Oklahoma City Thunder: Will setbacks make Kevin Durant stronger?

The Thunder was eliminated in the second round, as a knee injury to Russell Westbrook derailed what potentially could have been a championship season. This is the third straight season that a championship-caliber Thunder team has fallen short.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 23, 2013

Instead, it seems Durant prefers to just put in the work. Before darting off for the offseason, Durant spoke about how “fun” it's going to be to work on his game all summer. He said he's looking forward to growing as a player, coming back better next season and helping his teammates even more.

Then he talked about being more efficient. Better offensively. Returning with different shots, different moves.

“The only way I can go is up,” Durant said.

Recent playoff disappointments perhaps might make Durant as determined as ever. The Thunder lost in five games to Memphis, dropping each of the final four contests. It was the third straight season in which the Thunder was eliminated by losing four straight.

“Of course we didn't win, but we learned so many lessons about ourselves and once you look at it like that you can grow from it,” Durant said. “Everything is a process. You got to go through some tough times to get to where you want to get to. Everybody's been through them. All the best teams, all the great players, they've been through tough times.”

It'll be another four months before Durant gets another shot at writing the Thunder's script. In the meantime, Durant's only promise is that he will be stronger because of his setbacks.

“I'm looking forward to getting better this offseason like always,” Durant said. “I'll just work as hard as I can, and hopefully next season, I'll be ready.”

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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KEVIN DURANT'S 2012-13 SEASON BY THE NUMBERS

1.3: Blocks per game, a career best

3: Triple-doubles

12: Technical fouls, as many as his first five seasons combined

19: Double-doubles

30.8: Scoring average in the playoffs

51.0: Percent field-goal shooting, a career best

90.5: Percent free-throw shooting, a career best

374: Assists, a career best

3,119: Minutes played, the second most in the NBA

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