There aren’t many players that you can look at in the NBA and say, “that guy could be putting up a triple-double every night.” After all, no player has averaged a triple-double for an entire season except for Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season. That’s an unreal and elite amount of production to expect on a nightly basis.
Obviously you can watch LeBron James play night-in and night-out in the modern NBA and you could see a triple-double at any time. However, on Sunday night as the Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Minnesota Timberwolves, the league’s other superstar in Kevin Durant plainly showed that he should be considered in that same elite air.
Against the Wolves, Durant unleashed a masterful performance that enough can’t be said about. In 44 minutes, Durant put up 32 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds, four blocks, and four steals while still shooting an efficient 14-21 from the floor and 3-4 from long-range. With his line on Sunday, he joined only Michael Jordan (he was kind of good, I think) as the only two players to put up 30-10-10-4-4 in a game since the 1973-74 season when steals and blocks became official stats, per the NBA on ESPN. In case it’s not clear, KD was the catalyst in the Thunder’s 113-103 victory over Minnesota in that game.
It’s a bit much to ask a player, particularly a player that plays alongside another elite talent in Russell Westbrook, to average a triple-double and put one up on a nightly basis, but games like this really set the standard for how Durant should perform more consistently. We all know that the long forward can score incredibly well and efficiently, but his abilities as a playmaker, rebounder and defender are still developing, even if they are solid already.
Durant is the unique type of talent that has the physical tools to affect games in every aspect, just like he did on Sunday. It might be a tall task, but it would be great to see him elevate his game even further and start having a greater overall impact on games more consistently.