Kevin Arnovoitz breaks down on TrueHoop Kevin Durant within the Oklahoma City offense. It’s about as must-read as anything gets.
NBA defenders are a wily bunch and Oklahoma City is still an incredibly young team. They’re just beginning to tackle the inordinately difficult task of finding open shots against the world’s longest, most agile and most intuitive defenders. Right now, those defenders are zeroing in on Kevin Durant. That’s going to force everyone on the Thunder to be more resourceful. The coaching staff will have to find new ways to get Durant open. Durant’s teammates will have to learn how to run better interference between Durant and defensive aces like Anthony Parker. Most of all, Durant will have to figure out how to make defenses pay for overplaying him.
It turns out there’s some relevant precedence for this. Remember the Cavs’ 2007 50-32 squad that made the Finals? That team was 19th in offensive efficiency. And while LeBron James has always been an instinctive passer — something you can’t really say about Durant — it took some time for him to establish that trust with teammates. Durant’s just getting started. There’s no reason to doubt that the strides we’ve seen Durant make in his game over the past three months won’t translate into an improvement in his team’s overall offensive efficiency.
The truth is, it already has, but there’s still more ground to cover.
And remember, as you read all this, keep in mind Kevin Durant is 21 years old and is in his third year and the team around him is equally as young. It’ll make you feel a whole lot better.