Tag Archives: Kevin Durant

The Blazers Sticky Fingers Big Man

The Portland Trail Blazers edged out the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night by just two points.   Coach Terry Stotts’ team won the possession battle by forcing two more turnovers than Denver.   He can thank big man LaMarcus Aldridge for his team keeping the rock.

LMA became the first NBA player since Carmelo Anthony to take 30 shots while committing zero turnovers.

His ability to get a shot up before fumbling the ball away is a prime reason why he is a valuable piece of the Blazers.  Aldridge’s career turnover rate of 8.2% is one of the three lowest of all-time.

Here is the complete list of games with 30+ FGA’s and Zero turns (since 2010):

Player                    Date  Tm   FGA TOV
LaMarcus  Aldridge   2014-12-02 POR W  30   0
Carmelo  Anthony     2014-01-24 NYK W  35   0
Kevin  Durant        2014-01-07 OKC L  34   0
LaMarcus  Aldridge   2013-12-26 POR W  31   0
Kevin  Durant        2013-01-14 OKC W  30   0

Why OKC Misses Durant and Westbrook

The OKC Thunder display Friday highlighted why they miss Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook so much.  In a home loss to the Pistons Scott Brooks‘ team made one free throw.

Over 53 minutes and nearly one-hundred shot attempts only Steven Adams would make a foul shot for the home team.

See KD has led the NBA in made free throws for five years straight.  In addition Russ has been among the top-five league wide in each of his last three healthy seasons.  Getting to the foul line and converting has been the primary advantage for OKC during their five year run of success.

Sans their stars the Thunder have become the first team in at least three decades to make fewer than two foul shots in an overtime game.

Only the expansion Toronto Raptors featuring rookie Damon Stoudamire played an entire NBA game while not hitting a freebie.


Date          Tm  Opp       Result  MP  FGA FT FTA   
2014-11-14   OKC  DET L 89-96 (OT) 265   96  1   6  
2014-02-08   MEM  ATL      W 79-76 240   90  1   1 
2013-11-24   PHO  ORL     W 104-96 240   95  1   3 
2012-01-14   TOR  CHI      L 64-77 240   86  1   7 
2004-02-25   NJN  MIN      L 68-81 240   83  1   5 
1996-01-09   TOR  CHH      L 91-92 240   84  0   3 

OKC Thunder: Small Lineup Plays Big

The Oklahoma City Thunder have played ten playoff games in 2014.  Understanding the sample size is still small we could see flukes in OKC’s production by lineups.  But early on there are dramatic differences in Scott Brooks 5-man units.

The Thunder’s most common lineup is Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.  In 127 minutes played through 10 games this unit is playing even with it’s opponents.

When Brooks goes small and inserts Reggie Jackson and Caron Butler for Perk and Thabo we see an improvement in rebounding and big jump in shooting efficiency.  Overall this small unit is +30 points/100 possessions.

This is an outrageous difference and is not likely to last.  But ten games in there is no argument which Thunder lineup has been most productive this playoff season.

NBA Playoffs: Durant’s Likely Big Game 4

The Memphis Grizzlies should not expect Kevin Durant to repeat his game three performance anytime this playoff season.  Durant took 13 shots outside of ten feet during game 3.  He made exactly one of them.

I give Tony Allen, Mike Conley and Courtney Lee  credit for playing tight defense on the MVP but it’s not likely that K.D. will be ice cold again on Saturday night.

NBA History: Shooting, Passing and Rebounding

Only four players in this NBA season have proven to be great shooters, good rebounders and good passers.

  • 58% True Shooting
  • 10% Total Rebound Rate
  • 20% Assist Rate
Player TS% TRB% AST%
Nicolas Batum .590 11.1 20.8
Kevin Durant .638 10.9 26.6
LeBron James .649 11.5 31.9
Kevin Love .591 18.8 20.9

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Generated 4/14/2014.

To put this in perspective only three players in the entire 1980’s accomplished this feat in any season.  They were Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.  Magic did it five times while Bird had four such seasons.

NBA MVP: Best Player on the Best Team?

The most valuable players in the NBA this year are LeBron James (19 wins produced) and Kevin Durant (20 wins).  You can pick your poison.

One thing we shouldn’t hear from NBA MVP voters is “He’s the best player on the best team”.  Why?  Because neither the Heat or Thunder are the best team.  That honor goes to the San Antonio Spurs.

Gregg Popovich’s Spurs have five more wins than every other team in the league.  So for argument sake who is their best player?  While Tim Duncan is having another excellent season he isn’t San Antonio’s MVP.  That honor goes to third year forward Kawhi Leonard.

The San Diego State product is over 60% True Shooting this year while playing great defense on multiple positions.  Finally, without Leonard in the lineup San Antonio is 8-7 this year.  With Kawhi they are 52-10.

I’m not arguing that a Spur should win the MVP but it is clear that the 2014 NBA MVP will not come from the best team.

Good and Great Shooters

Only ten players this NBA season have scored 1,000 points while sporting a 60% True Shooting.  No surprise that LeBron James and Kevin Durant are clearly the two best scorers and shooters in the league this year.  But there were two names that really stand out among the list, Goran Dragic and Jodie Meeks.

The Phoenix Suns guard is shooting just as well as Stephen Curry while Meeks is a few steps ahead of Joe Johnson, Kevin Martin and Jamal Crawford.