Let’s go back a couple of months, weeks even. Remember all of the folks calling for Russell Westbrooks head? Saying that he is sabotaging the Thunder, taking the ball out of Durant’s hands. That the Thunder should TRADE Russ and find KD a point guard that knows how to pass the ball? The Russell Westbrook Hate fan club has been thriving, now not so much. If everyone can jump on the kid’s back when he makes mistakes, how can they not acknowledge him when he plays a game like he did last night? The Thunder beat the Denver Nuggets in Overtime thanks to a monster night by Oklahoma City’s dynamic duo, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
Kevin Durant assaulted the box score last night, literally! KD scored 51 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and got 4 steals. What JUMPS out at you when reading the box score is how EFFICIENT he was, KD makes it look so EASY. Many of the league’s best players are “volume” shooters; which means the more shots the put up, the more points they score. KD is a different breed, there are only a couple STARS in the league that are EFFICIENT scorers. 51 points on 28 shots, just let that sink in. He shot 67.9 percent from the floor, he hit 5 of his 6 three point attempts which means he connected at a 83.3% clip from deep. Durant is also a good free throw shooter, he went 8 of 10 from the line. On the season, KD is shooting 51.6% from the floor which is utterly insane considering he takes about 4 three pointers a game. Word of the day: EFFICIENT
Now, for the often criticized Russell Westbrook. Fans and Analysts alike often forget that Russell Westbrook was not a point guard in college, he is a combo guard in every sense of the word. It ‘s not exactly easy playing that position in the NBA, Russ is a scorer at heart and he’s learning to wear that hat along with the distributor hat. It’s an extremely tough balancing act, he is getting better at it though. For example, last night’s game against Denver Russ did a darn good job balancing the two roles. Russ did just as good of a job attacking the Nuggets as he did the boxscore. Westbrook had 40 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 block, and just 2 TURNOVERS!! That’s what jumped out most to me, that’s a great ratio in such a close game. Russell Westbrook isn’t on the same level as KD in terms of star power, but he has followed his teammate’s footsteps in terms of efficiency this season. Russ shot 55.2% from the floor last night, he did take ONE more shot than KD which has the HATERS up in arms as usual. Not a great threat from deep, Russ connected on 3 of his 6 three point attempts; 2 of them came in moments when the Thunder NEEDED a bucket. Getting back to the today’s theme of efficiency; Russ is shooting 47.3 % from the floor this season. His turnovers need to come down, but if people are willing to give Lin a break for his high amount of turnovers than Russ should be excused some as well.
This is one of the most talented Duos in the league, as they get older and their games mature the Thunder are going to be very scary for a very long time! This is just the beginning if you ask me, in time these two will have the type of chemistry that Wade & LeBron have shown this year. The type of chemistry where they know what the other’s thinking and what each other is seeing; what scares me is how YOUNG they are. Wade & LeBron didn’t get to grow WITH each other, that’s the advantage that these two have. They are both tied down to the Thunder for at least the next 4 years, sit back and watch them grow together as they become one of the more EFFICIENT Duos in NBA History.