Kevin Durant: His Most Underrated Season
Kevin Durant was the story of game five as he put up an insane stat-line of 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists for a monster triple-double. This was good enough to will the Brooklyn Nets to a win over the Milwaukee Bucks after being down as much as 17 points at one point as Kyrie Irving is out and James Harden still looked extremely hobbled. We already know what Durant is capable of and is arguably the best player on the planet right now, but this performance was maybe the best game of his accomplished career. With Kevin Durant on everyone’s minds right now, it is time to take a look at the most underrated season of his career. Could it be his first season in Golden State? Maybe it is the MVP season? Let’s take a look.
Kevin Durant: His Most Overlooked Campaign
Kevin Durant: His 2012-13 Season
Before Kevin Durant won his league MVP in the 2013-14 season, Durant had an argument for being the league MVP the prior season. The Oklahoma City Thunder finished the 2012-13 campaign underachieving by losing in the Western Conference semifinals to the grit and grind Memphis Grizzlies in five games. This looks terrible on paper considering the Thunder were the favorites to come out of the West that season, especially after making the NBA Finals the previous season where they succumbed to the Miami Heat in five games.
However, this is also the same year that Durant’s co-star, Russell Westbrook, got hurt in the first round against the Houston Rockets due to a controversial sequence that included Patrick Beverley diving towards Westbrook’s knee on a loose ball to include some context. Also, this was the first season where the Thunder were getting used to life without James Harden. The Durant-led Thunder still found great success during the regular season. The team finished with a win-loss record of 60-22, which was good enough for the best record in the entire league. The Oklahoma City Thunder also finished in first place concerning net rating with a rating of +9.8.
Slim Reaper’s Numbers in 2012-13
Even though Durant did not win the scoring title this particular season, his numbers were still impressive. He was the league leader in free-throw percentage at 90.5 percent. Not to mention, Durant tallied 28.1 points, 4.6 assists, 7.9 rebounds per game, and an effective field goal percentage of 55.9 percent. On top of these statistics, Kevin Durant also put up gaudy advanced analytics during this campaign.
He averaged an offensive rating of 122 to couple with a solid defensive rating of 100. Durant also tallied a player efficiency rating of 28.3 to go along with a win-share total of +18.9. He also came away with an impressive true shooting percentage of 64.7 percent and an assist percentage of 21.7 percent. With all of this in mind, it makes sense why Kevin Durant got MVP votes this particular season. He would eventually earn it the next season. However, the 2012-13 season tends to get overlooked by the general NBA fanbase.
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