Please note: Only three days remain in the 2013-14 regular season, so this will be the last edition of HoopsHabit’s NBA Awards Watch. We’ve covered the potential winners for each individual award all season long. With the playoffs beginning on Saturday, Apr. 19, the NBA will announce the winners soon.
Most Valuable Player
At the conclusion of the regular season on Wednesday night, the 25-year-old Durant will win his fourth scoring title. The last time he averaged 30-plus points per game was the 2009-10 season, when he averaged only 2.8 assists per game. This season? He’s averaging 5.5 APG, which shows the improvement over the years as a playmaker, elevating the play of his teammates. This was clearly evident when he carried the Thunder to a 12-game win streak while Russell Westbrook was out. If he averages 32 points, he’ll join Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob McAdoo as the only players to ever average 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
James made a strong push after the All-Star game when he outdueled Durant for a win in Oklahoma City and scored a career-high 61 points against the Bobcats. But he failed to score 20 or more points in seven games over the past two months and the Heat went on a losing streak because of it.
With his developed post game, the ball handling skills he possesses as a power forward and an improved jump shot, Griffin has reached a level where teams seriously have to game plan defensively around him, instead of just defending him on the pick and roll. He posted career-highs in points and shot above 70% from the free throw line for the first time in his career. The Clippers also clinched the Pacific division and will be the third seed in the conference.