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The Contender
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Who is more valuable to the Oklahoma City Thunder Westbrook or Durant?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2016 Category: Sports
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 420 times Debate No: 86904
Debate Rounds (3)
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Good Morning,

First off I am representing Westbrook(PRO) as more valuable to the Thunder than Durant(CON). At one point Durant was the team's superstar, league MVP, one of if not the premier scorer in the league at the time, and it's not that Durant has become a worse player it's that Westbrook has become that much better of a player. Westbrook over the last two seasons has become a hardwood monster, a triple-double machine. Simply put Westbrook would be the league's best player if it was not for Steph Curry who plays like he is from another dimension. Throughout this debate I will show you stats and make arguments PRO Westbrook that will show you that Westbrook not Durant, present and future is the more valuable player to the Thunder.


There are many ways to interpret "more valuable", but I will focus on true basketball skill and stats from their games, as well as who the team would be the worst off without. Durant always has been and still is the Thunder's most valuable player. Westbrook has certainly improved over the last couple of seasons, especially last season with Durant out with an injury. However, Durant, not Westbrook is still the better player. One of the most important skills to have in basketball is shooting, and based on their stats this season Durant not only scores more points, but beats Westbrook in field goal percentage from just about everywhere on the court. The only major statistical areas in which Westbrook beats Durant are assists and steals, but this should not be surprising, as Westbrook is a point guard whereas Durant is a forward. Throughout this debate I will present stats and arguments showing why Durant is still the Thunder's most valuable player.
Debate Round No. 1


First off I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this challenge, lets address value to the TEAM, as my opponent pointed out who does the team benefit more from being on the court, and who if gone tomorrow would be missed less.

OFFENSE: I would like to address my the fact that my opponent presented KD as the better point producer. Yes points per game alone KD with 27.8 outshines Westbrook's 24.1, but now add in assist which Westbrook averages 10.1 to KD's 4.5 lets say at a minimum that is 2 points the offense scored off the assist you are now looking at 44.2 points created vs KD's 39 points. Lets not forget the second chance points created by Westbrook"s 1.8 offense rebounds per game,a category which Durant(0.5) should have over Westbrook because as my opponent pointed out Durant is a forward. Value is to the team not just individual scoring but total points created. WESTBROOK IS MORE VALUABLE.

DEFENSE: Lets not forget basketball is a 2 way sport, defense is equally important to a team. Per 100 possessions the Thunder let up 103 points when KD is on the floor vs 101 points allowed when Westbrook is out there. Forced turnovers, takeaways standing out again is Westbrook averaging 1.4 more steal per game and currently #1 in the league in steals and #2 last season, lets not forget he defends point guards who are some of the best ball handlers and fastest guys on the court. Defense win share which is the number of wins contributed by a player due to his defense shows us again as and overall defensive player and value to the team Westbrook shines with a 3.0 DWS while KD sits at 2.3. WESTBROOK IS MORE VALUABLE.

You can't be of any value unless you are on the court. KD has only 1 season that he played a full 82 game season, Westbrook has 4. Westbrook has played his role and never complained, when he was "Robin" to Durant"s "Batman" he played 100% until it was his time to takeover and be the man, another role he took and ran with. He is a fiery passionate leader, he is team player, PG is considered a more valuable position in the league. WESTBROOK IS THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER ON THE THUNDER.




First I would like to point out that my opponent establishes many statistics that favor Westbrook that in reality just favor point guards in general. Yes, Westbrook has more steals and assists, but like I said earlier this is to be expected, since he is a point guard. My opponent does point out that Westbrook has more offensive rebounds than Durant, but this is just one statistic over the overwhelmingly many that suggest Durant is in fact more valuable to the team.

OFFENSE: Durant's 27.7 points per game beats Westbrook's 24. My opponent factors in each assist as 2 points, making Westbrook the better point producer. However, assists cannot simply be factored into points. Of course points are scored off of assists, but assists are also made because of rebounds, passing, and many other factors as well. If assists are factored toward the number of points scored, than rebounds should be as well, and a lot of others things too. If only assists are factored into the points, then all the point guards would be the leaders in "points" scored, since they have the most assists. In the end, even though an assist sets someone else up for a point, an assist is an assist and a point is a point. Westbrook beats Durant in assists, but Durant beats Westbrook in points. Durant is also the better shooter, with an overall field goal percentage of 50.7% compared to Westbrook's 46.0%. Durant's 3-point percentage also outshines Westbrook's, with 39.0% compared to Westbrook's 29.6%. Durant also beats Westbrook in free throw percentage, putting up an 89.3% over Westbrook's 82.3%. Of course, shooting and individual scoring is not everything in offense, as my opponent points out. Although Westbrook beats Durant in assists, steals, and offensive rebounds, Durant commits less turnovers (3.2 to Westbrook's 4.1) as well as less personal fouls (1.8 to Westbrook's 2.5). Both of these things hurt the team offensively, and Durant outshines Westbrook in both categories.

DEFENSE: As my opponent points out, basketball, like any other sport, is a two way sport. Defense is very important in basketball. Although Westbrook beats Durant in steals, as he is a point guard, Durant beats Westbrook in defensive rebounds, with 7.3 compared to Westbrook's 5.8. (As a side note, factoring in both offensive and defensive rebounds, Durant still beats Westbrook, with 7.9 rebounds compared to Westbrook's 7.5.) Rebounding is crucial to defense, and is what sets up the team for offense. My opponent points out that the Thunder lets in more points per 100 possessions when Durant is playing than when Westbrook is playing. First I would like to point out that this is a 2 point difference we are talking about here. Also, there are many other things that factor into this statistic. One of the biggest things to remember here is that for most of the time Westbrook is on the court, Durant is too (and vice versa). So really this statistic cannot measure the players' individual defensive ability. Also, their teammates they are with on the court is different. If other Thunder players like Ibaka are playing on the court more when Westbrook is on than when Durant is on, that would impact this statistic as well. So really this 2 point difference does not mean anything. My opponent also points out that Westbrook defends some of the fastest and best ball handlers on the court. Although this is true, this doesn't really show anything about Westbrook's defensive ability. This is more of a position thing, and since Westbrook plays point guard, he defends point guards. There are many versatile forwards who Durant defend who are very good basketball players, for example LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. Westbrook is not the only one defending good players. Lastly, my opponent points out that Westbrook has a better defense win share, but this, like the points allowed per 100 possessions, is not an accurate measure of an individual player's defensive ability.

My opponent states that Westbrook has more full 82 seasons that Durant. However, this does not make Westbrook more valuable to the team than Durant. Injuries cannot be controlled, so the fact that Duran't only has 1 full season is not his fault. As for leadership and teammate qualities, Durant is just as much there as Westbrook.

As for who the Thunder would be the worst off without, it is definitely Durant. We all know how dependent the Thunder are on Durant. Last season, when Durant was out with a foot injury (and they still had Westbrook for most of the season, although he had some injuries as well) the Thunder missed the playoffs. They had a horrible season because Durant was not there to help the team. That's why the Thunder are trying so hard to make this season a great season, before Durant hits free agency. Just last Thursday the Thunder traded two of their players, as well as two second-round draft picks for Randy Foye, the veteran shooting guard. This is not a good move for the future, but the Thunder are doing everything they can to maximize their chances of an NBA championship this year, before Durant might leave. They are doing everything, knowing that they might not have Durant next season. There is no doubt that Durant is the player the Thunder would be worst off without. Kevin Durant is the most valuable player on the Thunder.

All stats are from:
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you to everybody who took the time to read this debate!

One very big thing popped out at me that my opponent stated, playing more games does not make a person more valuable to the team. Yes in general this may be a true statement who wouldn't"t rather have 50 games of a Lebron James over 82 games of Matt Barnes, but in a instance such as this one were the two players are very close in skill, wouldn't"t 82 games of Westbrook far out value 50-60 games of Durant? Injuries cannot be controlled, it is not Durant"s fault he has"not stayed as healthy, but the fact is I want my best players on the court. If the Thunder had to choose between Westbrook who been on the court more than the injury riddled Durant, who do you think they choose? You can"t be the more valuable player if you are not on the court.

Two, yes Durant has higher scoring percentage as he should. Durant is a scorer he has built his reputation on that, his role is to score at a high pct. 19th why does that number stand out? It stands out because the one role Durant is supposed to excel in, he has not. He is 19th in the league in scoring percent, whereas the stats Westbrook is expected to put up he is top 5 in all those categories. Durant has one job on offense, to score. Westbrook is the quarterback of the offense, his mind has to be on multiple things going on at once, looking to set up the offense, put players such as Durant in good position to score and you can say because Westbrook is a big reason Durant even is as efficient as he is.

Westbrook is the more valuable player to the Thunder, as I"ve shown he has a better ability to stay healthy and on the court, he is the leader the quarterback of the team. He excels on offense and defense. Don"t let my opponent fool you into thinking this is a stat game, Westbrook creates more points on offense, he controls the team when he is out on the court. Westbrook is a brilliant ball handler and a tenacious defender. Westbrook is the heart of the team, and just like your body the heart is the most valuable and important part.


Thanks to Pro for a great debate!

Like my opponent points out, Durant has gotten more injuries than Westbrook, and so in the past couple of seasons Westbrook's value has been more reliable to the Thunder than Durant's. However, I would like to point out again that this does not make Westbrook more valuable to the Thunder than Durant (especially now that they are both healthy). It simply means that in the past, Westbrook's value has been utilized more. Durant's value is still very much there, it's just that due to the injuries, it's not been as reliable. Again, that doesn't in any way make Westbrook more valuable than Durant, especially right now. Yes, of course the Thunder would much rather have a healthy Westbrook than a injured Durant, but from the way the Thunder is working so hard to make this a great season, when it could be the last one for Durant, supports the fact that if both players were healthy, the Thunder would prefer Durant.

My opponent points out that Westbrook is the quarterback on the team, the player making all the plays and the reason Durant is as efficient as he is. All this is true, but let's not forget that this applies to point guards in general, and not Westbrook specifically. Remember that all this is Westbrook's job as a point guard, and just because he is doing it well does not make him more valuable than Durant. How good would a quarterback be if he did not have a good receiver or a solid running back to help him? Durant plays these roles for Westbrook, and just like Westbrook is the reason Durant is as efficient as he is, Durant is also the reason Westbrook is as efficient as he is. Keep in mind that Westbrook and Durant are one of the best duos in the NBA, if not in NBA history, and it's a two-way thing - Durant helps out Westbrook just as much as Westbrook helps out Durant.

Durant is the most valuable player on the Thunder. He carries the team on his back and is the guy the team looks for when they need to put the ball into the basket. He is always there on defense to fight for the rebound, and he is always there as the best option for Westbrook to pass the ball to. Don't think that Westbrook is more valuable to the team just because he is the point guard and makes the plays. That is simply his job, and you can't say he is more valuable simply because of the position he plays. Durant is always there for the team, he is a great leader and an amazing teammate. If Westbrook is the heart of the team, Durant is the lungs that provide the air to allow everything, including the heart, to do what it needs to do.
Debate Round No. 3
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