Friday, December 30, 2011

Durant Draining

Over the summer I argued here that Kevin Durant had surpassed LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the league's top talent, and since the start of the regular season he's done nothing to prove me wrong.  All he's done is average a ridiculous 38.8 minutes per game while providing elite production across the board; 31.3 points, 7.3 boards, 4.5 dimes, 2.3 treys, a steal and a block, numbers that any fantasy owner should salivate over.  With star point guard Russell Westbrook bricking shots and committing turnovers, the lanky small forward has picked up the slack and carried the scoring load for the Thunder.  Check this stat out, courtesy of ESPN's TrueHoop Blog; KD has racked up 125 points thus far, while the other OKC starters combined have scored 135.  He's confronted Westbrook about his subpar performance, drained a game-winning buzzer beater against the defending NBA champions, and helped the Thunder beat tough teams such as the Magic, Grizzlies, and Mavs (sorry Timberwolves, but you don't qualify as a "tough team") and claim the title of the sole 4-0 team in the Association at the moment.  He's emerged as a leader and seems to have a more powerful court presence; the Thunder are his team, and he's finally starting to act like it.

Granted, the NBA season isn't even a week old yet, but if Durantula maintains his prolific scoring, the 2010 MVP runner-up should be the frontrunner in the Most Valuable Player race.  Consider that he's just the fourth player, along with Kobe, Michael Jordan, and Adrian Dantley, in the last 30 seasons to reach 30 points in his team's first four games of the season.  With offense already suppressed by the lockout and likely to stay down as teams limit the minutes of their stars, the 23 year-old's amazing abilities to stay on the court and put the ball in the hoop become even more valuable, so he'll make a great case for himself if he can at least match his numbers from the past two seasons while keeping Oklahoma City at the top of the Western Conference. 

Obviously Durant has a long way to go, but so far, so good for budding superstar.


  1. While I believe Durant is a prolific scorer and is expanding his leadership qualities this season it is still hard to say he is better than Lebron James, who is averaging more points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, and a higher PER. Lebron already lead the league last year in PER and now he is more efficient. Durant is exceptional no doubt, but Lebron James is hitting is prime now. His finals loss may have triggered him to fully understand the mental edge he needs to be the greatest.Take either of them off they're respected teams and neither have a shot at a championship. They may be bouncing MVPS back and forth in the fore coming years.

  2. No doubt that LBJ will always be in the discussion, but unless Wade or Bosh goes down with an injury I think it will be too hard for him to stand out in Miami and get the credit he deserves. James and Durant are the two best players in my mind, but I feel like voters will go with Durant if given the choice, especially since his scoring numbers will look even more superlative this season. Obviously there's more to the game in points, which is an old school stat like batting average, but it still jumps off the page and carries a lot of weight for many.