Kevin Durant Shows Playmaking Ability, Clutch Play in Oklahoma City Thunder Win

Durant playmaker Thunder
Mark D. Smith – USA Today Sports Images

Coming into the 2013-14 NBA season, the Oklahoma City Thunder and star forward Kevin Durant made it clear that Durant wasn’t content with plateauing after his impressive season last year. One of the focuses that Durant placed on this season was to improve upon his abilities as a facilitator and a playmaker.

Throughout his career, Durant has undoubtedly shown off his unreal ability as a scorer. It’s become near impossible to stop the near seven-footer from scoring with his lethal ability to score in a variety of ways and from seemingly anywhere on the floor. For his career, though, he’s only averaged 3.1 assists per game and hasn’t been the playmaker in terms of passing like the player he’s most often compared to, LeBron James.

As the Thunder began the season without star point guard Russell Westbrook, many people expected Durant to take over quasi-point guarding duties as a facilitator for the offense. However, that wasn’t the case. Durant averaged just one assist per game over the first three games of the season.

Since Westbrook has returned and the Thunder’s offense has been rejuvenated, though, Durant has been a much more active passer and facilitator. Over his last three games, the star forward is averaging 7.7 assists per game, putting up six dimes in the Thunder’s overtime victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday night.

While most of the stories about the game will be about Durant’s 33 points and game-tying three in the fourth quarter, his playmaking ability can’t be overlooked. Durant demands so much respect as a scorer that, if he can continue to show development as a passer, he can be near unstoppable going forward. It’s still early in the season, but Durant could leave our jaws dropped yet again this year if he continues to show improvement in this area of his game.

Cody Williams is a Senior Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20, add him on Google and like his Facebook page.