The scoring title on its own doesn’t really matter, unless you’re someone like Kevin Durant, who really cares about these things. His only way of beating Carmelo Anthony this year is to score 70 points in the final game of the season, which would put him in a pretty impressive company of players who went all-in to make sure no one takes it away from them.
Like David Robinson in 1994, scoring 71 points to make sure Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t end up with the scoring crown. Like David Thompson scoring 73 points on the final game of the season, although it wasn’t enough because George Gervin finished with just about enough – 63 points, to claim the title. Simply because it would make a great story, to go along with his 50-40-90 season, becoming only the sixth player in NBA history to hit more than 50% of his field goal shots (51%, needs to miss 28 in order to miss the qualification), 40% of his three point shots (41.6%) and over 90% from the line (90.5%).
Scott Brooks said that believe it or not, Durant is not going to take a seat on the final days of the season, although now that the first place is clinched, there isn’t a reason to play him. Learn from Derrick Rose last season – accidents happen when you aren’t careful, and chasing a scoring title is one of those things that might help you become careless.
Most likely? Durant will play limited minutes. He says he doesn’t care about the scoring title; only the NBA title. I don’t believe him, and many others don’t as well. But it simply makes sense to sit him the entire game, or give him very few minutes on the floor vs the Milwaukee Bucks in a game that means nothing. If there wasn’t a risk injury, giving the fans what they want, which is seeing a player try to go off for a historic offensive performance, was probably a little more important for coaches and players to deliver.
Durant has played in 81 games this season. He’s averaging 28.148 points per game this season, scoring 2280. Carmelo Anthony, who is likely to sit out the Knicks’ final game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks, is averaging 28.656 this season, scoring 1920 points in 67 games. That’s the situation, and unfortunately for those of us who love to see a player try and do the impossible, it’s likely to stay that way.