Unless you knew something everyone else didn’t, it’s safe we were all ready to hand Kevin Durant his first Most Valuable Player award after he put together a ridiculous month of basketball back in January.
Simply put, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward tore it up as he averaged 36 points, six rebounds and six assists while shooting 89 and 44 percent from the foul line and 3-point territory as well as 55 percent overall. That led OKC to a 20-7 record without All-NBA point Russell Westbrook and even padded their lead atop the unforgiving Western Conference.
Then the Diabolical Mr James came out to play, showing us exactly why he is a four-time MVP by going on a tear of his own and now the race for the Maurice Polodoff Trophy isn’t as clear as night and day anymore.
Post All-Star break, LeBron James has been averaging 35 points, six rebounds and five assists per game while still being his usual uber-efficient self with 47 percent shooting from 3-point land and 65 percent overall as Miami were victorious in all but one game of the six games.
The peak of the post All-Star weekend run was the monster game against a top-five ranked Charlotte Bobcats defense, as he stayed true to his word by dropping 61 points from 33 shots to set a new personal high. Plus, he also broke Glen Rice‘s team record (56 points) which had stood for nearly 20 years.
However, as they have done all season, it’s been a case of the other player saying, “OK, it’s my turn now,” as Kevin Durant responded with 42 points in just three quarters – albeit against a pretty bad Philadelphia 76ers side. I mean, even Russell Westbrook had a triple-double and he played just 20 minutes worth of basketball. That’s how bad Philly is right now.
Nonetheless, 42 points is 42 points which showed the “Slim Reaper’s” intent to an impressive total, especially when you consider how long it took to complete it.
There’s still plenty of time for plenty of time for things to swing in either player’s favor with more than 20 games remaining. Though one thing is for sure, both players are taking the MVP title race seriously and with such talent at hand, there’s some truly spectacular nights of basketball on the horizon.
You gotta love it.