Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stat Line of the Day: May 14th

K. Durant (OKC): 3-14 (1-9 3pt), 11 points, 5 fouls, 2 assts, 7 rebs @ MEM
This is what Durant needed to do
more of last night in Memphis
Oklahoma City had a chance to end their series with the Grizzlies in Game Six. They had a chance to advance to the conference finals for the first time in Thunder history, and the first time for the franchise since 1995-'96 (as the SuperSonics). Kevin Durant (right), the 22-year-old emerging superstar, needed to have a good game--not even a great one--for the Thunder to advance. In that respect, along with the result of the game, Durant lost. Part of the problem was his shot selection; Durant is an ultra-athletic wing with the ability to take the ball to the basket, but he took nine of his 14 shots from beyond the arc, which is far too high of a percentage for someone in his position. KD needs to create contact (he averages eight free-throws a game for his career), not just jack shots from beyond the arc. Durant is a pretty good shooter from distance, shooting 35.8% for his career, but he's a smart enough player to understand that some nights the shots just aren't going in. The great players understand which parts of their game are working on some nights and which parts aren't, and adjust accordingly. The good news is, Durant is only 22, and these are lessons that he will learn over the course of his career--he is one of those great players. Last night might have been the night he learned his lesson, and if so he's lucky he's got one more game to try and lead his team to the promised land.

Honorable Mention(s)

C. Martinez (ATL): 4 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 Ks vs. PHI
On first glance, you would think Cristhian Martinez's relief apperance wouldn't exactly seem to merit a Stat Line of the Night mention, even if it is just an HM. Four innings of perfect relief against the Phillies is a pretty solid night, however. Add in the fact that the Phils' offense had six hits off starter Brandon Beachy before he left with an oblique injury before the third inning, and Martinez actually did quite a job holding the Phils back while his offense brought the Braves back. He was helped by a game tying, 2-RBI Cristhian Martinez (his first career hit and first career RBIs).

C. Maybin (SD): 4-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R @ COL
San Diego has been struggling offensively, aside from their talented young centerfielder. Maybin's batting .273/.348/.453, and last night he tried to single-handedly carry his team to a win in Denver. The Padres did score seven runs for only the sixth time this season, but unfortunately it was for naught--the Rockies won, 13-7.

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