NBA

Kevin Durant leads the league in a surprising stat so far this season

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Kevin Durant is one of the most devastating offensive players in the NBA but since joining the Golden State Warriors, he has proven to be almost as effective on the other end of the floor.

KD is slowly developing into an elite defender for the Warriors and has become a lethal two-way player that impacts the game in many ways.

To begin the season, the Warriors have been poor defensively but Durant has been the one bright spark.

The defending champions are currently allowing 113.6 points per game which is way below their usual standard.

But their superstar small forward has certainly done his best to try and keep that number down as he leads all players in the NBA in a surprising statistic.

The reigning Finals MVP is leading the league in defending shots in the restricted area this season, according to ESPN’s Ben Alamar.

His ridiculous length at the three spot allows him to get a major advantage against smaller opponents and a surprising one against bigger opponents, resulting in ill-advised shots and occasionally in blocked shots.

In a win over the New Orleans Pelicans last week, the eight-time All-Star recorded a career-high seven blocks and has fully embraced a role as a rim-protector.

He showed a major improvement in this department last year as he averaged a career-best 1.6 blocks. He is almost doubling this mark currently as he's posting three swats per game.

The 29-year-old recently revealed how the Golden State system has helped him flourish defensively and is now looking to be among the best defenders in the league.

"A couple years ago, I didn't really know how to play team defence that well," he said, according to Mark Medina of The Mercury News.

"More and more, I'm learning about team defence and making multiple efforts. I'm able to get my hand on basketballs. I want to be one of the best defenders in the league,"

With head coach Steve Kerr's preference to play small, Durant is often the tallest player on the on the floor for the Warriors and now has a knack for contesting shots at the rim.

The former Oklahoma City Thunder star is more renowned for leading offensive stats but his work on both ends will firmly place him in the race for MVP this campaign as he's crucial to the Bay Area franchise in multiple ways.

Topics:
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Stephen Curry
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division

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