When I think of the two best players in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the first two names that come to mind is Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Miami Heat’s LeBron James. Both players are having career seasons, however Durant is getting more recognition from the fans and media. While the majority of people have given Durant the Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) just halfway through the season, I’m here to say those people will be wrong and LeBron will be hoisting his 5th MVP trophy in front of his home crowd.
Without Russell Westbrook the majority of the season, Durant has become the all-around player the Thunder need him to be. Durant is leading the league in scoring, which is not surprising. However, what is surprising with Westbrook only playing in 25 games, is that the Thunder are first in the Western Conference over teams like the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers. I will have to admit that Durant has had an MVP caliber season thus far, but LeBron is being asked to do even more for the Heat.
With Dwyane Wade being in and out of the starting lineup, LeBron continues to showcase why he is still the best player in the world. LeBron is shooting close to 60 percent from the field, unheard of for any player, let alone a guard/forward. Like previous, seasons he continues to lead the team in points, rebounds, and assists. During a Clippers game, LeBron guarded all five positions on the court. I don’t know any player in NBA history that can say they’ve done that.
Other than LeBron and Wade, nobody else on the Heat’s team can create their own shot, so when Wade’s out, LeBron has to play more aggressively while trying to set up his teammates for open shots as well. The usual replacement for Wade when he’s out is Ray Allen. Allen, however, is having the worst season of his career, only shooting 35 percent from three point range, so that puts more pressure on LeBron to score. From offense to defense, LeBron has to do it all for the Heat.
Not to dismiss Durant’s season, but LeBron is more valuable to his team. LeBron leads the Heat in almost every statistical category; the only reason Durant is leading his team in a lot of statistical categories is because Westbrook is injured. Once Westbrook comes back Durant’s numbers will drop and he won’t be scoring at such an historic pace. LeBron will still have to carry the Heat even when Wade is playing because Wade’s not the player he was five years ago. I’ve never seen a player where the team looks at him to do everything: score, rebound, assist, and guard all five positions in order for them to win a game. If I had a vote for MVP for the 2013-14 NBA season, there’s no doubt, LeBron would get my vote.