After leading the NBA in scoring for the majority of the season Kevin Durant has fallen behind Carmelo Anthony by a small margin, but the Oklahoma City Thunder will need Durant to look for his shot more as the regular season comes to a close.
Durant has assumed more of a playmaking role this season with James Harden no longer on the team and is averaging a career-high 4.5 assists per game, including registering the first three triple doubles of his career. While Durant’s improved passing is a welcomed addition to his game, outside of him and Russell Westbrook the Thunder don’t have many others capable of putting up 20+ points on a nightly basis.
With the Thunder’s lineup lacking many other players that can create their own shot, Durant should take more shots than he has of late. Since the All-Star break, Durant is averaging 26.5 points but on only 17.5 shot attempts a night, as opposed to the 29.2 points he was averaging prior to the break.
Durant’s teammate Westbrook has no problem calling his own number at a high rate, and Durant should take note and follow suit. Durant is a better shooter in every aspect than Westbrook — or arguably any other player in the league — so if he chooses to shoot 20+ times a game it’s doubtful that his teammates or coaching staff would protest.
This is the part of the season where superstars take over. Durant is clearly one of the best players in the world, and he needs to be more assertive down the stretch and play like a true MVP candidate is supposed to.