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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Durant Nets 32, Sonics Still Lose

Kevin Durant had the first high scoring performance (32 points, nearly matching his total of 36 from his first two games) of his brief NBA summer league career in an 85-74 loss to the Golden State Warriors. He also played some strong defense against summer league sensation Marco Belinelli, who managed just 16 points on 6-23 shooting. Not to take any credit away from the long-armed Durant, but Belinelli's shooting statistics have steadily declined since his 37 point debut, so it remains to be seen if Durant is really a lock down defender, if jet lag is catching up to Belinelli or if the summer league players in general simply figured out how to guard him better.

Durant did not have a great shooting night either, connecting on 9-23 from the field. He scored a lot of points at the free throw line, shooting 13-16, and it will be interesting to see if he can draw that many fouls in regular season NBA games. Also, although he had four steals, Durant managed just three rebounds, one assist and no blocked shots. He now has five rebounds and one assist in 99 minutes of play over three games. The main skill that he has displayed so far is the ability to draw fouls and make free throws (technically, I suppose that qualifies as two separate skills). Durant's free throw touch indicates that his field goal percentage will improve as he gets stronger and employs better shot selection but his lack of production in most other areas of the boxscore should not be just glossed over. Yes, this is just summer league and Durant has only played three games but guys who are going to be big time rebounders are able to go get the ball regardless of circumstances, provided that they play sufficient minutes--and Durant is receiving more than ample playing time to make his presence felt on the boards. Summer league players are not as quick, strong or skilled as the guys who Durant will see in the regular season, so don't expect his rebounding totals to go up much any time soon.

posted by David Friedman @ 7:10 AM



At Sunday, July 15, 2007 5:00:00 PM, Blogger kenny roberts said...

I think durant will be a great scorer like koby bryant but not a great all around player like lebron, duncan, and wade. he has alot of skills, and he may develop into a great all around player, but it will take time and we have to see.

where oden will be a great player who just has to get in touch with nba oficiating. they both will have great careers, but durant looks more like tracy mcgrady, carmelo anthony, kevin garnett, and kobe guys who are talented but dont consistently go far in the playoofs.

At Monday, July 16, 2007 12:55:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Kobe is a perennial All-NBA and All-Defensive Team member and is considered by most knowledgeable observers to be the best player in the game. Durant certainly has a long way to go to match any of that. Kobe has won three rings, so he doesn't belong in the same category as T-Mac, Melo and KG in terms of not advancing far in the playoffs.

Right now--and it is admittedly very early--Durant looks like a taller, skinnier Melo, a guy whose biggest contribution comes from his scoring.

At Monday, July 16, 2007 1:39:00 AM, Blogger kenny roberts said...

thats what i meant by kobe his greatest contribution is his scoreing. like durant is right now he got aways to go to be the scorer in the nba kobe is now but if i compare him to anybody it would be him.

kobe one of my favirote players to watch actually, but i think no disrespect slightly one dimensional. some people think he the best player in the game, personally i go with duncan or lebron or possible wade. but kobe great i was trying to compliment kobe by saying durant could hope to be as good as him scoreing.

he skinny he got to fill out a litttle bit be a better defender. and as you said be more than just a scorer. well just have to see if that going to happen.

mcgrady has yao and never went no where, garnett has never went anywhere , carmelo has iverson never went anywhere. kobe has won 3 rings gotta respect that, but he was never the best player on the team thats why he has no finals mvp trophy, post shaq he hasn't gone nowhere. durant look like he come from there mold to where, oden gonna be a shaq or duncan to me.

At Monday, July 16, 2007 2:23:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Kobe is definitely a great scorer but his game is more well rounded than the other guys you mentioned.

Kobe was an All-NBA and All-Defensive Team player on the Lakers' championship teams and he led those squads in assists, so he proved that he could put up big individual numbers in a winning context. T-Mac, Melo and KG have put up numbers during their careers but not in a winning context (other than the one year that KG made it to the Western Conference Finals, when he had Cassell and Sprewell to carry a lot of the scoring load, particularly down the stretch of games).

At Monday, July 16, 2007 9:18:00 PM, Blogger kenny roberts said...

I was pointing out post shaq he has done nuthing as far as advancing in the playoffs like those other guys is what im saying. he is a great player know and all. and then he was as well he has won 3 rings those other guys have never done that but he played with another great player. those other guys have not played with another great player like shaq to be fair to them.

and he wasn't the best player on his team during those times as well. it is a diffrence between being the best and secon best at least to me. but no doubt kevin durant could only hope to be the player koby is. I said there was some similarity in scoreing but he probably wont be as good as kobe though.

durant will be great i see you critcize his pla all around thats fair now. but it is possible he could be a better all around player in time, he might be a bust though we gotta see.


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