Forget about LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder are on a hot streak and are showing no signs of slowing down.
Currently the Thunder are riding a 4 game winning streak (including a big win at Boston), the last two of which without Kevin Durant. On the shoulders of a mighty first month by the young and exciting Russell Westbrook, the youthful Thunder are learning how to win tough games and finish strong.
Part of that equation is fundamental basketball. The other? Not forcing reigning scoring champ Kevin Durant to shoulder too much of the load.
Russell Westbrook’s free throw percentage has been a big sign of fundamental improvement. His free throw percentage is up 137 points from last season and he’s averaging 4.2 more attempts per game than last season. In fact, he’s currently on pace to set career highs in points, rebounds, blocks, minutes and steals per game, not to mention his career highs in field goal and free throw percentages.
How does this tie into Kevin Durant? Durant no longer has to feel as if he needs to score thirty or more a game for the team to win and he can trust his sidekick to handle business when defenses are tightening up on him. Having a more fundamentally improved Westbrook forces defenses to concentrate on multiple areas.
Still think Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol or LeBron and D Wade are the best? Sorry but the stats don’t lie.
-Russell Westbrook leads all point guards in rebounds per game.
-Durant is second and Westbrook is seventh in the NBA in free throw percentage. Westbrook is second in the NBA in free throw attempts per game and Durant is seventh in attempts. No duo in the game scores more points per game off of free throws than these two.
-Kevin Durant is leading the NBA in points per game while Westbrook is eighth. No other duo in the NBA scores more points per game (sorry to LeBron and D Wade) than these two studs.
-Endurance matters and being young helps with that. On that note Durant and Westbrook are tied with Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics for most minutes per game for two players at 77.8 minutes per game.
-Westbrook is also tied with LeBron James and a few others at tenth in the NBA in double doubles.
And both Westbrook and Kevin Durant are only 22 years old.