One of the highlights of the 2020-21 season was watching former MVP, Kevin Durant, gear up for a basketball game. Durant's return means that fans can watch him play again: after an eighteen-month hiatus, Durant looks better than ever. Despite an Achilles injury, Kevin Durant is back and he is playing at a high level. On the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant is the undisputed No. 1. With his recent performances, Kevin Durant has also been able to remind people of why he is a top-two player in the entire league.
Stephen A. Smith has recently stated that Kevin Durant is going to win the regular-season MVP award at the end of the season. Due to Durant playing at a high level after his injury, it is quite possible that Smith's prediction will come true. Kevin Durant is currently playing at an MVP level, and there are a few reasons why people would end up picking Durant as the MVP at the end of the season. Here are 5 reasons why Kevin Durant will win the 2021 MVP award.
5. The Brooklyn Nets Will Have The Best Record In The League
The Brooklyn Nets are currently 9-6 during the 2020-21 season, which is good for the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the Brooklyn Nets looked good to start the season when Kyrie Irving was playing and are better than their record. With Kyrie Irving coming back sooner rather than later and the Brooklyn Nets trading for James Harden, the Brooklyn Nets have found themselves with a big three that has two former MVPs. With this team, the Brooklyn Nets will surely have the best record in the league, as they will simply be unstoppable.
A lot of the time, the MVP award is given to the best player on the team with the best regular-season record. In this case, Kevin Durant would fit the bill. No-one would claim that James Harden or Kyrie Irving are flat-out better than Kevin Durant. Even on a team with other stars, Durant stands out as a unique player. A player of Durant's caliber will be in the MVP talks regardless of his team's record, but having the best record in the league can't hurt when aiming for the MVP award.
4. Kevin Durant Has An Unselfish Fit With James Harden And Kyrie Irving
Kevin Durant is a superstar who can score from anywhere on the court, and fit into any offensive system. Kevin Durant has managed to fit his game to play with superstars like Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook. Durant is extremely consistent scoring-wise, regardless of the superstars he plays with. Durant can score on and off the ball: that is a useful ability when playing with two high-usage players like James Harden and Kyrie Irving. With Durant's elite off-ball game, he is able to thrive when playing with playmakers like Harden and Irving.
In the video, JJ Redick compares Durant to Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson. Redick mentions that Durant will still thrive with two ball-dominant guards. Redick mentions that the similarity between Durant and Thompson comes from the fact that they don't require the ball in their hands to score all the time. Durant will find his shots, but it is his sacrifice that will help the Brooklyn Nets succeed. Kevin Durant can let his co-stars run the show while still taking over in late-game situations when needed. Scoring isn't the only important thing, and this season, the world will see more of Durant's skills as a playmaker and off-ball player.
3. Kevin Durant Has Underrated Defense
Kevin Durant is a SF who is mostly known for his offensive prowess. But Kevin Durant is an underrated defender in part due to the focus on his scoring. Kevin Durant is a bigger forward with the ability to switch to every position. Durant is quick enough and lengthy enough to bother smaller guards, while also being able to guard either forward position and the center position due to his size. A coach can put Kevin Durant on most matchups, and he will do a great job. Kevin Durant isn't traditionally known as a two-way player, but perhaps it is time to recognize him as one.
Oftentimes, a two-way impact is the most significant, when it comes to being in consideration for the MVP award. Most championship-caliber teams have great defenses, and it is just as important as offense. Durant's elite IQ and unique athleticism allow him to be one of the most versatile defenders in the league. He is okay on the perimeter, and he is a solid help defender and rim protector. His size helps with rebounding. Kevin Durant is a good defender, and at the end of the game, there's a good chance he's guarding the best player on the other team.
2. Kevin Durant Is The Best Scorer In The NBA
Kevin Durant is just naturally gifted at scoring. His lengthy frame allows him to shoot over just about any player in the NBA, making him borderline unguardable. You can slow Kevin Durant down on one possession, but you can't slow down Kevin Durant over the entire game. Durant is a three-level scorer, being elite from every area of the floor on the offensive end. His athleticism doesn't seem to have waned after his injury. Kevin Durant looks the same, if not better than before this season: he is currently averaging 30.6 PPG, Durant's highest PPG since his Oklahoma City Thunder days, and good for being the second-leading scorer in the league.
Kevin Durant might have never been universally recognized as the best player in the NBA. But at his peak, no-one can claim that he isn't the best scorer. Scoring is one of the most important skills in basketball, and Kevin Durant has mastered it. There is no flaw to his offensive arsenal, and he can score in diverse ways. Kevin Durant is a complete scorer. With other scorers on his team drawing defenders, he will have plenty of opportunities to operate in isolation, which is his preferred scoring method.
1. Kevin Durant Is Ready To Prove That He Is The Best Player In The World
Kevin Durant is having one of the best seasons of his career. Durant is currently averaging 30.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 5.8 APG: after an injury that is an amazing comeback. Durant has shown his all-around basketball ability this season, especially with his playmaking. Bill Simmons has stated that he thinks Kevin Durant looks the same as he did before his injury, if not better. It is mentioned that Durant is currently having the most efficient season of his entire career: he is shooting 54.1% from the field and 48.4% from 3PT range. Everyone forgot how good Durant was during his recovery from injury: his stellar play is just reminding us of how special a player Durant is. It is possible that we see the best version of Durant that we have ever seen this season.
Kevin Durant has always been compared to LeBron James. They are some of the greatest players of this era in the NBA. Kevin Durant has beaten LeBron James in the playoffs before; but since he was on a superteam, many discounted Durant's claim to the mantle of being the best player in the world. If Durant wins another championship, then he could be closer to James in the all-time rankings. It seems as if Durant has stayed busy during his layoff, and worked diligently to continue being the great player that he is. Kevin Durant will have an elite season and show why he should be recognized as the best player in the NBA, and in turn why he should win the MVP award.