Kevin Durant is making a strong MVP push. He’s gaining in the polls (leading in one crucial one), dominated LeBron in that debate the other night and is rising in popularity with the middle class.
And now, he’s just picked up a critical endorsement from the incumbent. Derrick Rose says KD is his MVP right now. Via ESPN Chicago:
“KD is playing great,” Rose said. “I’m hearing about what he’s doing, hearing about how he’s playing. The numbers speak for itself, how he’s working out this summer, and he’s playing great basketball.
“(Minnesota’s Kevin Love) K-Love been putting in work, too, but I think KD.”
Durant’s candidacy includes 27.7 points per game (second in the league), a career-high 50.1 percent from the field, a PER of 26.63 (third in the league), a career-high 3.5 assists per game, a career-high 8.1 rebounds per game, the best record in the West, a 1-0 record against LeBron and a 2-0 record against Kobe. Oh, and he’s the leader in virtually every clutch stat there is.
Rose’s endorsement though is actually pretty important. Because one of the biggest steps in winning the award is creating the overwhelming buzz of media and fans. You have to get it to the point where it seems like you’re an idiot if you don’t think Durant’s the MVP.
That’s where LeBron had things a month ago. But because of KD’s outstanding consistent play and his takedown of LeBron head-to-head, he’s started to pull in a good number of swing voters. He’s got the media buzzing his way, he’s got the chatter in his pocket. He’s leading “MVP Watch” columns, gaining steam in (Heat) red states while still stockpiling support in (Thunder) blue states.
Rose is iffy Sunday against OKC, but that’s another national broadcast that Durant can make a statement in. And after that, he’s got another showdown with LeBron. If KD can duplicate a similar performance again against LeBron, this thing might not even have to go to the convention. Durant might just wrap the nomination up right then and there.