Prior to Kobe Bryant‘s legendary 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors, no one thought there would be another player to accomplish such an unlikely feat. Since then, many great players have put up some remarkable numbers, but no one has come close to duplicating Bryant’s performance. It may seem farfetched to most, but there is no harm in wondering if anyone will come close to eclipsing the 80-point mark in our generation of NBA basketball.
Although the league is full of offensively talented players, reaching that mark seems as unlikely as it did prior to Kobe’s achievement. If it ever were to happen again, I would personally put my money on one man to do get it done — Kevin Durant.
Over his last eight games, Durant is averaging 38-plus points and shooting better than 50 percent from the field. What separates Durant from most players is his ability to score high numbers while being very efficient. In his recent 54-point game against the Golden State Warriors, he went 19-for-28 from the field (67 percent).
Kobe went 28-for-46 (60 percent) in his record-breaking outburst. This makes you think that if KD committed to shoot the ball more against the Warriors there is no telling how many points he could have ended up having. A few weeks ago, Durant criticized himself for shooting the ball too much but quickly wised up, realizing that he had to do whatever was necessary to give his team the best chance to win.
With his newfound killer instinct, I believe Durant could possibly enter uncharted scoring territory. His efficiency proves that he is more than capable of making most of his shots no matter how many he decides to take in a game. The only thing holding Durant back from scoring 80 points or more is the man himself. He is such an unselfish player unlike Bryant was at the time. It should be noted that the Los Angeles Lakers‘ starting lineup at the time included Smush Parker, Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown.
The Thunder have players who actually contribute, and they have a reputation to uphold as one of the league’s best teams. If Durant were surrounded with unproductive teammates on a mediocre team then it wouldn’t bother him to take more shots. With that being said, this debate may lean towards the hypothetical side, but that does not mean it is not possible. The point I am trying to make is that Durant is more than capable of scoring 80-points or more if he pleased. Will we ever see him do it? Maybe not, but after seeing him put up three games of 46 or more points and one 54-point outing within two weeks of action, it would not surprise me if he did.
No one should place any limits on Durant’s abilities. At this point, it is best to leave the door wide open for him to accomplish the unthinkable, especially when the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thinks that the three-time scoring champion has a legit shot to take his place as the top scorer in the history of the league. Current player Andre Iguodala also shares Kareem’s opinion. Durant has the ability to do whatever he sets his sights on. It is just a matter of whether breaking those records will become a personal goal of his or not. We have learned not to expect anything less than greatness from KD at this point of his career. In the midst of his best season as a professional basketball player, the bar could never be set too high for Durant to reach.