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News » Durant no doubt has special talent SOLOMON: Durant's got game, and then some


Durant no doubt has special talent SOLOMON: Durant's got game, and then some


Durant no doubt has special talent SOLOMON: Durant's got game, and then some If only Basketball were as easy as Kevin Durant makes it look.

Durant is so fluid with the Basketball that you find yourself watching his every move on the floor. You could just follow him while imagining your favorite tune.

(Well, you could if the Toyota Center DJ would ease up on the headache-inducing beats they play almost nonstop in the joint. Is this a Basketball game or a rave?)

In just his third NBA season, the 21-year-old former University of Texas star is already a starter on my mythical "most enjoyable to watch" team. Actually, he is almost impossible not to watch.

Durant threw in a cool 27 points Friday night, but as you would expect, the Thunder were no match for the Rockets , who cruised to a 105-94 victory. The Rockets better enjoy rolling the Thunder while the Oklahoma City team is coming of age. In Durant, the Thunder have a player most believe will soon be one of the best in the game.

Offensively, he is almost there. He averaged 20.3 points a game as a rookie, 25.3 last year and is averaging 24 in the early going this season.

Durant tosses in jumpers over helpless defenders like he's playing against children. Trevor Ariza and Shane Battier made him work, but he shot 50 percent from the floor (11-of-22), spinning past them at times and facing them up whenever he wanted.

Rockets fans got to enjoy a show from their squad, too, as the Rockets shot 53.8 percent from the floor and had 26 assists on their 42 field goals. That strong team effort easily overcame the dazzling play by Durant and Russell Westbrook, who poured in 33 points in a no-less-impressive offensive showing. No other Thunder scored in double figures.

Rockets coach Rick Adelman, who with the win moved into a tie with Jack Ramsay for 11th place in all-time victories with 864, said there has never been a player like Durant in the NBA. Ever. A player with his size, range and quickness.

Something special

"He's a unique player," Adelman said. "He moves so well. He comes off and shoots the shots so quick off of picks. He posts up and shoots that turnaround jumper, and you're not going to get that turnaround jumper.

"That's really impressive when you have the ability to do that. He can get a shot off whenever he wants to.

"He's got all the ability in the world. I'm very, very impressed with him. He just continues to get better, and the worse thing is he's getting taller. He's probably taller than anybody we have starting. He is a very impressive young man."

Durant laughs at the suggestion he's still growing, but he is listed at 6-9 and looks much taller than that.

"I'm trying to learn to play big," Durant said.

And he is putting in extra work to improve.

"He's going to get better because of his work ethic," Oklahoma City coach Scotty Brooks said. "He's a talented kid, but if talent is there (but a player) doesn't work, doesn't play hard, it's wasted talent. He's not wasting his talent. Every day he wants to get better.

"He's going to be a special player with the way he works and the talent level he has."

Durant said he has learned a lot about the NBA from watching others. He paid extra attention to Battier and Ariza the past couple of days.

He wasn't watching with the sole purpose of figuring out how to score over them - though it was obvious he figured out a way to do damage.

Durant knows Battier is an elite defender and Ariza can be at times. He was taking notes.

Learning from others

Durant might never be an elite defender, but with his length he just needs to make sure it is difficult to score over him, as was the case when he stepped low and swatted away a Chuck Hayes dunk attempt in the third quarter.

"You can learn a lot from those guys," Durant said. "Every time I go into a game, I look at players I'm going against and learn from them. That's what the great players do.

"I'm just trying to get better each day. Everybody wants to be a top-tier player in this league. Only a few get there. I'm working toward that. I'm trying to be a complete player, trying to do it on both ends. I have to continue to get better."

jerome.solomon@chron.com


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 10, 2009

 

 
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