Here we are again, writing about how good Kevin Durant is at basketball. He’s been his usual exceptional self this year and is the main reason why the Brooklyn Nets are 10-5, good for third in the Eastern Conference. His average of 28.9 points per game is the best in the NBA and he and Steph Curry are the league’s early MVP favorites.
In order to try and make up for Kyrie Irving’s lost 26.9 points per game he contributed last season, Durant has had to be magical on the offensive end. He’s averaging 34.5 minutes in all 14 of Brooklyn’s games and is shooting 58.6% from the field and 42.4% from the 3-point line. Throw in the 8.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game and it makes you wonder how long he can play at this level.
If watching Durant play basketball has taught anyone anything, it’s to not doubt him. Overall, he’s gone 160-of-282 from the field and 30-of-72 from three. So far, his point total for the 2021-22 season is at 434. There’s no way that he’s going to play in all 82 regular-season games, but if that happened and he continued to average nearly 30 points a game for the remaining 68 games, he would finish the season with nearly 2,500 points.
In order for the Nets to have Durant at his best in the playoffs, he’s going to have to take games off to rest. That’s expected. However, the trend is still pointing towards him breaking Brooklyn’s single-season scoring record. Vince Carter scored 2,070 points in 82 games during the 2006-07 season. Durant has the opportunity to pass the player that he idolized the most while growing up.
Kevin Durant has chance to hold the Nets’ single-season scoring record.
Durant scored 194 points during Brooklyn’s seven games in October and has scored 240 points in the team’s first eight games in November. And his shooting has become more efficient with each passing week. That’s a sign of what’s to come. He caught fire at the end of last season, kept it going to start off 2021-2022, and is getting noticeably better after the first month.
With Irving out indefinitely and Harden failing to show a semblance of consistency, Durant will likely have to continue shouldering the load until something significant changes … if that happens at all.
Carter did play in all 82 games for Brooklyn during that historic season, when he averaged 25.2 points per game. Think about last year’s playoffs with an injured Irving and Harden. How did Brooklyn make it that far? It was Durant. Steve Nash can’t push him to his limits during the regular season because the end goal is a championship.
Durant played in 78 games during his last full season in Golden State and he eventually tore his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals. Was that due to fatigue? We’re not entirely sure, but we’d rather not have him pushing beyond his limits more than he has to.
In order for the Nets to be successful, it’s vital that Durant stays healthy. Fans would likely rather Brooklyn have a version of Durant that isn’t utterly exhausted when the playoffs begin in April for the sake of breaking Carter’s record … then again, if he averages his current pace, he can pass the Nets legend in 72 games.