Kevin Durant is one of the most gifted scorers of all-time, and while it may seem like the talent was born within him, there’s a work ethic that drives his game to levels that will be talked about for generations to come.
The two-time Finals MVP has everything a team could ask for out of a 7-footer. His footwork, speed, shooting, and even his aggression as an interior scorer and defender have helped his game improve significantly. Therefore, the Brooklyn Nets superstar believes his next step as a premier scorer is to take advantage of the different defensive coverages thrown at him, which he studies countless hours on.
“I never know how opposing teams are going to guard me, what schemes they’re going to throw at me,” said Durant after last night’s win over the Detroit Pistons. “Sometimes there’s some new stuff that I haven’t seen before. At this point, I’ve seen a lot of different coverages over the last couple of years. I’m trying to stay prepared for that. So that’s definitely how I can keep getting better; just reading the defense even more.”
At 34-years-old, Durant has pushed back the clock in the last 10 games with glimpses of his 2014 MVP campaign. KD is averaging 32.9 points (second best) while shooting a whopping 63.6 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.
In the win against the Pistons, Durant scored 43 points, to go along with the highest scoring total in a quarter of any player this season at 26 in the third. While the Pistons thought they had an answer for Durant, his knowledge of what the defense throws at him aided him in making the right reads.
“The full-court, they made some good adjustments; running guys at me and Kai [Kyrie Irving], and we had to make the right decision,” Durant said. “We generated some good looks. We’re still working on that: when teams run and jump us, what’s our alignment after that and how we’re gonna make plays after that? That’s more so what I’ve been focused on.”
“I feel like those threes at the end of the third; they didn’t know what they wanted to do on their coverage. Whether they were gonna play in the drop, trap the ball, or just switch it. I felt like they were indecisive a bit, and I was able to get free on some of those three-pointers.”
Durant is at a state where he believes he can “predict” what the defense will throw at him, and if that isn’t scary enough, he claims his film study adjustment is to focus on the tendencies of his opponent’s method of scoring to ease his game at his end.
There’s nothing Durant hasn’t accomplished in his 16 years in the NBA, and for what it sounds like, he’s only aiming to solidify his spot as the greatest scorer of all time, a case that can already be made in favor of him.