Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant says it's a matter of time before shooting slump ends

by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 28, 2014

Kevin Durant is no different than the rest of us.

Well, at least not when it comes to his shooting slump.

Like most basketball observers, Durant’s also believes it’s only a matter before he busts out of it.

“No doubt,” he said. “I’m always confident in myself. I think I’m getting good looks. It’s a few in the fourth quarter I wish I could shoot again because they look so good. They were in and out of the rim. But that’s the name of the game sometimes. Before a breakthrough, you always have to go through a tough, tough period.”

Durant’s next chance to find light at the end of the tunnel comes Tuesday night in Game 5 against Memphis. He’s had two days to sit and stew over what’s gone wrong in the last three games, contests in which he’s combined to shoot 35.5 percent from the floor and 22.2 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

His worst shooting series since his playoff debut against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010 can be attributed to a mix between smothering defense by Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, some questionable shot selection and, of all things, overthinking.

“I think I’m not disciplined enough in my shot,” Durant said. “I’m either pulling it back too quick or shooting to quick or worried about a guy coming behind trying to block a shot. I just got to focus in on the rim and on my shot and everything else will take care of itself.”

It’s not beyond reason to think fatigue also could be in play.

Durant has averaged 46.8 minutes in this grueling series against Memphis. Remember, too, that Durant averaged 39.9 minutes in his final eight regular season games, topping 40 minutes in six of those.

But sometimes shots simply don’t drop.

“Kevin had great shots (in Game 4),” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “The 21 shots, I counted, I thought 18 shots were really good. Three of the other shots, if he was having a better shooting night, those would have been decent shots.

“But we can’t discount Tony Allen. He’s a good defender. He knows his role and he wants to do it well. But I like the shots that Kevin did get. He got shots all over the floor. That’s one of the things we wanted him to have going into that game last game, spread his touches around the floor.”

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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