Updated: May 15, 2013, 10:03 PM ET

2. Around The Association

Do The Thunder Need Less Durant?

By David Thorpe | ESPN Insider

Durant
Durant

The problem: Durant has been nothing short of fantastic throughout the postseason, making up for Westbrook's absence while helping his team play far more competitively than most expected. Durant's will and scoring talent has lifted his team to this level. He said before Game 4 that he could do more.

And he is, as both Ramona Shelburne and Kevin Pelton point out in their columns today.

However, as crazy as it sounds, Durant doing less in Game 5 might help the Thunder get to Game 6.

This is not about Durant taking fewer shots. He's an amazing shooter who stands alone in his ability to get uncontested looks because of his height, length and ball skills as well as his special feel as a scorer. Rather, it's the shots he's taking that must improve.

Durant missed 17 shots in Game 4 (his 17th miss came on an insignificant final possession of the game), and on five of them he was falling down, slipping or just off-balance. In each instance, there were at least five seconds left on the shot clock.

Forget for a moment that every shot he takes is contested (most successfully by the equally long Tayshaun Prince). Indeed, Durant is so supremely talented that a contested jumper by him might be a better shot than an uncontested one from a teammate. However, a falling or slipping Durant is absolutely not a better shooter than an open teammate.

Read the rest of Thorpe's adjustments for the Thunder at ESPN Insider Insider

David Thorpe

ESPN Staff Writer

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