There is of course reigning MVP and two-time defending NBA champion LeBron James, who’s averaging 26.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 6.5 APG. There’s LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s helped Portland climb to the West’s third seed amid averaging 24.3 PPG and 11.6 RPG. Then there is Blake Griffin, who has carried the Clippers in the absence of Chris Paul with 23.3 PPG and 9.7 RPG. And we can’t leave Paul George out of this discussion either since he’s got the Pacers atop the East on the strength of his 22.7 PPG and 6.4 RPG. But as good as these guys have been, none of them come even close to Kevin Durant this season.
An easy place place to start here is the numbers. Durant is averaging 31.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 5.3 APG and 1.5 SPG. What’s particularly impressive about Durant’s scoring average is how efficient he’s been, shooting 41.3% from the three-point line and 51.2% overall.
Looking past the numbers, you can also point to what Durant has helped his team do. Currently, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the league’s best overall record at 39-11. Sure, this is only a game better than Indiana, but the way Oklahoma is playing, there’s little reason to believe that they won’t stay in their lofty position. Assuming this does indeed happen, there’s little reason to give anybody else the 2014 NBA MVP award.
Of course, you can never count out a champion. And this is exactly the case that LeBron is still trying to make. His Heat maintain a very respectable 34-13 record, which is 4.5 games behind the Thunder. But the rebuttal to this is that Durant’s averaging more points, rebounds, steals and blocks than James – plus his team’s record is better.
Now does this mean Oklahoma City will go on to win the NBA title? The Pacers, Heat and Spurs will definitely have something to say about this. But if everything stays on the same course, Durant can at least be sure of winning his first career MVP award.