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
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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)

Of course, it helped that his teammates made shots, something they've struggled to do even when Durant has set them up.

In the last nine games, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Thabo Sefolosha, Derek Fisher and Kendrick Perkins — five players that make up more than a third of the Thunder's offense — are all shooting below 42 percent.

Durant, meanwhile, has been blazing, with averages of 31.8 points, 11 rebounds and 4.4 assists while shooting 45.6 percent over that same span.

“He cares about his teammates,” Brooks said. “He wants to make sure everybody is involved and everybody is having success. Shooting too much? I wouldn't label him as a guy that's taking too many shots.

“I like him taking shots if they're good shots. But I like him taking 3s if they're off the pass, unless we're in a situation where it's a two-for-one then I like that pull-up 3. I think he's taken maybe too many 3s that are not from a pass … If I want to criticize one area of his shot selection it's probably that.”

Over the past nine games, Durant has hoisted 6.9 3-pointers on average. He tied his career high with 13 3-point attempts last Tuesday at Utah, a game in which he also tied his career high with 34 shot attempts.

“I just can't keep thinking about myself,” Durant said. “It's messing up the rhythm. So I got to figure out how I can help them out. It's not about them helping me. It's about me helping them.”


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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