Skip to main content

Kevin Durant vs Carmelo Anthony: Draymond Green gives ‘Melo’ the edge

Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are two of the greatest scorers in NBA history. So it comes as no surprise that the two get compared to each other when ranking the best ever. However, one top defender that has guard both extensively gives the edge to the former Denver Nuggets great.

Draymond Green was recently interviewed on Volume Sports, about a number of different opinions he had about basketball. The moderator posed one question that really stood out: Who was the better scorer in their prime, Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Durant? With a little hesitation, Green said Anthony was and gave an anecdote about a specific situation in a game vs. Anthony.

Related: How the Boston Celtics offering up Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant is dangerous

Obviously, this set Twitter ablaze with takes about each scorer. Older NBA fans saying that Anthony was much better, others saying Durant in a landslide. It got me thinking, “we can actually look at the stats, and see who was better. We have that kind of technology!” So, I took a look at the trusty basketball reference pages and looked over the stats.

Comparing Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony’s peak seasons

kevin durant, carmelo anthony
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

First, let’s grab the peak years of both of these players and stack them side by side. For Durant, We will say his peak scoring years happened in 2009-2010, 2013-2014, and 2015-2016. For Anthony, we’ll take his 2006-2007, 2009-2010, and 2012-2013 campaigns. This is a good sample size for peaks, with no injuries or lack of production factored into the situation.

During this “peak” stretch, Durant averaged 30.1 points per game, to Anthony’s 28.6. The advantage goes to Durant for sheer scoring average. Now we can argue, that this is just a volume effort from Durant, anyone can shoot a lot and score. During this stretch, Durant shot 49.5% from the field to Anthony’s 46.1%. Again the advantage goes to Durant.

They essentially made the same amount of field goals per game, while Anthony shot two more times per game. A ding in the efficiency category against Anthony, another gold star for Durant’s column. Durant won two scoring titles to Anthony’s one. Durant scored an ungodly 7,094 points in 235 games during this stretch. Anthony scored 5,744 over 201 contests.

Why Draymond Green is wrong and Durant is a better scorer than Anthony

kevin durant, carmelo anthony
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The theme is really starting to kick in at this point. I am not even going to mention the three-point percentage discrepancy between the two in their peak years, During this stretch, Durant was almost averaging 50-40-90 and was already considered the greatest scorer in the league. He has the highest active points per game average in the league, ranking himself fourth all-time in the statistic.

Anthony is not a greater scorer than Durant, there’s no two ways about it. During his prime, Anthony was a problem, and one of the best 10 players in the league. He won a scoring title and was a threat to put up 50 on any given night, and maybe should’ve won the “Rookie of the Year” over LeBron James.

I don’t want this to diminish the player that Anthony was, he has scored the top 10 most points in the history of the NBA. That puts him in between Moses Malone, and Shaquille O’Neal, two players that are top-25 all time.

The argument is not really a close one though, and as per Draymond Green’s tactics, he likely said that to annoy Durant and needle him through the media. Think whatever you would like about Durant, he is a unicorn of a basketball player and

Mentioned in this article:

More About: