This time last season, Kevin Durant had already established a reputation as a chucker, a one-dimensional player who settled for long jumpers and showed little desire to display his all-round game.
The assessment was a fair one. Twenty three percent of Durant’s shot attempts over his first 30 games were 3-pointers. Only 10.1 percent of his shot attempts over his final 50 games came from deep. But Durant has built on his development from the second half of last year, and his improvement has been evident through the first 1 months of his sophomore season. Durant is averaging more points and rebounds than he did a year ago. More importantly, his shooting percentages from the field and from behind the 3-point line have risen. "On the offensive end, we evaluate him on getting good shots,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "I think all good players will throw up a bad shot here and there, but we’re trying to lower those down as each game goes by. And he’s been getting good shots. His percentages tell us that.” Entering Sunday’s game against San Antonio, Durant was shooting 46 percent from the field after finishing at 43 percent last year. He shot 28.8 percent from behind the 3-point line last season and was at 50 percent from the arc before going 1-for-4 against the Spurs. Durant has been more patient this season. He’s moving the ball better and trusting his teammates more. He’s relying more on one- and two-dribble pullups instead of camping out around the arc. Brooks has run plays designed to spread out Durant’s touches.
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Kevin Durant’s 2007-08 averages vs. this season’s:
|43.0||Field goal %||46.0|
|87.3||Free throw %||84.4|
|34.6||Min. per game||37.0|
Now and Then