Without a doubt, Kevin Durant is one of the deadliest scorers in the league. For a big man, the Slim Reaper can cause harm at any point of the floor. Three-pointers, pull-ups, drives, and post-ups, he has close to an unguardable offensive arsenal at his disposal.
When one of the top offensive teams in the league, the Golden State Warriors, acquired his services to be a part of Death Lineup 2.0, you would expect a showcase of his offensive talents.
Gifted with size, athleticism, speed, and a shooting touch, the two-time Finals MVP is a mismatch for anyone. Although somewhere along the way, those feisty, gung-ho drives of Durant which he used to bulldoze defenses with seem to have gotten lost in translation with his move to the Bay Area.
Not that he has lost his ability to be a potent scorer; here are some of the reasons why Kevin Durant is doing less on the inside:
The Golden State offense is built on spacing, switches, mismatches, and open looks. In an ideal scenario, Durant gets a wing which he can easily shoot over with his length and shooting touch, or a big man too slow to catch him from the outside as he picks his midrange spots.
When you have a Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green on your lineup, it just makes it a whole lot better for offensive plays. Ask Patrick McCaw and Andre Iguodala how that works out for them. Aside from the roster being solid, their system in makes them run like a well-oiled machine.
Compared to his previous seasons, Durant’s pull up jumper efficiency and usage skyrocketed last season, especially during small ball lineups and transition.
Durant is a former season MVP, and talent of his caliber is always a game changer when healthy. The Warriors need him healthy for the long haul. He can surely take a beating on the court, but given his injury history of foot troubles, this new systematic style of offensive play is wise enough to take him out of harm’s way.
We are witnessing an evolution from Kevin Durant’s offensive pace courtesy of the Warriors. For what it is worth, he is a more efficient scorer now than ever before. The Durantula never lost its scoring edge. It just spun a new pattern.