February 16, 2014 by Ell and Mike Sports
Ell – SF Kevin Durant
While the Thunder lose star PG Russell Westbrook to injury again for an extended period, Kevin Durant has taken his game to another level and he has elevated the game of the role players around him getting them more involved. He has been on a scoring tear of 12 games of 30+ points scoring, while most importantly leading his team to victories. During this streak, Durant also had a career high 54pts against the Warriors. His ability to make smart decisions and handle the ball well has really elevated the game of PG Reggie Jackson who is more of a scoring guard and doesn’t have to take on all the PG duties, PF Serge Ibaka has been able to get easy baskets and is getting more involved on the offensive end, and SG Jeremy Lamb has found spots on the floor to knock down shots so Durant can avoid double teams. Although Durant has been on a scoring tear, he has done it efficiently just making the most of his opportunities while shooting a high percentage and he continues to rebound well and rack up assists. Durant has kept the Thunder at the top of the Western Conference despite the loss of Westbrook and with the way he has this team playing, they should be even better when Westbrook returns thanks to Durant. He is currently averaging 31.1ppg, 5.3apg, and 7.6rpg while shooting 51% from the field which is ridiculous.
Honorable Mention: SF/PF Lebron James
Mike – SF/PF Lebron James
The 4-time MVP and reigning MVP is having another great season and is still showing the world why he is still the best player in the world. Lebron is close to his career averages and is averaging 26.5ppg, 7.0rpg, and 6.8apg. The Heat have the same record at the All-Star break that they had last season and this is all with the injury issues of Dwayne Wade. Lebron is 5th in the league in true shooting percentage (65%) and James has only shot under 50% 11 times while shooting 75% or better 5 times; that is unheard of from a big man, but for a point-forward, that’s astounding. Lebron is still at the top of the game and there are no weaknesses in his game all while carrying the league’s oldest team on his back. He is still the closest thing to a triple-double machine every night and Lebron is still one of the best defenders in the league at various times while guarding the team’s best player during the game. Could Kevin Durant dethrone Lebron James one day? Yes, but not today. Lebron will turn it up in the second half of the season and he has already put the NBA on notice with that game last Wednesday night vs. Golden State.
Honorable Mention: SF Kevin Durant