One of the biggest questions entering the 2021 NBA season was how good 2014 MVP Kevin Durant would be with his new team the Brooklyn Nets. KD tore his Achilles during game five of the 2019 NBA Finals. A torn Achilles is one of the toughest injuries to come back from for an athlete. KD does not look like he has missed a step as he is second in the league in scoring and has the Nets sitting at fifth place in the east. KD’s performance won him Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors and one analyst has him as the runaway favorite to win the league’s Most Valuable Player Award.
KD Wins Eastern Conference Player of the Week
KD led the Nets to a 3-0 record for the week after averaging 34 points, 8 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. During the three-game stretch, Durant shot 61.3% from the floor and 60% from three-point range. Ridiculous numbers. It is KD’s first time winning the Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award as he has won the award 26 times in the Western Conference. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith thinks it is just one of many awards that Durant could take home this season.
“Kevin Durant will win league MVP honors,” Stephen A. said on Tuesday’s episode of First Take. “When this season is over, he is going to be taking home two awards, that is the league’s most valuable player and he will be crowned the comeback player of the year.” Kevin had to sit out for seven days earlier this season due to COVID-19 contact tracing. During that time, the Nets were seeded as low as 10th place in the East. Since his return, the Nets are 4-1 and sit at fifth place in the conference.
Nets Tumultuous Season Makes KD’s Case Stronger
Stephen A. makes a valid point for Kevin Durant deserving the MVP over LeBron James. Aside from the numbers, the Brooklyn Nets have had a more tumultuous season than any team in recent memory. It started out with Spencer Dinwiddie tearing his ACL in the third game and being ruled out for the rest of the season. Next, Kyrie, the Nets second-best player at the time leaves the team for almost two weeks due to personal reasons. After that KD himself, had to leave the team for seven days due to contact tracing and finally, half of the team gets traded to land James Harden. This all happened in less than two months.
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During KD’s MVP season, he was averaging, 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. This season with the Nets he is averaging 30.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game. The numbers are eerily similar. While the season is still young, Kevin Durant is looking like a strong candidate for the MVP award. With Kyrie Irving’s return to the court looming, it will be interesting to see if his numbers remain the same.