According to ESPN’s sources close to the situation, Kevin Durant will supplant LeBron James‘ two-year reign and be named the NBA’s 2014 MVP. It will be the first MVP award for the 25-year-old Durant, after he finished second to James three of the last four years including the last two.
Everyone agrees — including Dime’s writers and contributors — Durantula took his game to a new level this season in the wake of Russell Westbrook‘s prolonged absence after complications from last summer’s knee surgery.
Per Marc Stein at ESPN:
It had been widely anticipated throughout the league that Durant would earn the award for the first time in his career. The most likely scenario is a Monday or Tuesday news conference and a pregame ceremony Tuesday or Wednesday right before Game 1 of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, provided that Durant’s Thunder win their Game 7 at home Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
KD led the league in scoring at 32 PPG, finished with the league’s highest player efficiency rating: 29.8, the most win shares: 19.2, win shares per 48 minutes: .295, and usage percentage: 33.0. Even while handling the ball and shooting such a high volume, KD continued to be efficient, finishing with shooting splits of 50.3 percent from the field, 39.1 percent on 3-pointers, and 87.3 percent from the charity stripe. He augmented that scoring brilliance by averaging a career-high 5.5 assists per game while also snagging 7.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
He scored a career-high 54 points against Golden State and hit a number of game-winning buckets — including this gem in double OT after dropping 51 — on the way to leading the OKlahoma City Thunder to the second best record in the NBA at 59-23.
Right now, Durant’s doing a pretty good job leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a Game 7 win over the visiting Grizzlies. If the Thunder should lose, it would repeat the situation Dirk Nowitzki found himself in when he was awarded the MVP award after his Mavs were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in first round of the 2007 Playoffs.
How many MVP awards does Durant end his career with?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.