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NBA Oklahoma City Thunder

Kevin Durant Deserves NBA All-Defensive Team Honors This Season

Durant defense

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Kevin Durant was put on this planet to score points and do so at a remarkable level. The Oklahoma City Thunder star forward is the NBA’s leading scorer this season at 31.9 points per game while also shooting 50.9 percent from the floor and 39.8 percent from three. He’s one of the most versatile and efficient scorers this league has seen in quite a while.

However, one of the thing that has been overlooked in recent years about the Thunder and Durant is the threat that they present on the defensive end of the floor. The Thunder have been more noted for their ability to succeed on the defensive end of the floor, but it’s Durant’s development over the past couple of seasons and especially this year that isn’t discussed nearly enough.

In terms of traditional counting defensive statistics, Durant’s season this year hasn’t been anything too staggering. His 7.7 rebounds per game are solid, as are the 0.7 blocks and 1.4 steals per game that he’s averaging. It’s when you dig deeper, though, that you see how impactful Durant has been on OKC’s defense.

Durant currently ranks 60th in the league in terms of points allowed per possession this season, giving up only 0.8 points per possession. Moreover, opponents are shooting just 34.2 percent from the field against Durant this year. Even more specifically, Durant has been a monster when matched up against isolation sets and the pick-and-roll. He ranks 30th in the league defending against isolation plays in terms of points per possession this season and has forced a turnover in nearly 25 percent of the pick-and-roll plays run in his direction.

Given Durant’s body of work this season, he has to be in serious consideration to make the NBA All-Defensive Team this year. Durant’s offense has clearly been his most impressive quality, but his defense deserves recognition as well, particularly with the concentrated effort he’s clearly put in to improve in that area of his game. Will KD win the MVP? Who knows. But I do know that he should be a member of an All-Defensive Team when the time comes.

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

Kevin Durant was put on this planet to score points and do so at a remarkable level. The Oklahoma City Thunder star forward is the NBA’s leading scorer this season at 31.9 points per game while also shooting 50.9 percent from the floor and 39.8 percent from three. He’s one of the most versatile and efficient scorers this league has seen in quite a while.

However, one of the thing that has been overlooked in recent years about the Thunder and Durant is the threat that they present on the defensive end of the floor. The Thunder have been more noted for their ability to succeed on the defensive end of the floor, but it’s Durant’s development over the past couple of seasons and especially this year that isn’t discussed nearly enough.

In terms of traditional counting defensive statistics, Durant’s season this year hasn’t been anything too staggering. His 7.7 rebounds per game are solid, as are the 0.7 blocks and 1.4 steals per game that he’s averaging. It’s when you dig deeper, though, that you see how impactful Durant has been on OKC’s defense.

Durant currently ranks 60th in the league in terms of points allowed per possession this season, giving up only 0.8 points per possession. Moreover, opponents are shooting just 34.2 percent from the field against Durant this year. Even more specifically, Durant has been a monster when matched up against isolation sets and the pick-and-roll. He ranks 30th in the league defending against isolation plays in terms of points per possession this season and has forced a turnover in nearly 25 percent of the pick-and-roll plays run in his direction.

Given Durant’s body of work this season, he has to be in serious consideration to make the NBA All-Defensive Team this year. Durant’s offense has clearly been his most impressive quality, but his defense deserves recognition as well, particularly with the concentrated effort he’s clearly put in to improve in that area of his game. Will KD win the MVP? Who knows. But I do know that he should be a member of an All-Defensive Team when the time comes.

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