Kevin Durant is going to win his first MVP award this season. Other players will challenge Durant for the honor, but this year it is his award to win.
Durant is the most prolific scorer in the NBA, and he isn't all show, he has the clutch gene and can get it done late in games.
If you take a look at Durant's statistics, he is a great all-around player as well.
Durant is the leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the team is on its way to having another successful season.
Those factors plus how well Durant plays every night will make it exceedingly difficult for the NBA to give the award to anyone but the Oklahoma City star.
There is no question that Kevin Durant is the leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Surprisingly, the player who was a new face in the league not long ago is now an NBA veteran. Durant is no longer a young, untested player.
He is in his fifth NBA season, and over the last two seasons, he has gotten crucial playoff experience.
While the Thunder lost to the Mavericks in five games, Durant helped make his team part of the NBA elite after a first-round exit just a year earlier.
With a heap of experience under his belt, Durant is the go-to-player for the Thunder, and coach Scott Brooks trusts him entirely when the game is on the line.
When voters are considering who will get the MVP, Durant's leadership ability will be mentioned. And the title of captain wasn't bestowed upon Durant for no reason—he earned it.
Kevin Durant is as clutch as any player in the NBA. If you aren't persuaded by me, maybe the video of his buzzer beater against the New York Kicks last season will help.
If not, you should know he took out the Dallas Mavericks last night with a dagger three as the game clock expired.
Durant has no problem with taking the last shot. He has ice water in his veins, but being clutch isn't only about taking the game-winner.
Durant has produced when his team expected him to.
He doesn't need to carry the Thunder. The team has a number of players able to put the ball in the hole, but when he needed to score most, he did.
During the 2010-2011 playoffs, Durant went off. He average 28 points per game throughout.
You can bet that Durant will hit more game-winners this season, and if you think he is the type of player to do most of his work in garbage time, you would be sadly mistaken.
Most people think of Kevin Durant as purely a scorer. In actuality, he isn't nearly as one-dimensional.
Durant is a great rebounder, and he might not pass like Magic Johnson, but he is pretty good at finding the open man as well.
In fact, there has been only one season in which Durant averaged less than six rebounds a game: his rookie season in Seattle.
Since his 4.4 rebound per game rookie season, Durant has averaged 6.5, 7.6 and 6.8 rebounds a game the last three seasons.
His career average of 6.3 rebounds a game is less than one rebound per game lower than LeBron James' average (his career average is 7.1).
Durant's assist numbers might not jump off the stat sheet at you. He has yet to average over three assists a game in a season, but after the first four games this year, he is averaging 4.5.
If Durant can keep up his rebound and assist numbers while doing what he does best—scoring—than he should be a near lock for NBA MVP.
Can you take a wild guess who the scoring champion was the past two seasons? If you guessed Kevin Durant, then you would be spot on.
Durant has put up incredible statistics during his time in the NBA. He has never had less than 20 points per game in a season (25.9 points per game career average), and as mentioned, he has led the league in scoring twice.
In the 2009-2010 season, Durant had an average of 30.1 points per game and won his first scoring title. Last season, he scored 27.7 points per game and once again led the NBA.
After putting up 30, 32, 33 and 30 points in his first four games, He looks to be on his way to leading the NBA again.
What makes Durant so impressive is the way he scores, or should I say, the many ways he scores.
Durant can score at will in transition. He uses his speed to find open lanes for nasty dunks and layups. He stops short of the basket and hits mid-range shots, and he can pull up just after the half-court line to sink extremely long three-pointers.
Every once in a while, Durant even uses his length and height to score with his back to the basket.
Durant is simply the most versatile scorer in the NBA.
There is no laundry list of statistics to back me up. Durant doesn't average many blocks or steals (he has averaged 1.2 steals a game over his career), and he hasn't received any defensive honors (nor is he likely to).
But if you happen to watch Oklahoma City Thunder games, then you will see that Durant hustles on every play.
The former University of Texas star tries to get into opponents' passing lanes, and he constantly alters the shot of the player he is defending.
Durant is also able to cover a range of positions. He has the speed to stay with most shooting and point guards, and he is taller and has longer arms than most players at his small forward position.
He does have trouble guarding guys down low that outweigh him, but Scott Brooks won't be matching him up on players of Dwight Howard's stature any time soon.
Kevin Durant won't be taken out of many games with double and triple-teams this season. His team is too good for that.
Durant plays alongside two players in particular who make it hard for any opponent to focus solely on him: James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
That isn't to say there aren't other players who can garner attention, but beside Durant, Westbrook and Harden get the most.
Westbrook starts at point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and when he sees defenders keying in on Durant, he knows how to punish the competition. Westbrook did go 0-for-13 against the Memphis Grizzles, but give the guy some slack, the Thunder are 4-0 this year and he dropped 28 on the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As if Westbrook didn't cause opposing teams enough trouble, they have to deal with Harden's all-around game.
Harden usually comes in off the bench (less because of talent and more to strengthen the bench scoring), but he could easily start on most NBA teams.
In the four games the Thunder have played this season, Harden had 20, 16, 19 and 15 points. If needed, he can put up a lot more.
And when Durant is double-teamed, his unlimited range makes it pointless anyway.
No one in the NBA is quite like Kevin Durant.
At 6'9", 235 pounds, Durant has the size of a power forward with the skill of a guard (well, the height of a power forward).
I have already highlighted his amazing scoring ability, and I have underscored his rebounding skills, but Durant offers so much more.
Durant is great at handling the ball. He is one of the few big men who can take a rebound coast-to-coast, and he has a killer cross-over. Not much is made of it, but his release is one of the quickest in the NBA as well. He can get a shot off in no time.
Dirk Nowitzki has some things in common with Durant. They are both great shooters for one, but not even Nowitzki has the rare combination of skills Durant does.
There are other big men with similar skills, but not all of the qualities combined.
Kevin Durant is an easy guy to like. He doesn't do much chirping. He plays on a small-market team (although Oklahoma City has the 31st largest population of any U.S. city), and best of all, he is one heck of a basketball player.
Durant isn't from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He's was born in Washington, D.C, but Durant is the consummate professional that plays the right way. While he wasn't born where he plays like Rose, the story of a premier player who has turned the Oklahoma City Thunder into one of the NBA's most exciting and dangerous teams might be too good to pass up.
The NBA loves to promote a great story, and Durant is one.
When you look across the NBA at Kevin Durant's competition for MVP, a few guys stick out.
First, there is Derrick Rose.
If Rose has another great season and leads the Chicago Bulls to the best record in the NBA (like he did last year), then he should definitely be considered. But will the Bulls have the best record two years in a row? Will they even be the best team in the East again?
Of course, LeBron James has to be mentioned.
The likelihood of James winning the award is slim though. He is on a team with another superstar, Dwyane Wade. While both James and Wade will have impressive numbers at season's end, it would be hard to give the MVP to just one of the two.
Durant won't be without challengers, but if he leads the league in scoring for a third straight year, he has to be considered the front-runner.
The NBA MVP is always on a team that is performing well. You don't see the award winner coming from a team that has no shot at making the playoffs.
Unless there are cosmic changes in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder are a lock for a playoff berth.
Last season, the Thunder had a 55-27 record and were just six games back from the number one team in the West, the San Antonio Spurs.
The Thunder are putting basically the same team on the floor, and the more time Kendrick Perkins has to get a feel for his teammates (he was traded from the Boston Celtics for Jeff Green last season), the more of a benefit he will be to the team and the defense.
In a 66-game season, the young, talented Thunder could easily end up with the best record in the Western Conference.