Kevin Durant Avoids Heaves at the Buzzer to Keep His Shooting Percentage High

by February 12, 2013

You’ll occasionally see NBA players avoid taking desperation heaves at the end of quarters for a couple of reasons: they don’t think they can make the shot, and in some instances, they want to preserve their shooting percentage. Kevin Durant falls in the latter category, and it’s something OKC Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is against (inefficiency be damned). Russell Westbrook, meanwhile, is still very much Russell Westbrook. Per Daily Thunder: “We talked about it, about seven weeks ago maybe, couple months ago, and we talked about it,’ Brooks said. ‘I said ‘We have to shoot that shot. There’s still time in the game — shoot it.’ The only time we don’t shoot it is if we’re up and it’s the last seconds because you don’t want to do that. We had that talk and somebody on our team did not take it that same night, and then we all got on him,’ he said. ‘The next night, somebody made that shot.’ […] How do Thunder players feel about the halfcourt heave? Should it be counted as an attempt? And do they pull the just-after-the-buzzer move? … Kevin Durant: ‘It depends on what I’m shooting from the field. First quarter if I’m 4-for-4, I let it go. Third quarter if I’m like 10-for-16, or 10-for-17, I might let it go. But if I’m like 8-for-19, I’m going to go ahead and dribble one more second and let that buzzer go off and then throw it up there. So it depends on how the game’s going.’ Russell Westbrook: ‘No. Nope … If I was considering about [statistics] I’d do a lot of shit different.'”

(H/T: TBJ)