5 Reasons Why Kevin Durant Deserved to Win NBA MVP Award

Kevin Durant Justifiably Wins NBA MVP Award

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On Tuesday afternoon it was announced that Kevin Durant won the 2014 NBA MVP Award, taking home 119 out of 125 first place votes. This marks the first time Durant has won the MVP Award, although a number of people still think either LeBron James, Joakim Noah or Blake Griffin should have won. Keeping this in mind, I have identified five reasons why Durant was the right choice for the award.

5. Great Defensive Play

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5. Great Defensive Play

Kevin Durant nba mvp award
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In previous years, Durant was held back from not being a dominant force on the defensive end, but this changed in 2013-14. The 25-year-old took it upon himself to guard the best players on opposing teams and averaged 7.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks per game in the process. Turning defense from a minus to plus only served to up the value of Durant.

4. Success of the Oklahoma City Thunder

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4. Success of the Oklahoma City Thunder

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Oklahoma City had the second best record in the NBA at 59-23, but they wouldn't have come close to this total without Durant. After all, they suffered through long stretches without Russell Westbrook, putting the onus on Durant to both create opportunities and score the ball. Durant ended up averaging 35 points and 6.3 assists per game after Westbrook suffered a midseason knee injury, and the Thunder went 20-7 in the process.

3. Consistency Scoring the Basketball

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3. Consistency Scoring the Basketball

Kevin Durant nba mvp award
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Durant won his fourth scoring title in 2013-14, but the consistency in which it occurred was more impressive than the sum total. The 25-year-old had a stretch of 41 consecutive games with at least 25 points, scored more than 40 on 14 different occasions and generally was a dominant force night in and night out.

2. Pure Statistical Output

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2. Pure Statistical Output

kevin durant nba mvp award
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Many voters look purely at statistical output when casting their NBA MVP Award ballots, and Kevin Durant had a statistical line for the ages. Durant averaged 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 39.1 percent from three-point range and 50.3 percent on all field goals. No player in the NBA could come close to matching these totals, giving Durant an inherent advantage for the NBA MVP Award.

1. Previous Missed Opportunities

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1. Previous Missed Opportunities

kevin durant nba mvp award
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Voters aren't supposed to consider past years when voting for awards, but it is hard to feel that Durant hadn't paid his dues. After all, Durant finished runner-up for the NBA MVP Award the last two years behind LeBron James just by a hair. It appeared that James passed the torch of best player in the world to Durant this year, and the NBA MVP Award was a part of that hand-off.

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