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NBA MVP Race: Does LeBron James Deserve to Be MVP?

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 16:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat dunks in the first quarter against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on April 16, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
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Michael TinleyContributor IApril 20, 2012

First, we had the NFL season that almost wasn’t. Now we have the NBA season that, well, sort of exists. However, in a shortened season that has seen highs and lows, one question still needs to be answered.

Is LeBron James the MVP of the NBA?

Many will say Kevin Durant should be MVP, and that is a very valid argument.

Let’s take a look at this from a statistical standpoint to see how they stack up against each other.

Durant is currently second in scoring behind Kobe Bryant with an average of 27.8 points per game. He is shooting 50 percent from the field. Meanwhile, James is in third with 27.1 points per game and is shooting 53 percent.

LeBron is the statistical leader of his team in four categories—points per game (27.8), rebounds (7.9), assists (6.3) and steals (1.9). Durant, on the other hand, leads his team in just points per game (27.8) and rebounds (7.9). This gives a slight edge to LeBron.

What about playoff status?

Both men have helped their teams clinch playoff spots as well as their respective division titles.

 

How about head-to-head matchups?

In their first meeting, Durant scored 28 points, shooting 11-20 from the field. He also recorded nine rebounds and eight assists. Meanwhile, LeBron scored 17 points, was 8-18 shooting and recorded three rebounds and seven assist in the Miami Heat’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In their second matchup, Durant recorded 30 points, four rebounds and three assists. LeBron recorded 34 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists in a win for the Heat.

It's hard to tell who wins this category.

There’s no question that both are having a great year and both are showing no signs of slowing down, so I’ll leave it up to you. Who deserves it more?

Where can I comment?

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