Were Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder Really That Bad?
Kevin Durant has an NBA title. He's won MVP awards in both the regular season and the NBA Finals. He currently owns the fourth-highest scoring average in league history. And in the surest sign of his hoops dominance, he has a really crappy filmography.
What he apparently doesn't have are social media skills.
Turns out that the oftentimes cantankerous Golden State Warriors star might have a different Twitter account that's used to defend himself against the so-called haters, of which there are apparently many. If that is the case, then he forgot to switch off of his personal Twitter account on Monday.
Hey KD you forgot to switch to your 2nd account LMAO ðŸ˜‚ @KDTrey5 pic.twitter.com/RpE9vTOx1T
â€” DCRISING (@GangsignJWall) September 18, 2017
Unsurprisingly, Durant is getting roasted up and down the interwebs.
Kevin Durant's other accounts looking at him like pic.twitter.com/tb7R7R8ZIp
â€” Gerald JohanssenðŸ’‚ðŸ¾ (@_jaytrent) September 18, 2017
The interwebs, however, isn't addressing whether or not Durant is right. Were his OKC teams a big bowl of underachievement? Was it a numerically sound decision to bail on the Thunder and ink with the Warriors? Did the Durant/Russell Westbrook-era Oklahoma City Thunder merit this massive, embarrassingly public diss?
Good questions, all. Since the interwebs isn't stepping up, howzabout we compare K.D.'s trophy-winning 2016-17 Warriors with his championship runner-up 2011-12 Thunder?
As has been the case since he suited up for the Seattle SuperSonics in 2009, Durant was a beast during the 2011-12 regular season. Here's what he did during OKC's run to the Finals, as compared to his work with last year's Dubs.
|Durant: OKC - 2011-12||28.0||8.0||3.5||1.2||1.3||86.0%||49.6%|
|Durant: GS - 2016-17||25.1||8.3||4.8||1.6||1.1||87.5%||53.7%|
The aforementioned Thunder team had three players who averaged double-figures in scoring: Durant, Westbrook (23.6), and then-sixth-man James Harden (16.8). The rest of the roster -- a group Shaquille O'Neal generally likes to call "The Others" -- combined for an average of 34.7.
K.D. had no choice but to score.
As for the Dubs, last season, they didn't have to rely nearly as much on Durant's offensive prowess as the Thunder did, because K.D. had a wee bit of help from some scrubs by the name of Stephen Curry (25.3), Klay Thompson (22.3), and Draymond Green (10.2). Even with this Big Four eating up 82.9 points a night, the Dubs' Others almost matched the Thunder's with 33.0.
Okay, Golden State wins that round.
But Was He Efficient?
Durant had to play a ton of nightly minutes with the Thunder (38.6), whereas the Warriors were able to keep him relatively fresh (33.4). What did he do with those minutes? Let's see what nERD has to say about the whole thing.
nERD is a numberFire metric that measures the total contribution of a player throughout the course of a season, based on their efficiency. For context, the league average is 0, and San Antonio Spurs stud Kawhi Leonard led the Association last season with a whopping nERD of 19.5.
We'll throw a few more efficiency stats into the mix, specifically player efficiency rating (PER), usage percentage (USG%), offensive win shares (OWS), defensive win shares (DWS), total win shares (TWS), and box plus/minus (BPM).
|Durant: OKC - 2011-12||17.1||26.2||31.3%||13.6||3.7||12.2||5.2|
|Durant: GS - 2016-17||17.6||27.6||27.8%||8.0||4.0||12.0||8.0|
With the Warriors, Durant saw a small uptick in nERD and PER, a downtick in usage percentage, and a massive jump in box plus/minus, all of which tells us he was more efficient with fewer touches.
Okay, Golden State wins that round, too.
Mano a Mano
Listen, we know the 2016-17 Warriors are in the discussion for greatest team of all time, while the 2011-12 Thunder, um, aren't. But since we're comparing and contrasting, we have to, y'know, compare and contrast. So cover your eyes, Thunder fans...
|Team||Wins||Losses||Points Scored||Points Allowed||Rebounds||Assists|
|2011-12 OKC Thunder||46||20||103.1||96.9||43.7||18.5|
|2016-17 GS Warriors||67||15||115.9||104.3||44.4||30.4|
So the numbers tell us that Durant was right. With the Warriors, he's a better player on a better team. But maybe for the sake of decorum, he should've kept it to himself.