Kevin Durant leads the NBA in points per game (31.7) and usage percentage (32.7).
But even though his scoring average is the league’s highest in nine years, his usage rate falls far below what’s typical for such a big scoring load. In fact, the only precedents are Michael Jordan in 1988-89 and George Gervin in 1979-80.
In other words, Durant shooting even more – even if those extra shots are relatively inefficient – would make him more similar to history’s other high-end scorers.
And that option remains on the table for him.
Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“Let’s face it: If he wanted to score a bunch of points or more than he’s scoring now, he really could do that,” Brooks said before the Thunder played the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. “His assist level has gone up, he impacts the game. Defensively, he impacts the game. He can guard 1 through 5. So a lot of things that he does (are) all about the team.”
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You know who could score more than they’re currently scoring? Every player in the NBA who gets on the court. They all have the ability to hijack their team’s offense, at least temporarily.
Durant and LeBron are two who could do so without consequence, but neither are the selfish players who’d do that, which is part of the reason both are having such great seasons.
As they come down the homestretch of what has become a tight MVP race, let’s focus on what they do, not what they could do.