KD On Pace For History


Tuesday, April 2nd 2013, 11:25 pm
By: News 9


Kevin Durant is approaching some uncharted waters as a scorer even by his lofty standards.

With eight regular season games remaining, Durant leads New York's Carmelo Anthony by a slim 0.4 points-per-game margin (including Melo's 50 points against Miami on Tuesday) for what could prove to be his fourth-consecutive NBA scoring title.

If KD can hold off Melo and earn that distinction for a ridiculous four years in a row, he would join an elite duo of Hall of Famers as only the third player to even accomplish the feat.

The others? Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. Let that sink in for a minute.

Wow.

Durant's averaging 28.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Those numbers alone are insane but, when you take a look into the efficiency with which he does it, his season becomes all the more astonishing.

KD is shooting 50.5 percent from the floor, 41 percent from 3-point range and nearly 91 percent from the foul line. If he maintains those numbers over the final eight games he will become just the sixth player in NBA history to join the "50-40-90" club. The list he'd be joining in that category is comparably distinguished: Larry Bird, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Reggie Miller and Enid, Okla., native Mark Price.

The 50.5 percent shooting from the field is the highest mark of his career, topping last season's mark of 49.6 percent. The free-throw shooting is also narrowing in on a career mark, likely surpassing the 90 percent he shot in the 2009-10 season.

His 3-point percentage currently comes in second on his career list behind the 42.2 mark he set in the team's first season in OKC. While the percentage is down, he has made 129 3's already this season compared to just 97 in '08-09.

Safe to say KD's improved efficiency isn't just talk. For comparison's sake, let's see how Durant stacks up against some of the other greats on the list.

Bird only put up two seasons in his 13-year career that equaled what Durant is on pace to achieve. The best statistical season of Bird's career: 52.7 percent shooting, 41.4 percent from 3 and 91.6 percent from the stripe in 1987-88.

Three of the five currently on the list achieved it on just one occasion. Price did it in 1888-89 (52.6 – 44.1 – 90.1), Nowitzki in 2006-07 (50.2 – 41.6 – 90.4), Miller in 1993-94 (50.3 – 42.1 – 90.8)

Nash stands alone at this point, having hit the 50-40-90 mark in four separate seasons.

It appears LeBron James is on a clear path to another MVP trophy but, when stats are taken into the equation, Durant is worthy of strong consideration for his first nod for the award.

And if stats aren't enough, Durant has a good chance to lead the Thunder to a 60-win season. Something the franchise hasn't achieved since the Gary Payton/Shawn Kemp-led Sonics in the 1997-98 campaign.

A lot can still happen in eight games but make no mistake about it – Durant is closing in on one of the best seasons this league has ever seen.