down following a third surgery on Dec. 27.

“I'm not doing enough to help them,” Durant said of his teammates. “I'm shooting too much. I'm shooting too many 3s. I'm not helping them out at all. So it's not on them.”

Durant averaged 18 shots with Westbrook in the lineup. He's averaging 20.2 shots in 12 games without Westbrook and 22.1 in the past nine.

Most would assume that to be a natural and necessary spike in shot attempts.

But not Durant.

“The first few games without Russell, we did a great job moving the ball,” Durant said. “I think now I'm just flat out shooting too much. I have to find a way to get my teammates easier shots. I've been thinking these last few games in order for us to get it going I have to do it all offensively. But, nah, we have to do it together. It's a great learning experience for me. It's the first time I've really been in that type of position. But I just have to get everybody involved. I may have to pass up a few to find a better shot.”

Durant unveiled his new approach Saturday against Milwaukee. He turned down multiple good shots, especially in the first half, to get his teammates better shots. It wasn't always pretty, and his decisions at times led to hesitation, over thinking and over passing. But ultimately, it worked.


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...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Report: Florida State WR Jesus Wilson arrested, suspended for stealing motor scooter
  2. 2
    Listen to Britney Spears sing without Auto-Tune
  3. 3
    'Walking Dead' shut out of major Emmy categories
  4. 4
    Little Boy's Heartwarming Back-To-School Video Goes Viral
  5. 5
    Ellen DeGeneres Ready for 'Next Phase' of Her Career
+ show more