Hey I’ve got something I’ve been wanting to get off my chest for a little while so I’m just going to come out and say it:

Kevin Durant is a great scorer of the basketball. Phew. I feel better.

OK so we all know that much. Durant’s got the scoring titles he’s got the points per game he’s got the 50-40-90 he’s got that e-word (efficiency) that everyone likes to say all that time.

But why is he a great scorer?

Kirk Goldsberry of Grantland who is doing the Lord’s work on advancing the way we understand basketball has what might be the definitive piece on scorers and shooters what makes a great one great. Do yourself a favor and become a smarter observer by reading the whole thing but I’m gonna do the blockquote thing and talk mostly about Durant after the jump:

First two simple questions Goldsberry asks:

1) Who is the best shooter in the NBA and 2) what metrics would you use to justify your answer to this question?

When it comes to shooting stats one would think there would be a spreadsheet somewhere on the Internet that delineates “great shooters” like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant near its top and “bad shooters” like Monta Ellis and Josh Smith at the bottom. But there’s not. We still rely on hunches and vague reputations to make our assertions about “pure shooting” skill in the NBA. Amid the chatter of an ongoing revolution in basketball statistics the notion that we still can’t effectively measure shooting ability is troubling — but it’s also correctable.

The issue is almost every NBA player’s overall FG percentage will always have more to do with where he shoots than how well he shoots.