Saturday 18th May 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Kevin Durant Doesn’t Care if You Don’t Like the Thunder’s Offense

kevin durant
Does Kevin Durant care what you think about how the Oklahoma City Thunder run their offense?


The Thunder are the NBA’s second-best offensive team, pumping in 110.6 points per 100 possessions. But they’re not always aesthetically pleasing. They’re among the most isolation-prone teams in the league, per, and they often seem to regress as the game wears on, handing the ball to either Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook in tight situations and banking on one of them to create their own shot. It can, at times, be maddening to watch.

But Durant has a counterpoint, per’s Kevin Arnovitz:

“When you have iso players and guys who can score as many points as Russ and me, you’ve got to live playing some iso ball,” Durant said on Monday night following the Thunder’s 100-99 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. “What do you want? Just pass the ball around and around and not be aggressive? If they’re looking at me and Russ is open, he gets the ball. But if I’ve got it, I’m going to work. Iso. It’s pick your poison.”

This is fair. And, again, the Thunder have the luxury of being a highly effective offensive team overall.

It’s not like they have a ton of capable shooters dotting the three-point line waiting to score off the catch, either. Serge Ibaka gets his touches, and the Thunder find ways to accommodate other ball-dominant players, such as Enes Kanter and Dion Waiters.

If they’re going to reinvent their offense, running sets that bear strong resemblance to Billy Donovan’s time at Florida, they’ll have to change the personnel. And with little in the way of trade assets, as well as Kevin Durant’s free agency this summer looming large, that’s hardly an option at the moment.

What they have is what they’re going to have, and that’s been enough to comfortably position them as the third-best team in the Western Conference. Those expecting more, those hoping for something different, will just have to deal with it.

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