A lot has been made of the streak Kevin Durant has been on where he’s scored at least 25 points over the course of now-41 games during his all-but-certain MVP season. While the number is somewhat arbitrary, especially when you consider KD averages 32.2 PPG, which leads the NBA, the man he replaced when his streak hit 41 games yesterday, Michael Jeffrey Jordan, makes it somewhat remarkable. Just don’t tell Durantula that…
Listen, we could write another 1000 words about how amazing Durant has been this year, particularly during the prolonged absence of Russell Westbrook, which led to a scorching December/January where KD carried the Thunder to the second best record in the league. He’s not only leading the lead in scoring, but Win Shares and PER, and he’s sporting the highest effective FG and usage percentage of his career. He’s a beast, and a lock — at least to us — for 2014 MVP.
But even after scoring 38 points on Sunday in Phoenix (he was human from deep, though, lobbing bricks while going 4-of-15), the Thunder lost, 122-115. Except, all anyway wanted to do was talk about that streak. This rankled KD something fierce, via Oklahoman scribe Darnell Mayberry:
Durant on passing Michael Jordan's streak of 40 straight 25-point games: "I don't really care about it. I wish it was over."
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) April 7, 2014
Here’s KD’s *record-setting* game of 25 points or more.
And here’s why KD wishes this thing was over:
-So people will stop asking him about it after every win and every loss.
-So he doesn’t have to answer questions about whether it should count during the postseason, when it becomes harder to score as defenses key in on a certain team for an entire series.
-So he’s not constantly compared to MJ, the GOAT.
-So it’s not percolating at the back of his mind when he’s got under 20 points to start the fourth. No matter how selfless KD is, he’s gotta be thinking about it simply because everyone keep bringing it up. That flies in the face of everything the humble Durant seems to stand for: getting wins.
Except, there’s an overlap between the record scoring streak and whether the Thunder win or lose.
When MJ set the previous streak of 40 consecutive games with at least 25 points, it was his supernatural 1986-87 season where he averaged the most points per game, 37.1, since Wilt was dropping over half century per game in the 1962 and 44 per game in 1963. The Bulls were 40-42 in that season with MJ, and they got swept in the first round of the playoffs against Larry Bird‘s Celtics.
But the Thunder are better when KD is lighting it up. When he’s dropped 25-plus, they’re 47-17, but when he falls under 25, they’re just 8-4 (by way of Pro Basketball Talk). So he better get used to answering more questions about the streak, no matter how frivolous he — rightfully — feels it might be.
What do you think?
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