Monday, October 11th, 2010 at 10:45 am  |  62 responses

Durant To Play All Five Positions

by Adam Figman

You might’ve realized by now that Kevin Durant is a pretty dangerous player. He led the L in scoring last season, dropping 30.1 points a game, and almost single-handedly earned Team USA a gold medal this summer.

And that was just at small forward.

As Darnell Mayberry writes, the Thunder may be using KD at all five positions this season:

A major development has emerged for the Thunder this preseason, and it could be the most important thing to track as the exhibition schedule marches on.

Kevin Durant is now being deployed at different positions.

In the final weeks before his fourth regular season begins, Durant is working to become more dangerous by developing his skills at multiple spots on the floor. It’s a progression that could soon make the Thunder’s offense a terror and its defense more dynamic.

Against Miami on Friday, Durant played all five positions. He started at his customary small forward spot, ran point guard late in the first quarter and slid to power forward midway through the second quarter.

“Kevin’s game is evolving,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He, like a lot of our guys, is not a finished product. He’s going to keep getting better. And there’s ways that I’m going to challenge him to get better… He has the ability to do a lot of things for us and do them well.”

It was the minutes Durant played at point guard and power forward that stood out most.

At 6-10, Durant is by far the league’s tallest provisional point guard. His size allows him to see over the defense and read and react to whatever is thrown his way. And by initiating the offense, Durant nearly becomes unstoppable because of his shooting ability and improving playmaking skills. He had only one assist against the Heat, but Durant beat LeBron James off the dribble on several possessions, working his way into the lane where he created the option to either finish himself or dump off passes to cutting teammates.

Aside from his usual role at the two or three, the Thunder will be able to play Durant at the one and slide Russell Westbrook over to the two, or put KD at the four or five and use a quicker, more athletic lineup.

Whether or not they actually use him at mutliple positions when it counts, one thing’s for sure: Oklahoma City will be one of the more versatile teams in the NBA this season.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy


  • JTaylor21

    Okay how does SF/PG/PF equal playing all 5 positions? Stop with the over-hyping of a guy who was MUD in the playoffs.

  • t-sizzle

    he will prove the haters wrong.. c’mon, it was his first playoffs ever against the number 1 seeded lakers. he didn’t know about the intensity or the physicality of the playoffs. you’ll see, this year he’s gonna be a monster

  • t-sizzle

    and he already plays SG sometimes and it says that if they go small, they might even slide him to PF/C for a quicker lineup. that is possible in the future

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Looks like Scott Brooks watched what Coach K did closely in the Worlds. Team USA ran a very unconventional lineup that was highly successful. It only makes sense that this strategy would continue to permeate the league even more now. No player can be set to one single position, except for some point guards (Nash, Rondo). The league is changing and Scott Brooks knows it because he has seen it. Coach K saw it too.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    lol KD has haters???? KD ain’t playing all 5 positions….I just don’t get it….the man gets buckets, he gets buckets, he puts balls in buckets…why do you need him doing too much more than that? You’ve got a great young PG and a pretty deep lineup of capable guards and swingmen…there is no point in overworking him. If you want KD to be Lebron, get him on Lebron’s workout routine because his body isn’t suited for the whole ‘I play all 5 positions’ thing yet

  • Dollar Sign

    He can play the 5 vs the Rockets when Chuck Hayes is out there, the Knicks and Warriors. The bigger question would be if Durant plays the 4 would they slide Green to the 3 or the bench?

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @LDR4…if he really watched Team USA out in Turkey he’d know that Kevin Durant never really got in a scorers rhythm until he took it upon himself late in the tourney to stop being so unselfish and get his

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Playing Center would mean on offense, he’d have to go in the blocks and play, you know, center type offense (back to the basket, bang with someone, post guys stronger than him)to make it really centerish. I don’t think dude’s doing that. And what center in the league is he really going to play post D on? C’mon, it’s a silly notion.

  • t-sizzle

    it’s unlikely that KD plays center, but it’s up to the circumstances. if he plays a phoenix roster that goes small, then he might need to play center no?

  • krizzle

    give me a break. KD is a phenomenal shooter combined with his height and handles makes him a top 5 player in the nba. he is subpar passing a rebounding for his size. he cant play the 1, 4, or 5. maybe the 4 but i wouldnt want him doing that on my team. he is blowing up too fast and people are gonna expect too much. he is a great shooter and scorer. nothing else in my mind

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    t-sizzle – If PHX go with a small line-up, who is playing centre for them, for Durant to play centre……? Hill? They won’t be playing like that this season. With Hedo, Hill, Clark and Warrick (and any combo of those guys on the floor) around Lawal, Lopez, Collins Durant will not be playing centre ever against PHX. LET ALONE a team with an actual offensive minded centre.

  • t-sizzle

    @Dacre – Guess you’re right about phoenix. Though I don’t think Warrick has the coordination to take advantage of Durant on offense. Anyways, just meant that if a team goes really small ball (phoenix equipped for that in the past) then it’s possible he plays a bit of 5 no? Like Dollar said above, maybe agaisnt houston, knicks or warriors?

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I wouldn’t be surprised in KD get a FEW minutes at the 5, but nothing significant and not against any starting 5′s. It’s something they’ll likely do just to say that he did it, not because it makes sense or becuase it’s needed. I think it’s great they are developing all aspects of his game, but until he bulks up a little more and gets a better handle – I hope they just keep him at the 2 or 3.

  • WB30

    this is what I call Step Yo Game Up



  • VisionofGreatness

    This guy Jtaylor consistently hates on anyone who’s not LeBron lol. It’s comical. If you’re going to talk about a player, talk about what he’s done recently. The last thing Kevin did was lead Team USA to a World Championship.

  • T-Money

    this is getting ridiculous, the man averages more turnovers than assists and now he’s going to play point?! dude gets buckets but he can’t see guys, cmon.

  • Shem

    Okay, I believe he can play 1-4 but definetly not the 5. If anything, he’d only run PG or PF in situational parts of the game.As much love as I have for Durant, he couldnt consistently start at all 5 positions

  • http://sdklff.com Jukai

    I don’t get it. The article says he played all five positions then never mentions anything about him playing center.
    I’m with Shem. He can play a decent point, an amazing two guard, a legendary three, and probably could be a surprisingly effective situational four. I think the whole “all five position” thing is just hyperbole for his versatility.
    Even Dirk would post the hell out of Durant at the five spot.

  • http://sdklff.com Jukai

    T-Money: You know I was a BIG hater of Durant for his (lack of) passing last year, but I watched the Worlds and he definitely worked on it. Not sure how well it will translate to the NBA, he’s still turnover prone and because of the absurd talent gap, he really wasn’t double teamed (and a big issue I’ve noticed with Durant is that he doesn’t always make the best past when double teamed) but dude looked LEGIT in the full court and made some nifty kickout passes during drives and attacks. So let’s see how the kid does in the league this year.

  • http://Slamonline.com Niyasofresh

    Uh-oh triple double time!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Somewhere Cole Aldrich just sighed.

  • http://www.borntocompete.com Money$hot

    Sure KD could play all 5 positions but will that really help OKC. There team is pretty deep and KD is just a natural scorer, I remember KG played all 5 positions at Minnesota, but the Wolves sucked. I can only see experimenting with your young player like tha if your team sucked. But, they don’t; just let him play the 2,3,4 and get buckets and call it a day.

  • Eric

    The way things are going, Durant could end up being the best center picked in the 2007 draft…

  • burnt_chicken

    @Eboy: Bargnani. That’s one.

  • Dollar Sign

    Durant playing the point will only happen verse a weak second unit. Basically him standing at the 3 point pretending to shoot someone’s face off while Harden gets his Ray Allen on running through 7 straight screens.

    Durant will play Center holding down the middle [of a 2-3 zone] Unless they put Nellie to a 10 day coaching contract to play some serious small ball don’t expect him to be a “legit” center.

    This article should be taken with a grain of salt. They probably have plays drawn up for him at each position but they may never be used.

  • boggs

    now why in da world would he play pg? i think he’s just showin’ off…

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    He cant play point. Damn, they should have drafted tyreke, not harden. Would have been beyond sick.

  • Blackphantom

    Holy crap. This is gonna raise KD’s game even more that expected(he’s already expected to be MVP)

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    Cosign the last few lines of what Dollar Sign said.

  • randy_watson

    Come on guys…just think of a more skilled lamar Odom…lamr can play basically all 5 spots. Scotty just wants the ball in kd’s hand as much as possible, and figure out new mix-matches.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    I like KD, but he cannot do this.

  • vtrobot

    @ randy: i would also assume that KD is more skilled than lamar at choosing the ladies. the fact that most have already given the 2011 MVP to KD just shows how meaningless that award sometimes is. can we let them play the season first. kobe/LBJ won’t even be close?

  • Trout

    I think potentially he could play all five (including center magic did it) but he would have to eat more protein and pack on Chris Webber type muscle in order to bang down low and like Eboy said develop a back to the basket game then it’s possible …. but unlikely.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    this is even more annoying than OKC´s annoucers..look, hes an awfull playmaker so PG is a no no, PF is a good idea when you go small ball and when he played SG 2 years ago they were 1-17 so hes a foward, the best after Bron..dont get too inventive, you might ruin it

  • Dagger

    So he’s not a great passer and one of his big knocks is his lack of strength . . . so how will he play the 1 and the 5? His dribble is pretty high owing to his length, so can he really play the 2? Why not keep him at the 3 where he excels? Wasn’t one of his big problems in his rookie year that he kept being played at the 2? This is a silly idea. Not everyone is a Magic or Lebron or even an Odom – that’s not a knock, that’s just reality.

  • BostonBaller

    Durant has the talent to do it offensively but what about defensively? Can he stay in front of quick guards? Withstand the power of power PF’s & C’s down low? Is this a marketing ploy by the Thunder to garner MVP votes already? I wish him well (except against the celts. lol) b/c he seems to be a true professional and all around great guy.

  • str8 from samoa


  • xplor


  • http://slamonline.com Saviour

    JTaylor is the biggest gimp to ever appear on this site, he can barely string a sentence together and when he does it doesn’t even make sense.

  • Shem

    @Trout: Magic played center for one game, in a different time where players weren’t as athletic as they are today and teams didnt gameplan as much as they do today.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Durant will effectively play 2 positions. He is not a pg, or center for more then one play on offense or a switch on defense. And as Trailblazingsportinglesbian pointed out he doesn’t really tranlate into a SG either.

  • LakeShow

    ^^^ 3 Positions IMO

  • ai come back

    lebrons still better……………. kd cant play pt like lebron can period

  • The Philosopher


  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    this guy is amazing but he’s being over-hyped now. yes, he’s all-nba 2nd team calibre but defintely not the best player in the world yet. just because he’s nice don’t mean he’s better than lebron, kobe, melo or dwade. not yet kd.

  • http://www.oprah.com Doyouwantmore


  • JTaylor21

    LEBRON= Wilkins/Magic!

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    All 5? Handle is too shaky for point and he’d get pushed off the block before he could Dream of pivoting. Let’s be real, he can play 2, 3, and 4.

  • KB8toSG8

    All I see is 2,3,4…..He ain’t no Magic.

  • KB8toSG8

    @JTaylor……Wilikins yes. Magic, no.

  • http://www.oprah.com Doyouwantmore

    Actually I have to fix that last post I put up.

    Wilkins is to Lebron what Jordan is to Durant.

  • JoeMaMa

    Everyone hated on KD’s defense last year, and he came out and showed everyone that he was committed to playing. I think his assists will go up and he’ll be a more complete playmaker because he knows his weaknesses, and works on them. All the greats spend the summer turning their weaknesses into strengths, and, from what I’ve read of his work ethic, he’s no doubt taken time this summer to improve his playmaking abilities. As for his playing the centre spot, the people on this site blasted his wafer thin body, saying he can’t hang in the post. I get that….but there aren’t many grat centers, and if OKC plays a team with a mediocre one, KD would carve him up outside while giving up 10-12 points inside. They weren’t saying it’s KD vs Dwight, but KD vs Dan Gadzuric or someone like that.

  • cinquet

    kd is gonna be one of the best of all time. and since when was 25 and seven MUD in the playoffs @JTaylor21. he has the body to play all five because even though hes skinny there was another power forward his size thats in boston thats a hall of famer.

  • JoeMaMa

    OKC has proven themselves to be a smart, competitive team. They won’t put KD as the 5 unless they think it’ll help them win games. Scott Brooks knows more about the direction of the team, and KD’s abilities, than you. Maybe think about that for a second.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    not sold on the center position for kd.. hed have to be careful at the 1 too.. he can play the 2 n 3 amazingly n also the 4 very well at times

  • smooth

    keep westbrook at pg lol

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2010/08/video-michael-jordans-love-of-the-game/ notblack

    Lebron can do the same and better i wonder why they dont point this out..

  • justine bacnis

    standing at 6’10, he could play the 5, seriously. he just needs to buff up a bit because if he’s gonna play the 5, he needs to have a lot of strength.

  • Michael Whyte

    give it a rest. cosign tmoney. durant cant pass, turnover after turnover. he cant play D. he can flat out score. room for improvement, which could be scary.

  • Michael Whyte

    @Xplor dont know about power, dont know about clutch. get off his dick