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NBA Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant Is Letting The Haters Get To Him

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The sharp-shooting Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder has been playing on another level since Russell Westbrook was lost with an injury. Durant has averaged 34.2 Points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the nine games he has played without his sidekick. No one should be complaining, but there is one person who has been critical of his play lately, and that is KD himself. When I first heard about this, I thought it was a joke. Durant actually is criticizing himself for taking too many shots lately. I think he may be letting the haters alter his mind here. He even went as far as saying his shooting should take more blame for the losses than the poor play of his teammates. I almost hit the floor laughing on that one.

The only people who are calling for KD to take less shots are the ones who know they will benefit from the change. Durant has to realize that he will not ever be able to please everyone, so he should be blocking out all the outside criticism. Taking more shots is exactly what the Thunder needs from their best player right now, especially with the spotty play from other key Thunder players.

Nothing is broken here, so nothing needs fixing. The Thunder may have been through their struggles with Westbrook out, but it is not because of the amount of shots Durant is taking. His scoring is the second most important thing to this team, next to defense, and followed by Westbrook’s presence. Without Westbrook, it would be catastrophic for the Thunder if Durant does indeed change his style of play. There will be even more criticism behind the decision, so it is best for him to just do whatever he needs to do to help his team.

What surprises me the most is Durant’s failure to acknowledge his own bump in assists over the last few weeks. If he is shooting too much, then I guess he is passing too much as well. Durant should want to shoot more and more, but I guess that means that he will have to take more blame for the Thunder’s losses. What he may not realize is that he is going to take the blame regardless. KD needs to just be himself and stop thinking he’s creating more problems when he is solving more in reality. The Thunder will be okay in the long run.

Brian Anderson is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrAnderson035 “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.