Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant playing the best offensive basketball of his career

He came into the league at a high level, but Kevin Durant has improved significantly in the past seven years. Minor tweaks have produced major results for the Thunder star.
by Anthony Slater Published: January 18, 2014

photo - The Thunder’s Kevin Durant shoots during his career-best performance Friday night against the Warriors. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
The Thunder’s Kevin Durant shoots during his career-best performance Friday night against the Warriors. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Kevin Durant was stuck on 41 points for more than three minutes of game action. And on Friday night, that stagnation felt like an eternity.

So he called for the ball on the right wing, got it, and immediately rose for an in-rhythm three. Swish.

Then, on two of the next three possessions, he did the exact same thing.

Nine points in less than a minute. All from an increasingly more comfortable spot on the floor.

“I've been working on that shot, the right wing,” Durant said. “It used to be the shot I missed the most.”

But now, it has just become another lethal option in his unguardable arsenal.

Of Durant's career-high 54 points on Friday night, 10 came near the rim, 11 came at the free-throw line and 12 came from that right wing, the zone in which he produced the most damage. Overall, he was 4-of-6 on that shot.

And in the grand scheme, that only continued an upward trend that Durant has clearly identified and worked to produce.

In 2010-11, Durant shot 29 percent from the right wing, below league average. In 2011-12, he saw a slight improvement, upping it to nearly 32 percent, right around league average.

But over the past two seasons, it has spiked to an impressive 42.3 percent clip. And because of that, it's now the spot where he takes, and makes, the highest percentage of his 3-point shots.

“He was greatness when he entered the league,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said, when asked to identify areas Durant has improved.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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