Prior to the start of last night’s game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Toronto Raptors, there was still room for LeBron James to catch up with Kevin Durant in the MVP race. After a 51-point, 12-rebound and 7-assist performance, including nailing the game winning shot in double-overtime, Durant closed the case on who will be awarded as the league’s most valuable player. Personally, I believed that he sealed the deal months prior to Friday night, but the sports world apparently still needed some convincing. After his dazzling performance less than 24-hours ago, there should not be a wink of doubt about KD’s chances of winning his first MVP Award.
Durant’s personal accomplishments are not the only reason I believe that he should be handed the MVP trophy right now. His consistently brilliant play has also helped his team get control of the second best record in the NBA (51-18), something they would have no chance to do without their star player. The Thunder need everything and more from Durant. With Russell Westbrook‘s injury issues and the team’s inexplicable stints of bad defensive work, it is obvious just how important Durant’s role has become.
I am not going to get into how good or how bad the Thunder would be without KD. The only thing that matters at this point are the things this team has accomplished with him. Even though they have failed to win a NBA Championship, they have managed to improve steadily over the course of their short time in the league. The only thing left for Durant and the Thunder to do is to win a championship, so that the critics have no ammo left to fire shots.
With the end of the season nearing, and the beginning of the playoffs approaching, Durant knows he has to be better than he has been at any point of the season thus far. There is no chance his production will slip, especially with the chance of winning a championship waiting just around the corner. Everyone within the Thunder organization realizes what is at stake. With Durant out front to lead the team, there is no way they could lose a bet.