NBA

Kevin Durant Says He Won't Always Shoot Long-Range Buzzer-Beater Shots

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder shoots a free throw during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 27, 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.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Ethan GrantAnalyst IFebruary 12, 2013

Breaking news out of the NBA: Stars do care about their shooting percentages from the floor.

At least, that's the latest from Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, who claims he will check current shooting totals in his head before letting a long-range shot go at the end of a quarter.

Royce Young of the Daily Thunder had this detailed report about what Thunder players think about the growing phenomenon, including Durant's personal reaction to being asked what he does in that situation:

It depends on what I’m shooting from the field. First quarter if I’m 4-for-4, I let it go. Third quarter if I’m like 10-for-16, or 10-for-17, I might let it go. But if I’m like 8-for-19, I’m going to go ahead and dribble one more second and let that buzzer go off and then throw it up there. So it depends on how the game’s going.

Durant is shooting 51.6 percent from the field this year, good four fourth place among players that aren't centers or power forwards. His sentiments are part of a growing trend around basketball, and it's something Scott Brooks wants his team to stop worrying about.

The OKC head coach and former NBA player is unhappy with that attitude, per Young's report:

We talked about it, about seven weeks ago maybe, couple months ago, and we talked about it, Brooks said. I said ‘We have to shoot that shot. There’s still time in the game — shoot it.’ The only time we don’t shoot it is if we’re up and it’s the last seconds because you don’t want to do that.

Miami Heat three-point marksman Shane Battier hovered in between those two lines in a recent interview with USA Today's Sam Amick:

If you're a true shooter, those shots add up...[Although] the heave is a plus-play. But unfortunately we're not judged on the plus-plays. We're judged on (shooting) percentages. I think they should take the heave out of the stat book. It's common sense.

It's not the first time this issue has cropped up in the media. Matt Scribbins of MagicBasketball.net noted that LeBron James and Lou Williams had the same habit, and provided this video as evidence:

The current rules don't even penalize volume shooters like James and Williams as much as some of their teammates. As Battier noted, spot-up shooters like himself see their percentages take a dive if they take less shots over the course of a game.

And if these role players aren't inclined to shoot from way out, neither will a superstar whose legacy could be negatively impacted. 

Just ask Kevin Durant. 

 

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