Former MVP Kevin Durant was limited last season, playing in just 27 games due to nagging injury. Initially, he underwent surgery to repair the Jones fracture in his right foot. But, a considerable amount of time has passed and it appears that the floodgates are ready to burst open. KD is eager to return and make it rain in Oklahoma City.
Durant is a box-office superstar and one of the most commanding scorers the NBA has ever witnessed. He has lead the league in the points per game category four times in his young career (three of which were consecutive: 2009-’10, 2010-’11, 2011-’12, and then back in 2013-’14). In his 2013-’14 season, KD set a career high of 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game.
When healthy, the lanky small forward has proven time and again that he possesses the ability to take over a game at will. At 6’9” and 240 lbs., the Durantula is virtually impossible to guard. He will break opposing players’ ankles, grab a handful of rebounds, throw down monstrous dunks, and pull up from the parking lot. In addition, he’s also a solid rim protector and defender. He knows how to use his athleticism and length to force his assignment into taking a bad shot, commit turnovers, and return shots back to sender. KD has shown marked improvement on that end of the floor. In the first few years in the league, he was often bullied in the paint and had difficulty guarding other positions. From that point on, he made it a point to better that aspect of his game and as a result has become a more complete player.
The team has had its fair share of injuries, but with a reinvigorated roster and the imminent return of their superstar, the franchise is poised for a shot at an NBA Championship. The re-signing of talented young center Enes Kanter, the dominating form of Russell Westbrook, and improved health of Durant and Ibaka show that OKC means business and has assembled one of the most dangerous starting fives in the league. It looks like a storm is brewing and the West need to watch out for the Thunder.
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 22: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder rises for a shot against Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on January 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)