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Kevin Durant or LeBron James for MVP?

LeBron James has been named NBA Most Valuable Player back-to-back seasons, and four out the last five seasons. However, Kevin Durant had one the best statistical seasons in the association that may be enough to supplant the King from his reign of NBA MVP.

The Case for LeBron:

In 2013-2014, James averaged 27.1 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 6.4 assists per game, shot 56.7% from the field, and 37.9% from long range. He even exceeded or tied his points average from the last two seasons (26.8 PPG last year, 27.1 two years ago).

Going head-to-head against Oklahoma City, James lost to the Thunder in their first game, scoring 34 points along with three rebounds and three assists. Less than a month later, the King got revenge on Durant, and led the Heat to a win, scoring 33 points along with seven rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

Case for Durant:

The narrative repeats itself for Durant’s season in 2013-2014. He scored 25 points in 40 straight games, and the only other player to do so: Michael Jordan. He led the NBA in scoring for five straight seasons; Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain were the only others to do so. He also won his fourth scoring title in a five-year period, and again, the only player to do that: Jordan.

Durant (29.90) was more efficient than LeBron (29.40), and added an estimated 3.2 more wins this year in John Hollinger’s NBA Player statistics.

His best stretch of the season came without his sidekick, Russell Westbrook, in January and early February. In this time, Durant scored 13 30-point games, six 40-point games, and one 50-point game.

The ball certainly doesn’t lie, as Durant has been really good this season. He’s averaged a league-best 32.0 points a game, and contributed 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. It was his best scoring season of his career.

Going head-to-head against James, Durant matched LeBron’s effort in the first game by scoring 33 points along with seven rebounds, and five assists. In the second game, LeBron beat Durant’s Thunder, and scored more than him. Durant scored 28 points along with eight rebounds and three assists.

Winner: Durant over LeBron

I’m going with the Slim Reaper in this one. Durant’s season has phenomenal, as he has broke records, and given fans a reason to tune in every night he takes the court. He’s matched Jordan, and Wilt in a few statistical categories. As a result, will likely get his due as NBA MVP for the first time in his career.

I mean, check out this incredible three-pointer Durant hit in the corner of Game 2 against Memphis:

Bleacher Report

As for LeBron, Michael Jordan wasn’t named NBA MVP every year he played in the association. Magic Johnson stole the trophy away in 1990, Charles Barkley did it in 1993, and Karl Malone in 1997. LeBron shouldn’t feel snubbed, and if he does, the NBA playoffs are a good place to prove MVP’s aren’t won in the regular season.

All that really matters is the fact that NBA fans have to be lucky to have such an exciting rivalry with Durant and James again.

**For any comments or story ideas, feel free to email Sam at tastadsam@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad!**

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Marc Serota/Getty Images

 

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