March 26, 2014

Why Kevin Durant is this year's MVP

This season, we've heard many names lobbed into the pool for possible MVP candidates. Paul George, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge have departed from this pool due to lack of sustained excellence throughout the season. LeBron James and Kevin Durant mingled in the pool all season long, as they provided millions of basketball fans with spectacular plays and brilliant performances. Now, as the conclusion of the 2013-14 NBA season dawns upon us, it is evident who is deserving of the MVP award. That man would be Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant.

The former Texas University standout is averaging a career high 32.2 PPG, along with a career high 5.6 APG. In addition to bolstering his assist and scoring numbers, Durant has managed to average 7.6 RPG and shooting a scorching hot 50.8% from the field and 40.5% from behind the arc. The Thunder currently are 2 and a half games behind the blistering hot San Antonio Spurs who are on a 14 game win streak, and Kevin Durant is a mammoth reason why OKC is in such fantastic position to possibly claim regular season western conference supremacy. One could glance at the statistics and rant and rave about Durant's numbers, but numbers don't fully illustrate the graceful and beautiful picture that is Kevin Durant's play.

Durant is playing with a ferociousness that has intensified with each passing season. The once lovable, friendly, lanky forward who's play that had everyone infatuated, has transformed into a nasty, aggressive and dominant forward that has commanded not only MVP praise, but best player in the league praise as well. When will Durant be heralded by every major media outlet and the majority of fans as the league's best player? Time will tell, but if he can sustain this level of excellence, that time may be marching towards us rather quickly.

The 25 year old Durant has anchored Oklahoma City in almost every department this season. His ever improving defense has the opposition stifled on the perimeter. His combination of grace, length and athletic ability disturbs the rhythm of even the most potent offensive forces, staving off offense success for opposing teams. His improved playmaking ability makes him an even deadlier force on the offensive end, and his ability to score the ball is something he wields so masterfully. Durant slices and dices through any defense, leaving the toughest of defenders in a doozy with his graceful moves.

The most impressive thing about all of this, is that Durant has done this with the Thunder being jabbed my a bevy of injuries. Most notably, all-star point guard Russell Westbrook has been sidelined by a number of aliments to his knees, as he's only participated in 38 games. Starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha has been hindered by a calf injury and starting center Kendrick Perkins has been placed on the shelf due to a left groin strain. None of this seems to matter, as Durant's incredible play whisks away any worry the OKC Thunder organization may have.

Kevin Durant is this years MVP, but satisfaction with this thought isn’t enough for the 6’9 forward. Thoughts of an NBA championship rock him to his core, and while an individual accolade such as the MVP award would be glorious in terms of cementing his legacy, a NBA Finals MVP would mean much more to KD as it would result in him tallying his first NBA championship. It will be interesting to see if Durant and company can produce a championship for the Thunder franchise, but with his stellar play it’s very possible.

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