Scoring Title Will Vault Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant into the MVP Award
What Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant has been doing night in and night out during this shortened 2011-12 NBA season is remarkable.
Aside from Kobe Bryant and a few other players in the Association, no other player is as consistently on as Durant.
The light bulbs have yet to dim on this 24-year-old star out of Texas.
Nor do they look like they will.
For the first time in his brief five-year career, Durant is inside the argument of the league MVP award and this Sunday's game against Los Angeles will vault him to the top of the list for the award under one stipulation.
Durant is just .1 points per game behind Bryant for the league's scoring title, which means the lights will be even brighter at Staples when tip-off occurs.
Notching out Bryant in Hollywood this Sunday will get Durant that solid ground ahead of the current leader LeBron James in the race for MVP.
But let's not forget that this could be Durant's third scoring title. Third straight scoring title. In just his, let me remind you, fifth season.
There's many bullet points that can help us determine why Durant will win the award over James.
First is the league scoring title, which has been awarded together with the MVP for stars like Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Bryant and more in the past.
It's impressive to award the two together. It's not often done.
Second is the stats factor.
James' numbers are certainly nice, 27 ppg, 8 rpg and 6 apg while shooting 52 percent. But why is this season so special for James when he's been doing this throughout his career?
And wasn't it more impressive when he put up these stats in Cleveland with nobody around him?
Sasha Pavlovic, Anderson Varejao and Zydrunas Ilguaskas are far less impressive than Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.
The third point to make is the below 20 points a game number.
As mentioned before, the lights have yet to dim on Durant. In 63 games this season, Durant has been under the 20 points barometer just five times.
Which means, in 58 games, the Durantula has scored at least 20 points or more.
In 61 games this year for James, the Miami Heat star been under the 20 points mark scoring 13 times. 13!
What does that say about Durant? That he's been more consistent.
And this is while doing it in a much deeper conference.
The Western Conference is head and heels better competition wise when compared to the Eastern Conference.
For arguments sake, let's just say Sacramento is a much tougher out than Charlotte. Durant, when lined up against these West foes, cannot look across the court and see cupcakes, unlike James who can.
Durant is also averaging two extra rebounds per game more this season, at eight bounds a game. It's the most he's ever averaged in his career.
James is only shooting better than he's ever done at 53 percent compared to Durant's best 50 percent.
Another point to make is how far up the ladder Oklahoma City has climbed.
Last year, this same team was slotted in the fourth spot in the Western Conference during the playoffs.
This year, OKC has hovered around either first or second all year.
Miami, to most, has underachieved this entire season, winning the games they should have won but losing the games they shouldn't have.
The ones like Milwaukee, Golden State and Indiana.
You can say what you want about Oklahoma City being 46-17, but that's in a tough conference.
What if the Thunder are in the East? Would they be 55-8?
Durant is clearly the MVP because of his individual performance, team performance and current standing during this shortened season.
Sometimes the MVP award has to go around. James already has two, and why should Durant be snipped when he's had a career year?
Don't roll your eyes at the notion of Durant getting the MVP. While Vegas has seem to have locked this MVP award up to James, Durant is right there within every argument.
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