B-Smith here. And haters bout’ to hate.
LeBron James is the best overall player in the NBA. There it is, out in the open. Of course he deserved this award. The man led his team in Points (27.1/game), Rebounds (7.9/game), assists (6.2/game), steals (1.9/game), FG percentage (53%), and finished with a player efficiency rating of almost 31%. He was indeed the most valuable player on the 2nd place team in the east.
Now to compare: Kevin Durant, who many thought was the only other competitor for this award. Durant led his team in points (28.0/game) and rebounds (8.0/game). But that was all. He shot just under 50% from the floor, averaged only 3.5 assists and had a player efficiency rating of only 26.3. Durant simply was not as valuable to his team as LeBron was to his.
Why? Well, although you have the “Big 3” in Miami, Wade and Bosh both had seasons hampered by injury. Wade started only 49 games and Bosh in 57. LeBron played every game that he was needing in (he sat in 2 of the final 5 games for rest.) LeBron had to pick up slack and did, averaging over 30 points/game when Wade was not dressed.
Durant, on the other hand, played all 66 games, as did Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. Not to punish the Thunder for being in shape and healthy, but when you have to share your shots with Westbrook (who averaged the same amount of shots as Durant, yet 5 fewer points per game), then it becomes harder to show your personal value to your team.
The only area that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet that becomes important is the Clutch gene, as Skip Bayless likes to refer to it. And I’ll give it to Durant, he’s a proven closer, seen time and time again. Up to this point in LeBron’s career, he hasn’t been able to get it done when the game is on the line. However, this season he did some remarkable things in late game situations. He played in control and very maturely and even admitted that last season, “he tried to do to much.”
LeBron has something left to prove. He needs to finish out games.
LeBron and Durant have something to prove with their teams. LeBron often gets criticized for his lack of a championship ring. But how many does Durant have?
This is Miami’s year. Bulls are out, meaning they have home court advantage through-out the east (where they’ve lost only 5 times this season.). Watch out.
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Also, I’m sticking to my prediction in hockey and going with the Caps in game 7 tonight. With the Flyers going out (I’m still shocked), it’s Ovi’s time for a Cup run.