What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard?

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What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#1 » by Drygon » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:27 am

Obviously, both Kawhi & KD are fantastic players in their own right. But whenever they're compared eachother on who's better, people usually prefers KD without going into further. And I don't understand why..

The true testamente of a player's legacy is not about whatever they accomplish during regular season. A player's career, status & reputation is determined on how well he performs in the playoffs because the pressure is at all-time high.

Since Kawhi became 1st option for Spurs, he has outperformed KD when the latter didn't have a 73-9 GSW supporting cast.

Both are elite scorers, although Kawhi is more efficient from anywhere on the court with higher TS%. Kawhi is also a better defender and is far more impactful on court going by advanced stats.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of what KD & Kawhi have done in playoffs.



----------


Kawhi Leonard at Spurs/Raptors/Clippers (2015-2020)

Playoffs

- 27.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 4.0 APG. 0.8 BPG, 1.9 SPG
- 49.6 FG%, 39.1 3P%, 87.6 FT% on 61.6 TS% (25.1% of 2Ps & 88.3% of 3Ps assisted)
- 0.248 WS/48
- 7.4 OBPM
- 2.9 DBPM
- 10.3 BPM
- 7.6 VORP
- 1 Ring
- 1 Finals MVP

-------------------------------------------


Kevin Durant at Oklahoma City Thunder (2010-2016)

Playoffs

- 28.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.2 BPG, 1.1 SPG
- 45.5 FG%, 32.9 3P%, 84.8 FT% on 57.5 TS% (46.2% of 2Ps & 73.9% of 3Ps assisted)
- 0.177 WS/48
- 5.9 OBPM
- 0.4 DBPM
- 6.3 BPM
- 8.0 VORP
- 0 Rings
- 0 Finals MVPs
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant better than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#2 » by pr0wler » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:37 am

Well, for starters, the last 5 years or so have seen a much faster pace and higher efficiencies. This slightly inflates stats in more recent years. You didn't see guys averaging 30+ PPG like it was no big deal in 2013. Harden was even flirting with 40 PPG this season until teams started to double team him every game.

Kawhi has been the clear cut #1 option for all of those teams. Durant had to share the ball with Westbrook for a long time. Who, in case you missed it, definitely likes to jack up a shot or two lol.

Also, there is a lot of variance in only 5 years worth of playoff numbers. In addition, normalizing the stats for quality of opponents, coaching, teammates etc...isn't really possible. So just taking 2 players numbers over random 5 year stretches as the basis of comparison won't give a truly accurate picture.

I will say that I actually think Durant's numbers throughout his career slightly underrepresented as he has a bit of a passive personality. He should've demanded the ball more in OKC, but he definitely doesn't seem to have an alpha style personality and I think that would be a fair criticism of him. However, I think overall he is definitely a better offensive talent than Kawhi and you'd be hard pressed to find people that would say otherwise.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant better than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#3 » by draftnightsuit » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:46 am

In what way is Kawhi more efficient than Durant?

TS:

Durant - 61.3%
Kawhi - 59.7%

Durant leads Kawhi in FG%, 3P%, and FT%. He’s more efficient in every way, better shooter, better iso player, a guaranteed bucket. Durant is a top 3 scorer of all time. He’s right there with Wilt and MJ.

Kawhi is a well-rounded scorer and efficient scorer but he’s not Durant level. He’s not as natural as Durant, he’s a guy who worked on his game and developed skills.

Kawhi is about as much of a better defender than Durant than Durant is a better offensive player. Peak Durant was a good defender.

Neither of them are good playmakers or ball handlers and have never made players around them better. But also neither of them have ever played for a bad team (other than Durant’s rookie year). So they’ve never been tested with having to carry a mediocre team.

But I’d suspect that Durant would be better with his pure scoring, which could carry a mediocre offense.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#4 » by Egg Nog » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:52 am

Wow, I never really realized that Durant was channeling Antoine Walker from 3 for his OKC playoff runs.

I'm really curious to see how an older/wiser KD is going to shoot, except now without the gravity of Klay and Curry...
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#5 » by OriginalRed » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:53 am

Durant's better at offense, Kawhi's better at defense and even then, Kawhi's defense has taken a major hit since his Spurs days.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#6 » by Dupp » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:54 am

He’s definitely a better passer and I think a better scorer
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#7 » by Run DLC » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:13 am

Because he CAN PULL UP FROM 30!
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#8 » by r0drig0lac » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:16 am

titles with a team that was already a favorite without him and obviously an increase in efficiency and defensive effort for the same reason.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#9 » by Drygon » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:38 am

draftnightsuit wrote:In what way is Kawhi more efficient than Durant?

TS:

Durant - 61.3%
Kawhi - 59.7%

Durant leads Kawhi in FG%, 3P%, and FT%. He’s more efficient in every way, better shooter, better iso player, a guaranteed bucket. Durant is a top 3 scorer of all time. He’s right there with Wilt and MJ.


I clearly stated that IDGAF abuot regular season accomplishments. It doesn't hold weight compared to playoffs.

Also LOL for including Kawhi's TS% as a role player pre-2015. Just a sidenote.

KD is nowhere close being top 3 playoff scorer of all-time.

If we're being honest, KD isn't the best scorer of his era. That goes to Kawhi & Harden.

OriginalRed wrote:Durant's better at offense, Kawhi's better at defense and even then, Kawhi's defense has taken a major hit since his Spurs days.


KD is only marginally ahead of Kawhi in PPG. However, Kawhi beats KD everything else in term of offensive impact.

Kawhi's defense is still levels above KD even if he isn't a DPOY-candidate anymore.

Dupp wrote:He’s definitely a better passer and I think a better scorer


You don't need any imaginatinos, I've already laid down the stats for you.

How's KD a better passer when Kawhi is averaging more assists than him? :lol:

KD is barely ahead of Kawhi in term of PPG, although his TS% is still a lot worse than Kawih's TS%.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#10 » by Dupp » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:42 am

Used some pre prime years for KD and none for kawhi. Very unbiased.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#11 » by Drygon » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:45 am

Dupp wrote:Used some pre prime years for KD and none for kawhi. Very unbiased.


KD was top 10 player between 2010-2016, of course he was in his prime lol.

Kawhi was a role player before 2015, it's why I didn't even included his 2014 ring & Finals MVP.

I'm being objective here.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#12 » by oaktownwarriors87 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:48 am

Remember when player comparisons were on the player comparisons board?

Oaktownwarriors87 remembers.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#13 » by TheProfessor » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:39 am

Durant's playmaking and scoring advantage> Kawhi's defense.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#14 » by Maxthirty » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:00 am

OP just said Kawhi is the best scorer his era. I think it's time to bounce.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#15 » by drosereturn » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:01 am

Durant doesnt need load management and uncle Dennis help to form a superteam when he can form superteam by himself.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#16 » by fianchetto » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:10 am

oaktownwarriors87 wrote:Remember when player comparisons were on the player comparisons board?

Oaktownwarriors87 remembers.


True, Pepperidge farm, but at least it’s not MJ vs Bron.

Kawhi is not great at moving the ball and his passing leavves a lot to be desired. KD is much much better at that. Defense isn’t that far off for KD if he tries. Hard as it is to say, KD was the better player. Who knows after the injury.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#17 » by JulesWinnfield » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:58 am

The clippers just blew a 3-1 lead in the playoffs and Paul George averaged 22/5/4 on a 59% TS, and we have directed damn near all of the heat on him for it. Not that he was great, but we’re creating new “playoff P” spinoff nicknames every two minutes for the sidekick who wasn’t totally terrible. We ridicule PG, we bash Doc (fire him even). We make note of the knuckleheads they have on the periphery of the roster and blame them for lack of chemistry. We barely mention Kawhi shot 6/22 in game 7 or that his TS% dipped 5% from the regular season. It’s funny how he constantly exists in this space where he gets put on a similar level to KD and even modern day Lebron but doesn’t get nearly the same scrutiny either of them get

The team he left had a higher win% than the team he went to, and made it just as far in the playoffs too. Let’s discuss Kawhi through the same critical lens that we discuss guys we compare him to
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#18 » by Threetimes10 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am

Nothing. Durant isn't better if we're talking about peaks. The small advantage in playmaking and spacing doesn't make up for the huge difference in turnover economy and defense. Pre-GSW KD doesn't even score as well as current Kawhi in the playoffs (I'm not sure if the difference is as profound after adjustment for league efficiency and opponents' defense) and that's his forte.
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Re: What exactly makes Kevin Durant a better player than Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#19 » by Homer38 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:59 am

At least Durant didn't take the regular season as a practice

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