Durant is Underrated
Old 01-28-2009, 03:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Durant is Underrated

For someone to be truly underrated, we have to feel as if we've already thought him through, digesting him before arriving at a conclusion and moving on. We spent the first half of 2007 arguing the who-should-go-No. 1 merits of Durant and Greg Oden, picking them apart, choosing sides. Durant won the argument by default after Oden missed his rookie season with a knee injury, then struggled enough this season to get us all wondering if he's better than even Bynum (a guy I just called overrated).

Meanwhile, Durant won ROY playing for a disintegrating franchise and currently toils in obscurity in a new town for a team that is the dregs of the league. Yes, GM Sam Presti imploded the team like the Kingdome so he could start over with lottery picks and cap space, building a foundation for 2011. And yes, it's a smart move. But something weird happened in the process: We all stopped thinking about Durant. He's a nonentity. Ask the average fan to tell you who will be the best player in the NBA in three years, and the first five answers will be LeBron, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, D-Wade and either Rose or Carmelo. (Except in LA, where Lakers fans would go with the first three, then Bynum and Trevor Ariza.) I don't see Durant getting many votes.

Um does anyone realize he just turned 20 on Sept. 29, making him younger than Mayo? That he's breaking every scoring benchmark by age? That he's been averaging 26 points, eight rebounds, 48% shooting, 85% from the line and 43% on threes since Thanksgiving? Go online and check out his ESPN.com game log. Do it now. I'll wait.

(Twiddling my thumbs.)

Got it? Now look at those point totals: 28, 25, 26, 26, 28, 26, 25 You know in Jaws when Richard Dreyfuss calls the shark an "eating machine"? Durant is a scoring machine. He was put on this earth to collect points. We have never seen anyone quite like him before: a 6'9" forward with Plastic Man arms, 30-foot range and the ability to thrive in big moments. He has more career buzzer-beaters than LeBron. Trust me, it's true.

Know also that NBA players peak between ages 25 and 29. So what's Durant's realistic peak? Will he average 33 a game on percentages of 55-90-50? Will he average 36 ppg? Thirty-eight? Seriously, where does this go? Nobody's discussing that. Nobody's even acknowledging it. And that makes Kevin Durant totally, completely, unequivocally underrated. I can't think of five current players who are more fun to watch. I'm jealous of the Highjacker's fans. I am.

by Bill Simmons
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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hes already a beast, its gonna be scary to see how good he'll be in a few years once he bulks up and improves his jumper which isn't bad.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I havent heard anybody underrating him. Pretty much everyone says he is going to be a top 5 in the league for years.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Anyone who watches basketball knows how good he is.

Jeff Green is underrated.
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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read the full simmons article. he's got an interesting point here.
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Good read, plus a little love for Man Ram.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't know if underrated's the term, but in terms of franchise decade defining guys, yea I suppose so. He's only 20 and should have lots more upside when his body fills out.

Still though I think the underrated tag should go more to guys like Foster or something than KD. Think if we're talking big names that don't get credit for being worthy superstar types though, what about Billups. I think he deserves a spot in the top 10 currently and of his decade - but his lack of stats restrict him. People are concentrating on Iverson screwing up Detroit but I think it's just as much that Billups is that good, the Pistons DID have a franchise guy in 04, it was Chauncey. Finals MVP and a winning % as good as Duncan's since he arrived a couple years into this decade

Also Dirk's getting a little underappreciated lately from his chokes. He still owns. I saw on the top 100 list on realgm right now he's ranked like 20 spots below Barkley... ridiculous... their careers are inseperable.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The MVP of West Hollywood View Post
Also Dirk's getting a little underappreciated lately from his chokes. He still owns. I saw on the top 100 list on realgm right now he's ranked like 20 spots below Barkley... ridiculous... their careers are inseperable.
I agree. There's something about a player retiring that vaults him a bunch of spots in GOAT rankings.

People always say "by the time Kobe is done he'll be top 3." I don't see why they wouldn't just stick him in the top three right now.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Its easy to say that KD's not underrated now that we are half way thru the season and everyone is loving his stats, but where was the recognition in the build up to the season. I mean if any of you play fantasy ball, KD was definetly underrated and totally missed by most of the so called experts. In the leagues that i participate in, KD was drafted in the 3rd or 4th round of 10 ten team leagues. This season KD is performing at a much higher level than was anticpated from him and in turn he will be come appropriatley rated for future seasons, at least in a fantasy sense he will be a first rounder for sure.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hes avging 26 and 8 since moving to the SF position once Carlesimo left. Damn right hes underrated.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Once he gains more muscle through the summer training,
I think the OKC will have a better chance in making the playoffs even.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Theyre not going to make the playoffs if he gains more muscle, theyre going to make the playoffs when they put some veterans around him and Westrbook and trade Green for some high level veteran player.

The guy is avging 7 fta a game now. He doesnt need that much more muscle, he just needs to keep expanding on his game(especially back to the basket where he can be absolutely devastating with his 6'10 size vs smaller sf's) and get better teammates beside him. I dont think theres any question hes the 2nd best SF behind Lebron right now.
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by thriller92 View Post
Theyre not going to make the playoffs if he gains more muscle, theyre going to make the playoffs when they put some veterans around him and Westrbook and trade Green for some high level veteran player.

The guy is avging 7 fta a game now. He doesnt need that much more muscle, he just needs to keep expanding on his game(especially back to the basket where he can be absolutely devastating with his 6'10 size vs smaller sf's) and get better teammates beside him. I dont think theres any question hes the 2nd best SF behind Lebron right now.
lets make a deal, I would like to have Green in Toronto
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Durant isn't even a starter on half the teams in the league.

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