Archive for the ‘Durant’ Category

Players who shot worse than Kevin Durant last year

October 14, 2008

The rush early last season to label Durant a chucker — which led to the Horford for ROY campaign — always bothered me. Even today someone in Hollinger’s chat derisively called him a “machine gunner.” But he ended the season at 43%, better than:

  • Shane Battier
  • Baron Davis
  • Tracy McGrady
  • James “Cashin’ In” Posey
  • Kirk Hinrich
  • Mike Bibby
  • Jamal Crawford
  • Jerry Stackhouse
  • Stephen Jackson
  • Rafer Alston
  • Malik Rose (sorry, Hengst)

Holy Crap, Kevin Durant

April 6, 2008

I’ve been talking a lot about Kevin Durant lately, and good God, did he put on a show tonight. Look at this shot he hits to send the game to double-OT. That’s from Arenas-range. In particular, check out his reaction…

… that’s right, he just walks toward the other end of the court smiling. It was like watching him at Texas all over again, right down to the irrational exuberance.

In 51 minutes over two overtimes, Durant lit up the Nuggets for 37, 8, and 9, while adding 2 threes and 3 steals — and gave the Warriors new hope for the playoffs. Now if they win out, including beating Denver in Oakland this Thursday, I’m going to some playoff games at Oracle. Thank you, KD.

Here’s a clip with much better resolution if you want to see it again.

Durant’s On, But Something’s Off

April 3, 2008

Kevin Durant did it again, shooting-wise, last night versus the Clips: 30 points on 13-23 shooting, 4-5 from the line, 2 offensive rebounds, but only 1 assist and an ugly 5 turnovers. That assist number may have had something to do with his teammates combining for 53 points while shooting 22-70 (pi/10, as it turns out, or 31.4%). Regardless, the Sonics lost again, something like their 19th in the last 21 games.

That Miami-Heat-like slump coincides with Durant’s sudden jump in FG% and efficiency, serving as yet another example that scoring isn’t everything. Having watched relatively few Sonics games recently, I can’t really say why they’re stinking even worse than usual, but defense is my guess. Will investigate after work.

A Tale of Two Kevins

April 2, 2008

Earlier this fantasy season, our friend Justin, winner of the 2007 Hancock draft lottery, announced Kevin Durant was on the block. Since Hancock is a keeper league populated mostly by UT alums, I figured he’d be overwhelmed with options. Nope. After waiting for weeks for better offers, Justin eventually traded me the struggling, “one-dimensional” Durant for Kevin Martin (Y! Rank like 22) and Jamaal “45 Games a Year” Tinsley.

For a couple months after the trade, Durant didn’t exactly tear it up. His shooting percentage was Jacque Vaughn-esque. He turned it over like Rafer Alson circa 2005. And he hit the offensive glass like Earl Boykins. Then came March. He stopped shooting 3’s and his FG% went through the roof. Assists were ever so slightly up, TO’s a bit down. He still needs to hit the offensive glass more. But I didn’t hear much about this new-found efficiency, outside of some local outlets (that article’s definitely worth a read if you’re a KD fan).

Strange thing is: when Durant started playing well, his stat line basically morphed into Martin’s. For now, Durant’s perception (disappointment; chucker) vs. Martin’s (budding superstar; efficiency God) has yet to follow suit.

A quick comparison:

  • Kevin Martin: tall, lanky SG; resembles member of Kid ‘n Play
  • Kevin Durant: tall, lanky, SG; often resembles college kid who just failed a final
  • Martin’s season: 23.4 ppg | 61.0 TS% | 4.6 rbd | 2.1 ast | 2.0 TO
  • Durant’s March: 21.8 ppg | 60.6 TS% | 4.1 rbd | 2.2 ast | 2.9 TO
  • Durant’s season: 19.9 ppg | 51.9 TS% | 4.1 rbd | 2.0 ast |3.0 TO

It’s safe to say that if Durant could get his TO’s down, he’d find himself near Martin’s offensive rating of 120.9, good for 10th in the league.

The other big factor here, of course, is that I can’t believe people have been so hard on a 19-year-old who still lives with his mom, is stuck in the worst possible ownership/fan situation, and who is keyed on by every defenses he goes again. Martin is 25, in his fourth season, and surrounded by about 8 guys better than anyone the Sonics have.

But, hey, let’s give that ROY award to the 27-year-old role player averaging 10 and 6.

Just for a little perspective (and coincidentally also noted by this guy), Lebron’s rookie season, at age 18, with the caveat that no one this generation will compare with LBJ:

  • Lebron: 20.9 ppg | 48.8 TS% | 5.5 rbd | 5.9 | 3.5 TO

Some final stat notes:

  • While advanced numbers aren’t available in splits, both Durant and Lebron are sitting on an offensive rating of 99 for their rookie year.
  • Rookie years are notoriously poor predictors of careers, too. Karl Malone, career ORtg of 113, slapped up an abysmal 93 his first season.
  • Lebron’s rating is now up to 117 with a staggering usage rate above 33%.
  • Martin’s usage rate this year is lower (26%) than both Durant and Lebron’s as rookies (around 28%). That slightly helps his efficiency.
  • The best offensive player on Durant’s team prior to the Thomas/Wally trades: Kurt Thomas, ORtg = 115
  • After the trades: Collison (ha ha!), ORtg = 108

All right, time to go watch Warriors-Mavs.

The Future … Has Acne

March 22, 2007

We begin this blog, appropriately, with Kevin Durant. We’ll forget that USC game ever happened, wish D.J. Augustin well in his sophomore year, and remember only the best times. I think my personal favorite will always be Durant’s utter demolition of Texas Tech, in Lubbock, when he put up like 32 and 25 — mainly because I can’t stand Bob Knight and everything he stands for. After that game the Red Raiders managed only one more real win, against A&M, before getting shot out of the tournament. I think it’s safe to say that Durant destroyed their season.

But back to the future. The NBA draft countdown has begun, at a very high number, as the Celtics continue to debase their once-proud franchise. Tonight against the Bobcats was actually a little pathetic.

After leaving his starting five on the bench while the second string blew an 18-point lead — and the game — Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers felt he needed to explain himself.

“I was not throwing the game, or anything like that,” he said Wednesday night after the Celtics lost 92-84 to the Charlotte Bobcats, their closest pursuers in the Greg Oden and Kevin Durant sweepstakes.

“I’ve heard all those questions,” Rivers said before taking any questions in his postgame news conference. “Honestly, I got to the point early in the fourth quarter and I turned to the coaches and said to them, ‘We are either going to win or lose with this group.”

Kudos to AP writer Jimmy Golden who began the next paragraph with the words, “And they lost.” That’s about as close to tellin’ it like it is as you’ll see in a post-game recap.

The kicker is that the Bobcats began their furious comeback when Paul Pierce went out with an injury. He sat the entire fourth quarter, struck down after “opening a cut on the inside of his mouth.” Let the Truth be told.

I guess I have to say that I’m officially hoping the Celtics don’t get Durant now. Not sure who to root for to become the team I have to root for (except when playing the Spurs). The tournament this weekend will be a sad time in Austin, I can already tell you. After all, once Durant’s gone, who else will the Statesman be able caricature as a small Ethiopian child?

Durant Mii

Images blatantly stolen from the Statesman.