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This human pogo stick deserves his own thread. I can think of three unstoppable shots off the top of my head in NBA history: Elvin Hayes backing in to the basket on his strong side, then turning around and shooting a fadeaway bank shot; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's sky hook, and Kevin Durant's jump-back from 25 feet.

Critics say all he needs to become the "total offensive weapon" is to put on some upper-body muscle; I disagree. Let him wait until later to muscle up; right now, he's so quick that he can do anything - drive past you and tomahawk it, or back off and shoot a three. When he's in his 30s, then he can hit the weights - let him stay slender while he's young.

The only comparable player I can think of, style-wise, is Dirk Nowitzki.

Tonight, he broke his string of 12 consecutive 30-point games, and he did it by scoring 24 points, going 10-for-12 from the field, sitting out the entire 4th quarter, and dishing out 7 assists - many of them to Serge Ibaka who went 12-for-12 from the field: the two combined to go 22-for-24!

This is just crazy what we're witnessing right now. Jordan, Bryant, Maravich, Erving, Bird, James - I've never seen more jaw-dropping highlight reels (although some of Jordan's and Bird's come close). All Durant needs is longevity, and he could well become the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

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yes he is excellent.  An incredible offensive machine with terrific skills...and he grew up in this area.   But in the long history of the NBA there have been a variety of "unstoppable shots" from certain players.

One of my favorites, who couldn't be defended was Earl the Pearl Monroe from the late 60's and 70's and who played for the Baltimore Bullets way back when.

Earl would twist and turn , spin and rotate in ways that nobody before or after has ever duplicated.  It wasn't that he shot from above anyone else or created unbelievable distance between his shot and the defender that was so remarkable.  As Earl himself said, he never knew which way he was going to spin or turn...so how could the defender.

One other shot that was undefendable for a period was that of Charles Barkley when he was younger and at his peak.  Barkley would grab a rebound on the defensive side and race down the court dribbling to the other basket to shoot and score.   It wasn't undefendable in the height and space created manners that Kareem, or Elvin, or Durant manage to create an unstoppable shot.

Nobody wanted to get in Barkley's way.  He was an enormous burro of a musceled man the size and strength of a hefty burro racing among thin jackrabbits.  Nobody was foolish or stupid enough to block his path to the basket.

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"Kevin Durant's Impossible 4-Point Play Shows Why He Is MVP" by Nate Scott on ftwusatoday.com

"Video: Thunder's Kevin Durant Converts Improbable 4-Point Play Vs. Grizzlies" by Ben Golliver on nba.si.com

This was ... remarkable. I read Dave's heartwarming tribute to Monroe's dribbling skills, but they, in and of themselves, weren't an "unstoppable shot," so much as they were a way to move the ball through traffic (and possibly get a shot out of it). As great as Monroe's whirling dervishes et al were, I don't think they really belong on a list of "most unstoppable shots ever."

What Durant did today Larry Bird might have done from time-to-time, but Durant did it when it was needed the most. He is lights-out awesome, and this shot was just ridiculous - they ended up tying the game in the 4th Quarter (they were down by 5 with 15 seconds left), and taking it to overtime because of this.

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Yes Durant is just flat out great with a capital G.   He is up there with all time talents.  He is also a team player and plays without ego though he has really taken over games this year.

That shot is unbelievable.  It looked to me like he was fouled and put up a shot to get multiple foul shots.  But it went IN!!!!!!   The guy has shooting form, technique and everything else.  It was a stupendous shot.

So what are the unblockable shots in the NBA?   Kareem's sky hook has to rank first.  A 7' 2" guy shooting a hook so that his body is between him and the defender, with the ball beling released at the top of his arm extended to its ultimate height.  Unblockable from the a guy in front of him.  I imagine the only way anyone could swat that shot if it was a tall defender beside or behind him who got a huge running start to get so high.  

Elvin Hayes shot must have been unblockable as you said.  A 6' 9" guy doing a fall away and jumping and releasing the ball from a high position.  Again it would have been near impossible for a guy fronting him to get that high and cover the distance Elvin made between him and the defender.

Durant is like a taller version of George Gervin.  Very tall lanky wing men with tremendous shots and moves.  Way too tall for their defenders and equally or more mobile than the guys that cover them.  Certainly undefendable.  Durants and Gervins moves are different but they are and were both undefendable.  

When Shaquille O'Neil was still trying and still in shape his shots were undefendable.  So tall, so broad, so strong.  The guy could do whatever he wanted.   When he was younger he was also amazingly mobile for his size and height.  

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On 4/22/2014 at 0:20 AM, DonRocks said:

I'd like to add that the pass by Westbrook made the play even more incredible - he was falling out of bounds when he made a desperation pass to the only available recipient, who was also falling out of bounds.

The second video is better, but the first video is funny because it shows the entire stadium standing up to roar in about 1/10th of a second.

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Somebody start a thread on Klay Thompson.

Kevin Durant played as badly tonight (Game 6 of the playoffs vs. the Warriors) as I've ever seen him play. It was painful to see him play so poorly (and so cluelessly) when Russell Westbrook was single-handedly going for the jugular, and didn't have anyone to help him make the lethal cut.

 

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Durant's play in the last 5 minutes of that game was as bad as I have seen any "elite" player play in such a big moment. The Warriors are going to win by 15 in game 7.

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5 hours ago, farmer john said:

Durant's play in the last 5 minutes of that game was as bad as I have seen any "elite" player play in such a big moment. The Warriors are going to win by 15 in game 7.

Yes, but the beauty of this is: Now there *is* a Game 7! Not really pulling for either team, I'm glad the Warriors won Game 6 for that reason alone - I am thoroughly enjoying watching this series, and now there's more of it to watch.

My Tanzkarte for Monday night is now full. :)

Still, I can visualize Durant three years ago, getting hold of the ball at the 3-point arc - he would either drain a 3, or drive past the defender and tomahawk dunk it - what happened to this player? It's not that he isn't executing this anymore; he doesn't even seem to get into the position to *try* and execute it anymore. When's the last time you remember him getting the ball at the arc, and squaring off against his defender, in line with the basket? Now he just seems to be aimlessly loping around the court without any sense of purpose - maybe it would be better if Westbrook *wasn't* stepping up, because I almost feel like Durant is sheepishly trying to stay out of his way, not really knowing where to go or what to do. This guy was the most lethal offensive weapon in the NBA, and now it's as if he had his corpus callosum severed.

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He's yet another poster child for what I like to think of as the "Ralph Sampson Syndrome". This occurs when big men with little man skills (dribbling/jump shooting) decide that it is best for them to use these little man skills exclusive to those more befitting their size (post play/rebounding/defense). Symptoms include not winning titles and becoming ineffective later in your career when your quickness begins to wane. It killed Sampson when his knees went. Lebron seems to be recovering from it currently.

Would Durant ever not score or get fouled if he played at the foul line rather than out on the wing? Live by the jump shot, die by the jump shot.

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49 minutes ago, farmer john said:

He's yet another poster child for what I like to think of as the "Ralph Sampson Syndrome". This occurs when big men with little man skills (dribbling/jump shooting) decide that it is best for them to use these little man skills exclusive to those more befitting their size (post play/rebounding/defense). Symptoms include not winning titles and becoming ineffective later in your career when your quickness begins to wane. It killed Sampson when his knees went. Lebron seems to be recovering from it currently.

Would Durant ever not score or get fouled if he played at the foul line rather than out on the wing? Live by the jump shot, die by the jump shot.

I don't watch any basketball so I don't know if it's true, but it sounds plausible.

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I'm sort of an NBA junkie.

Durant was drafted 2nd and by the Seattle SuperSonics who later (following year) moved to Oklahoma City.  Seattle, btw; played the wiz/bullets in the nba championships oh so many decades ago.

First draft choice that year was a center, Greg Odom by Portland, who unfortunately was felled by a series of leg injuries which decimated his career.  Odom was a high school and college teammate of Mike Conley, guard for the Memphis Grizzlies along with being one of the most highly paid players in the NBA.

Now, for a wee bit of history.  Back in the mid 80's when Michael Jordan was drafted....he was drafted....

3rd   that is crazy.  But he was.  The first choice that year was Hakeem Olajuwan...certainly a damn good pick in virtually any year, but probably not that year.  The 2nd pick.  Another dismal center choice by Portland--Sam Bowie.   And then third, Michael Jordan.

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14 minutes ago, DaveO said:

First draft choice that year was a center, Greg Odom by Portland, who unfortunately was felled by a series of leg injuries which decimated his career.  Odom was a high school and college teammate of Mike Conley, guard for the Memphis Grizzlies along with being one of the most highly paid players in the NBA.

You may be conflating Blue Moon Odom with Greg "Here's What a Seven Footer's Honker Looks Like" Oden. :)

I remember the 1978 NBA Finals pretty well (I was a junior in high school), but back then, I only knew Jack Sikma, and not (future Hall-of-Famer) Dennis Johnson.

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Some more NBA nerdiness:

Seattle, which drafted Durant 2nd in 2007 met the Bullets/Wizards two seasons in a row in 77-78 and 78-79, Seattle winning the championship the 2nd time, while the Bullets had the best regular season record that year.

Being drafted 1st in 2007 might ultimately render Oden as one of the worst draft choices of all time.  Durant is already an all time great and his stock can rise.  His finals were superb as he added defense and rebounding to his repertoire.  He could ultimately raise his game in those two areas.

Meanwhile Oden belongs to an abysmal list of horrible Portland draft choices, especially centers.  Portland chose oft injured and mediocre Sam Bowie before Michael Jordan, Oden, had a complete miss with a guy named Larue Martin, and only saw a brief period of the magnificence from too often injured Bill Walton.  

Back to Durant: one of these days or years Lebron James's game will begin to drop. Durant could take over the mantle of best player in the league at that point.  It's sort of close.

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