5 Reasons Why Kevin Durant Will Win the 2010-2011 NBA MVP Award
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant will become the youngest player in NBA history to win the MVP award this season.
Durant, who just turned 22 years old about a month ago, now belongs in the conversation of the top five players in the NBA. Unlike LeBron James, Durant quietly announced his "decision" to sign an extension with Oklahoma City on his Twitter page.
The Oklahoma City Thunder is one of the youngest and most exciting teams in the NBA. Talented players such as PG Russell Westbrook, F Jeff Green and PF Serge Ibaka surround Durant. The Thunder should be able to make a run to the Western Conference Finals, but will most likely fall short against the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, if the Lakers suffer any serious injuries, there is a great chance that Durant and the Thunder can make it to the 2011 NBA Finals.
Here are five reasons why Kevin Durant will win the NBA MVP.
Durant Showed That He Might Be the Best Player in the World
Kevin Durant was named MVP for his performance during the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
Durant, who was only 21 years old at the time, averaged 33.0 points in the final three games of the tournament, including 28 in the gold medal game against Turkey.
Not only did the forward lead USA to the gold medal, but he also made history. Durant averaged 22.8 points in the tournament, breaking the previous record of 20.4 set by Luther Burden in 1974.
His statistics at the FIBA World Championship were simply amazing. Durant shot 55.6 percent, including 45.6 percent on three-pointers (26-of-57).
What may be more impressive was the praise he received from Coach K.
"The beauty about Kevin is he's pure,'' Krzyzewski said. "He's not trying to do anything except play basketball, and get better. I love coaching him. He learned how to be a really good international player in the last five weeks, which will help him become an even better NBA player. He's that genuine. He's a special guy, and he's definitely a special player.''
The Oklahoma City Thunder Will Win the Northwest Division
The Northwest Division of the Western Conference is pretty stacked this season, but the Oklahoma City Thunder will come out on top.
The Thunder's biggest competition will most likely be the Portland Trail Blazers, another talented young team, led by Brandon Roy.
The Utah Jazz are also a very good team, but the Thunder is a much quicker team. Russell Westbrook should be able to contain Deron Williams this year.
The Denver Nuggets simply will not be able to contend with the Jazz, Trail Blazers and Thunder, as the team will be dealing with whether or not to trade Carmelo Anthony for most of the season.
Once Denver does trade Anthony, the team should be considerably worse.
The Northwest Division was very tight last season, and it will be close once again. Both Denver and Utah finished with 53 wins, while Oklahoma City and Portland both finished with 50 wins.
It is simply not that much of a stretch to think that the Thunder will be three games better this season, especially with the MVP on their team.
The Miami Heat
When the Miami Heat pulled off one of the most amazing feats in NBA history by signing Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, Kevin Durant's chances of winning MVP increased tremendously.
The fact is that none of those three players should or will win MVP this season because each one of those players is not "valuable" enough to his team.
LeBron James has won the last two MVP awards, but he will not win his third in a row as he is on the same team as Bosh and Wade.
Bosh and Wade received at least some MVP votes last season. Wade finished fifth in the voting, while Bosh finished twelfth. Not too many teams have three players receiving MVP votes.
Shaquille O'Neal won the MVP award after the 1999-2000 season when the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA title. However, once Kobe Bryant became an elite player, neither Shaq nor Kobe won the award over the next three years because they were not "valuable" enough.
For the same reason, LeBron, Bosh and Wade can be cancelled out from the MVP discussion (unless one of the three suffers a season-ending injury early in the season).
Kevin Durant Will Win the Scoring Title
For the second season in a row, Kevin Durant will lead the NBA in scoring.
Last season, Durant averaged 30.1 points per game. There are not too many reasons why he would average any less, only reasons why he would average more.
LeBron James finished second with an average of 29.7 points. However, there are not enough shots to go around on the Miami Heat that would allow James to compete with Durant.
Carmelo Anthony had the third highest average with 28.2 points. Carmelo will probably finish second this season, but who knows what team Anthony will finish the season with. If it is the New York Knicks, Amare Stoudemire will take away a few shots from Anthony.
Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade finished fourth and fifth, as both players averaged three points less than Durant. Kobe simply does not need to score that many points in order for his team to win, while Wade's average will be hurt by the additions of James and Bosh.
Durant should easily win scoring title this season, maybe by more than two points.
Competition for MVP Award Is Weak This Season
As previously discussed, no player from the Miami Heat can win MVP this season. With Bosh, Wade and James out of the discussion, here are five players that may compete with Durant for MVP:
Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash
It was pretty hard to come up with more than three players besides Durant that can win MVP. Unless someone completely comes out of nowhere, Howard, Bryant and Anthony are Durant's only serious competition.
The Orlando Magic will have to finish the season at the top of the Eastern Conference for Dwight Howard to have a chance. That probably will not happen. Although the Miami Heat have not looked too good in two games, it is likely that the Heat will win the Southeast Division.
The Magic also have to compete with the Boston Celtics, who will definitely win their division and finish as one of the best three teams in the East.
Kobe Bryant does not really care about winning the MVP this season and will most likely sit out several games because of injuries. He is focused on tying Jordan by winning six championships. Bryant did not receive any first-place votes for MVP last season.
If Carmelo Anthony wins the award, what team will he be MVP for? Anthony did not have any first-place votes last season and only one second-place vote. His current status ruins his chances of winning MVP.
When looking at the NBA this season, everything lines up perfectly for Kevin Durant to win the MVP. If he does, he will be the youngest player (22) to win the award. LeBron James and Moses Malone both won MVP when they were 24.
The kid has a very bright future.