The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 21, 2014

Durant filling Westbrook’s void with an MVP-caliber season

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

Forward Serge Ibaka is benefiting most from the attention teams are giving Durant. Ibaka is averaging 18 points, 11 rebounds, 2.8 blocks the past five games while shooting 61 percent from the field. Much of Ibaka’s damage has been done on pick and rolls with Durant.

“Kevin is a great player,” Ibaka said. “You really have to make a decision — are you going to help or are you going to stay off him? So I just read the game. He’s doing a great job this year finding the guy, passing the ball, so that’s why we do it.”

Overall, Durant is ahead of his career high for a season in points. He’s averaging 5.0 assists per game, ahead of his previous best average of 4.6 last season, and he’s shooting 49 percent from the field, better than all but one of his previous six seasons.

“He’s one of the best players in the league, you know, up there with LeBron (James),” Warriors center Andrew Bogut said. “He shoots the ball very, very well and at his height, there’s not much you can really do when he gets hot. There’s a reason why he’s a perennial All-Star and future Hall of Famer and possibly MVP this year.”

 

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