The month of March hasn’t exactly been kind to the Miami Heat and LeBron James. It actually is a month that the defending champs would like to forget, but surprisingly they still find themselves with a fantastic chance at Eastern Conference home-court advantage. It is that simple fact, and maybe a few others, that have kept James’ NBA MVP hopes alive.
Yes, you read that last line correctly. No, Kevin Durant has not run away with the Most Valuable Player Award like so many of you think. Durant has had one heck of a season and might be averaging over 30 points per game, but that is about the only category he is beating James in.
So before everyone crowns a new MVP and screams in pure ecstasy that the wicked witch of South Beach is dead, I will provide a valid and sound argument as to why James still has an outside shot at a third consecutive MVP. First is the obvious reason: Miami can easily claim home-court advantage in the East. In order to do that, James will have to play some decent basketball. And by decent I mean excellent. If James and the Heat can do that, then his chances only grow.
Next is some simple statistical information. During the month of March, James has averaged 25.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.9 steals. Durant has averaged 34.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 0.7 steals. Sure, it is all fine and dandy that Durant is averaging 34.5 points in March, but James is beating him everywhere else and the Oklahoma City Thunder don’t control the West.
If James can put forth six to eight incredible games and Miami can win the East, then the MVP race might as well be a coin-toss. However, if Durant continues to play at this high of a level and the Thunder can find a way to win the West, then the trophy is his. I just want to make it clear; the MVP race is nowhere close to over, and every single game until the end of the season matters. I would like to see a new MVP crowned, but the sad truth is that we must be prepared for James’ never-ending grip on the trophy.
Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.