Alan Diaz/Associated Press
Before the season, I would have said the only way LeBron James wouldn't win his fifth MVP trophy is if people simply got sick of voting for him.
Now, three months into the season, James isn't the front-runner for the trophy and, incredibly enough, that's based solely on merit.
Kevin Durant is the MVP right now. This isn't to say LeBron isn't still the best player in the world—he is. However, KD's been more valuable to his team this season.
The fact that Durant has led the Thunder to the best record in a stacked Western Conference while Russell Westbrook has played just 25 games is remarkable.
The eye test doesn't just show the scorching-hot Durant to be the MVP, the numbers back him up too. He's currently averaging 31.3 points, 5.2 assists and 7.8 rebounds with a 31.17 PER.
LeBron's posting 26.2 points, 6.4 assists and 6.8 rebounds nightly with a 28.80 PER. While one might think, based on reputation, that LeBron would at least be out-dueling Durant on the defensive end, mySynergySports' data (subscription required) says otherwise. LeBron allows a field-goal percentage that's 5.8 percent higher than what KD gives up.
As B/R's Joe Flynn touched on, Durant's case as MVP favorite was only strengthened on Wednesday when he scored 33 points in a win over the Heat in Miami.
James' chances of winning the MVP are looking bleaker by the day.