The Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder are in a very familiar position again.
Both teams are atop their respective conferences and look to be headed towards another collision course in the NBA Finals. Not only are these teams playing well, their stars are also. LeBron James and Kevin Durant have both been otherworldly this year and have held the NBA at their mercy all year long. But if it came down to it, which one would you take?
LeBron James has been one of the most dominant players in the last decade of NBA basketball. He has a career scoring average of 27.6 points per game. And what is so amazing about his scoring output is that he has not had a consistent jump shot and he has lacked a post-up game throughout most of his career. But for what he lacks, he more than makes up for in vision and ability to make his teams better.
LeBron consistently made his Cleveland teams the best in the league despite having average talent.Â He just has that innate ability to make players that surround him even better and more effective.Â And with his 6â€™8â€ frame, he can guard pretty much any position on the floor with effectiveness.
But for all he does well, he does have some holes in his game. James has improved his jump shot more this year, but in essence, he is still a streak shooter. The more you can keep LeBron out of the lane, the more chance you give yourself to defeat his teams. He also has been known to not be able to hit the clutch shot for the majority of his career, instead opting to get the ball to the open teammate instead of making the clutch shot. He often gets criticized for making the correct basketball decision in times when he needs to be selfish. He has improved those holes in his game and even helped lead a team to a championship, but in the end, those holes are still there.
Kevin Durant came with the gift of size and scoring ability. The 6â€™9â€ wing player could strike from any point on the court with his deep range and his scoring touch. His scoring touch was undeniable, but his overall development was still the question early on. Durant was a liability defensively and he was not very big on taking the ball to the basket.
But as time has gone on, Durant has continued to get strong and in turn, he now attacks the rim more in addition to shooting the jump shot. And as a result of Durant adding the variety to his game, he is now revered as the best scorer in the game. He won the scoring title last season and is on his way to winning it again, averaging 29.5 points per game. This year, Durant has also learned how to get his teammates more involved, raising his assists to a career-high 4.4 assists per game. But for all that he has done, Durant has yet to prove that he can get it done on the defensive end. He has gotten better, but when he goes up against the elite guys, he has to dig in more defensively and take a stand.
Another question about Durant has been his leadership skills. Durant is a quiet person. You can tell by his nature on the court that he is a quiet guy. But he also is a guy that is still learning how to be a leader for his team. As time goes on, he will get there, but for right now, he is not as strong of a leader for that team as he could be.
Previously: Inside Sports With The General: The Superstar Rules In Sports
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