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Another thing, another runner-up finish for Kevin Durant behind LeBron James.
Still, No. 2 isn’t all bad.
KD finished second in ESPN’s #NBARank project where the top 500 NBA players are scored on a scale of 0-to-10 by a huge panel of voters. It’s obviously not surprising, especially not after the last 12 months LeBron has put together. He’s gone from NBA pariah to the unquestioned most dominant player in the world. Honestly, the list really started at No. 2.
And the fact Durant has established himself there is impressive in its own right. To be ranked that high you can’t just be a scorer. You’ve got to be a player that’s seen as a contributor in all facets. That’s where Durant has taken his game. Good rebounder, a good creator, a good defender and a great scorer.
Last season Durant finished ranked sixth with a 9.62 average. This season his average is 9.70.
Oklahoma City had another top 10 player as Russell Westbrook checked in ninth, up from 15 in 2011. James Harden finished 26th and Serge Ibaka 41st.
Here’s a recap of how the whole team came out:
NR: Andy Rautins | Avg: N/A | 2011 rank: 471
496: Hollis Thompson | Avg: 1.53 | 2011 rank: NR
465: DeAndre Liggins | Avg: 2.02 | 2011 rank: 479
443: Hasheem Thabeet | Avg: 2.23 | 2011 rank: 376
426: Daniel Orton: | Avg: 2.36 | 2011 rank: 431
390: Cole Aldrich | Avg: 2.62 | 2011 rank: 425
383: Lazar Hayward | Avg: 2.67 | 2011 rank: 409
343: Reggie Jackson | Avg: 2.93 | 2011 rank: 422
306: Perry Jones III | Avg: 3.27 | 2011 rank: NR
286: Daequan Cook | Avg: 3.44 | 2011 rank: 275
190: Eric Maynor | Avg: 4.49 | 2011 rank: 157
120: Kendrick Perkins | Avg: 5.15 | 2011 rank: 95
117: Thabo Sefolosha | Avg: 5.16 | 2011 rank: 134
100: Nick Collison | Avg: 5.48 | 2011 rank: 115
41: Serge Ibaka | Avg: 6.93 | 2011 rank: 56
26: James Harden | Avg: 7.70 | 2011 rank: 58
9: Russell Westbrook | Avg: 8.76 | 2011 rank: 15
2: Kevin Durant | Avg: 9.70 | 2011 rank: 6
Biggest Riser: Reggie Jackson, who went up 79 spots. Second biggest was Cole Aldrich, who climbed 35 spots.
Biggest Faller: Hasheem Thabeet, who fell 67 spots. Only three other Thunder players fell actually: Eric Maynor (33 spots), Perk (25 spots) and Daequan Cook (11 spots).
Average Thunder Score: 4.49
Average Thunder Rank: 243.70
A Few Notes: The way I approached the voting was by setting a standard for a zero and a 10. LeBron’s a 10. Eddy Curry’s a zero. I gave three 10s: LeBron, KD and Dwight Howard. I gave six 9s: Westbrook, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. For reference, I gave both Serge Ibaka and James Harden an eight and Nick Collison an 11.
A Few Facts: The Thunder were one of three teams with two players in the top 10… the most any team had in the top 100 was five, which OKC tied with multiple teams on… In terms of a “Big Three” the Thunder’s averaged a 12.3 ranking, while the Heat’s a 9.0 and the Lakers an 8.6… the Thunder were one of two teams (Lakers) with four players in the top 50… the Lakers top four averaged an 11.2, OKC’s a 19.5.