Kevin Durant is having arguably the best season of his career. Through 18 games with the Golden State Warriors, he is averaging 27.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks while shooting 57 percent and 44.2 percent from 3-point range, both career highs. He has been by far the most consistent Warrior, maybe even the most consistent player in the whole league. Any way-too-early discussion about the race for the Most Valuable Player award must include him. And yet, Golden State swingman Andre Iguodala thinks Durant hasn't come close to peaking.
"KD has been just about as good as you can possibly be (but) I don't think he's really scratched the surface as far as what he can do," Iguodala said this week after the Warriors improved to a league-best 16-2 with a win over the Atlanta Hawks. "He's kind of holding back on everyone else, so I'm looking forward for him to step on that pedal as we continue."
"I'm telling you, he's got a crazy arsenal," Iguodala continued. "He's one of the best scorers of all time as far as finding a way to score. It's (like) peeling layers - it's kind of like an onion. It's crazy. It's amazing. You guys will see it, and you'll enjoy it ... I think sometimes he's trying to make sure he doesn't shoot too many shots, but we're trying to let him know that it's impossible for him to shoot too many shots."
Conventional wisdom is that Durant's superb stats must regress at some point. He is making 62.1 percent of his 2-point shots, for example, and that kind of number generally isn't sustainable for players who do more on offense than dunk.
LeBron James did, however, make 62.2 percent of his 2s in 2013-14, and 60.2 percent of them the season before that. In those years with the Miami Heat, he made a concerted effort to be as efficient as possible, even competing with teammate Dwyane Wade when it came to field-goal percentage.
The crazy part of what Durant is doing is that he does not appear to be consciously changing his game. If he is being more selective with his shots, it's happening naturally because of the Warriors' offense and the elite scorers surrounding him. Iguodala's argument is that, as the season goes on, Durant will get more comfortable taking over games and calling his own number more frequently. Perhaps that is true, though there is something to be said for the balance Golden State has found. Its offensive rating is the best in NBA history.