Checklist for Kevin Durant to Win NBA MVP This Season

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Checklist for Kevin Durant to Win NBA MVP This Season
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Kevin Durant is turning the NBA into his own personal pickup game, and the Oklahoma City Thunder have to be loving every second of it.

There's still plenty of time left in the season, but Durant may not be all that far from his first ever MVP award.

Since Russell Westbrook reinjured his knee on Christmas Day against the New York Knicks, Durant has transformed his game. He was already arguably the best offensive player in the league. Now, he's a step better.

In 20 games without Westbrook, we've seen Durant's scoring skyrocket. We've seen him take way more shots. And we've seen him do all that while maintaining the efficiency that has helped him become one of the greats. 

It's common knowledge that LeBron James is the best player in the NBA. But now, Durant is narrowing the gap. 

He used to be far behind James, just like everyone else. At this point, that may not be so true. There may not be much of a difference between the two of them.

James has won the MVP in four of the past five years, with the one off-year coming during his first season in Miami. But that was a strange season. After "The Decision", signing with the Miami Heat and taking his talents wherever he chose to take them, LeBron backlash was bound to be in full force.

Now, though, Durant is looking like a legitimate challenge to James's MVP candidacy. And more than halfway through the season, it's time to start asking what exactly he needs to do to dethrone LeBron as the most valuable player in the NBA. 

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