Chris Broussard of ESPN.com has KD as his MVP: “It’s appropriate that he broke Michael Jordan’s streak of 40 games with 25 or more points because Durant is the best pure scorer the league has seen perhaps since Jordan. James still is the better player, but if Durant leads the Thunder to the championship, the title for greatest in the game could be up for grabs.”
Sam Amick of USA Today: “Durant had evolved in each of his previous six seasons, but the Swiss-Army-knife element of his game had never been anywhere near as good as this. He’s on pace to set a career high in assists (5.6 compared to James’ 6.5), is second to Anthony among small forwards in rebounding (7.6 per game), and played a major part in the Thunder’s elite defensive showing (they’re fifth in the NBA, while the Heat are 10th). At this rate, he will become just the fourth player in league history to average at least 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, and Michael Jordan are the others). Nothing will be official until the votes are tallied, of course. But make no mistake, Durant deserves to be the 2013-14 MVP.”
Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas predicting how an OKC-Dallas series would go: “How much value do you put on the Mavs’ two wins in March? It’d been a long time since Dallas defeated OKC before then, but the Mavs did expose one of the Thunder’s biggest flaws in those games. OKC tends to get sloppy with its defensive rotations and close-outs on 3-point shooters. The Mavs move the ball and shoot the 3 with the best of them and lit it up in those two games, going 28-of-52 from 3-point range. That could make this series interesting and entertaining because you know KD and Co. are going to put up a lot of points. Thunder in six.”
Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com on that: “But when James competes for the MVP he also competes against his past self and his team’s past record, and this season’s performance don’t quite measure up. The fact that he had to carry more of a load this season than before because Wade has missed so many games will probably be forgotten in history, as the details of runners-up often are. This may not fair in a vacuum, but it is candid. When it comes to these things, James is too. And that is why he’s sized things up and offered the de facto concession. In a few weeks, when Durant will likely be holding up that MVP trophy, James will applaud it and truly be happy for his friend and rival. Don’t think for a second, though, that he won’t take it as a personally motivating defeat.”
Darnell Mayberry: “The way Westbrook played only confirmed my belief: the Clippers are not a serious threat to the Thunder. They’re good. They might even take a potential series six games. But the Thunder has counters for what the Clippers do best. The Clippers can’t control the Thunder’s best two options, and those are Westbrook and Kevin Durant.”
LeBron’s been bad at defense this season. Just thought you might want to know.
Doc Rivers gives KD his pretend MVP vote: “I think second because I’m coaching him,” Rivers said of Griffin. “I think Durant has had the best year. I still think LeBron [James] is still the best player in the NBA but I think Durant has had an MVP year. I don’t know who has had a better year. And I honestly think Blake would be right behind him.”