Kevin Durant has become a force to be reckoned with on the court this season. The numbers don’t lie, and Durant is putting up some of the best numbers his career has ever seen. So far this season he is averaging 31 points per game (+4.1 from his career average), 5.2 assists per game (+1.9), and 7.9 rebounds per game (+1). On top of averaging over 30 points a game, he is hitting historical markers. After the Oklahoma City Thunder’s seventh straight victory on Saturday, Durant put up his tenth game with over 30 points, an accomplishment only earned by 6 other players including the likes of Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and Michael Jordan.
As if that isn’t enough, at the time of this being written, the Thunder have an impressive 70% winning record to start off the 2014 season, having won 10 of their 14 games. Of these 14 games, Kevin Durant was the high scorer for the team in 9 of them, averaging upwards of 40 points a game across the nine. After the Thunder walked away with a victory over the San Antonio Spurs, they were down Durant with a shoulder sprain as they went to face the Boston Celtics for their second straight game on the road. This put them down both their stars as Russell Westbrook is still out recovering from the arthroscopic surgery he underwent on his right knee late in December. For the first time in the franchise’s history they were down both Durant and Westbrook as starters and the Oklahoma City Thunder were on the line to show what they were made of. It didn’t matter. The Thunder continued to demolish a slow and unmotivated Celtics defense to hand them one of their worst losses, 18 points, at home since 2010.
Their third road game rolled around Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers, and Durant was ready to hit the court again. He commanded the court and earned the fifth triple-double of his career and his second of the season with 14 rebounds, 10 assists, and 32 points, which actually lowered his PPG average slightly. Regardless, Durant will have a chance to flex his talent among the elite as we quickly approach the NBA All-Star game in February down south in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will be representing the West Coast next to Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Kobe Bryant (assuming he has recovered enough from his injury), and first time All-Star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. It will be interesting to watch Durant play side by side with Curry as it will most likely stir memories of the career-high 54 points he scored against the Warriors on January 17, also picking up the honor of the first 50-point game of the NBA season thus far (sorry, LeBron).
With Durant and the Thunder dominating all while missing one of the key components of their offense, there is little cause for concern for the future of this team. They currently are holding both the number one spots in the Northwest Division and Western Conference, even if not by much. In their division, the Portland Trailblazers are hot in pursuit only 1.5 games behind and have some tough match ups in their near future. The San Antonio Spurs are also bearing down on the number one seat in the Western Conference who are only 1 game behind but have also been plagued with injuries on and off throughout season, although this has not stopped them from maintaining one of the top records in the league.
Fans far and wide have been appreciating the spectacular season Durant has been posting and are all anticipating the next great move, perhaps he will attempt to top Kobe Bryant’s 16 game streak of 30 points or more. There may be much of the season left, but one thing is for certain: Kevin Durant will continue to be a large presence and a must watch the rest of the way.