How can we describe value? What’s valuable to one individual might hold no significance to another party. However, value theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how, why and to what degree people value things; whether the thing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. Everyone with two eyes can discern that LeBron James is the best and most complete basketball player in the world, he’s earned that distinction. Does this make him the MVP? Paul George and LaMarcus Aldridge have put together fine seasons thus far, but team success is only one variable to the MVP quotient. Nevertheless using the eye-test and melding it with advanced statistics, Kevin Durant has risen to the top of the sport for the season thus far. Shouldering a huge load with his running mate Russell Westbrook having missed 16 games, Durant has pushed his game to another level, culminating with a cruelly efficient 54-point demolition of the Golden State Warriors. His transformation from wide-eyed, sweet humble kid into a sneering, brutally efficient scoring machine has been a joy to watch.
Kevin Durant has been extraordinary this season, and although I feel that LeBron James is the best player on the planet, but Durant has been the most valuable to his team. Is he the most valuable player in the NBA in relation to his team? That’s very hard to quantify, but Durant is on an elite team, so he gets that distinction as being the MVP of the league. Kevin Durant’s “traditional” stats are very good, averages of 30.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 5.1 APG. Durant is shooting 50.2% from the field, 41.1% on 3’s and 88.1% from the charity stripe. Something that amazed me is that a player who is 6-11 is the most efficient player in the league at scoring on the pick & roll(Per Synergy Sports), where he is used as the primary ball handler. If you take a look at Durant’s “advanced” statistics you can really start to get a closer look at the monster season that Durant is having. Durant is leading the league in Player Efficiency Rating, Win Shares, 3rd in offensive Win Shares, 7th in Defensive Win Shares, and win shares Per 48 minutes(Per Basketball-Reference).
KD is the MVP and as he keeps ascending, his game keeps on expanding, he is slowly going to morph in the best player in the league and carry that mantle of “standard bearer” for the NBA. It won’t happen this year but it is coming in the near future and it isn’t a veiled shot at LeBron James, but KD is on the come up. Durant has shown up and shown out this year, while LeBron has sort of coasted, averaging the same name number of blocks per game as Stephen Curry and giving up 46% shooting when isolated on defense which is a great deal higher than anyone on his team and way above the league average(Per Hoop Data). Durant has been incredible this season and I think he will win the MVP trophy, which might be accompanied by another big trophy in June….
Images Courtesy SB Nation and Bleacher report