Kevin Durant placed No. 5 on the most recent NBA.com Race to the MVP Ladder which seems really low for a player averaging 29.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Durant has improved on an already near perfect game. It’s to the point where it looks as if the 6-foot-9 forward is dancing out there on the floor as he swings through defenders on his way to the hoop. Durant has scored 30 or more points in six out of his 10 games played this season putting him on pace to break his previous franchise record of 48 games above the 30 point mark — a record he set during the 2009-10 NBA season.
Durant has displayed a tremendous amount of leadership from the start of last year’s playoffs to now. He did everything he could as the Oklahoma City Thunder were forced to finish last year without the help of Russell Westbrook. Many people doubted his ability to lead, but I saw nothing short of a leader out there on the court. He had very little help; it wasn’t anything in comparison to LeBron James when he took the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals. James wasn’t playing against as tough of competition as the Western Conference is at the moment, and he had more veteran help around him than Durant had without Westbrook.
There’s no guarantee that Durant will earn anyone’s respect, especially on any of those MVP rankings. It’s a mystery as to how people still have Durant falling short of James (who ranked fourth) at this point of the season. Durant’s numbers are better — even if just by a hair — and the Thunder have played better through tougher situations than the Miami Heat have. That just shows that it may be a little while before the James bandwagon will give him any credit. Even if credit is never given, it won’t be long before Durant commands the respect he rightfully deserves. He’s a hard worker and he’s only getting better. It’s a scary thought, but he’s years away from reaching his prime.
KD will have a golden opportunity to gain some steam in the MVP race as his Thunder get set for a tough week of basketball. Their scheduled opponents include the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves. All of these teams have found early success so far this season. The good thing is that each of these matchups will take place on the Thunder’s home-court. It’s an advantage that OKC needs as certain players still look for their confidence. There’s always one person they can’t count on in Oklahoma and that’s No. 35. Durant is more than capable of getting his team through these battles unscathed.