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2014 PBT Awards: Most Valuable Player

Apr 18, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

Lebron James, Kevin Durant Lebron James, Kevin Durant

Though none of us have a ballot for the NBA’s official awards, we’ll be presenting our choices and making our cases this week for each major honor.

Kurt Helin

1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

2. LeBron James, Miami Heat

3. Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

4. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

5. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

One and two are pretty clear cut (even if you want to flip the order, I don’t because I think Durant played at his peak longer and meant more to his team this season). Then it got hard — leaving off Dirk Nowitzki and Al Jefferson was brutal.

Brett Pollakoff

1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

2. LeBron James, Miami Heat

3. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

4. Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

5. James Harden, Houston Rockets

LeBron is still the game’s best overall player, and few would dispute that. But Durant’s consistent and elite scoring all season long for a Thunder team that finished with 59 wins gets him the award this season. Griffin elevated his game and kept the Clippers winning while Chris Paul missed time with an injury, which gave him the slight nod over Noah on my nonexistent ballot.

Dan Feldman

1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

2. LeBron James, Miami Heat

3. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

4. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

5. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

I hate, hate, hate voter fatigue. If LeBron James has the best season every year, he deserves MVP every year. So, I’m especially wary of the hot candidate with the better narrative trying to unseat the favorite. But Durant had a better season than LeBron, and while LeBron is still great, Durant did enough to ensure I won’t regret choosing him. Where the race gets interesting: No. 3. Curry is an offensive star and good defender in the Warriors’ system.  Chris Paul is the Clippers’ best player, but he missed too much time, and when he did, Griffin was awesome. Love rates No. 3 in many advanced stats, but he too often chooses to go for rebounds rather than defend his man responsibly. It’s a small, and sometimes overblown, problem, but it’s enough to drop him a couple spots on this list.

  1. bbtaz97 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Glad to see Joakim Noah getting some national love! He is the only reason the Bulls are even close to contention this yr!

    • duhwighthoward - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:48 PM

      I wondered how good Noah was, then last season I watched Dwight Howard eat him up. Noah’s a great player, I’ll give him that. Similar to Vlade Divac.

      Not an MVP candidate.

    • tomasekradek - Apr 19, 2014 at 4:24 AM

      He’s great player, no doubt. Works hard, is not selfish, get significantly better every year… He’s a player you want on your team.
      But I can’t vote for someone scoring 13ppg. I want, but i just can’t

  2. fanofthegame79 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    I’m biased, but LeBron is my MVP this season. Stats be damned!

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    LeBron should be the 5-time defending MVP right now… but Durant has had a better season. No doubt. Especially since LeBron has made much less of an effort on defense.

    • ranfan12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Lebron almost didn’t have it last season until Tony Parker got injured lol

  4. calkinsrob - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Dan Feldman – no way you put Kevin Love on the list and not Dirk

  5. 00maltliquor - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Carmelo Anthony. Everybody else is just 2nd tier.

    • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      Looks like that malt liquor is doing it’s job.

  6. bougin89 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Durant has had the better season and definitely deserves MVP but if the NBA decided to start over right now and every player is available Lebron gets picked #1 overall. He’s still the best player on the planet.

  7. antistratfordian - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Nah man, nah. The Thunder do not rely on Durant to also be their best defender, best passer and best rebounder. They have other players they rely on for that.

    The Heat rely on LeBron to be their best defender, leading scorer, leading passer and leading rebounder – every single game. He leads his team in almost every single category.

    And, frankly, Durant’s season has not been as groundbreaking as LeBron’s.

    But people started taking LeBron for granted years ago. Even when he won his 4 MVPs the majority of the population still had no idea how great LeBron actually had been – this even applies to many of his biggest fans.

    I’ve always said this, and it also applies to me: No matter how good you think LeBron is, he’s better than that.

    This is how he keeps surprising us (even me).

  8. saint1997 - Apr 18, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    Oh my word I’m sorry I have to say this now people are wildly overrated Steph Curry (and also James Harden but that’s another story). He’s a phenomenal shooter I appreciate that and he’s got some handles and an above average passer – I’m not saying he’s not good. But he’s top 5 PG, not top 2. He still has too much to learn and is still such an awful defender you can’t even compare him to CP3. Right now I think John Wall is a more complete player than Curry

  9. duhwighthoward - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    What is with the Lebronna Man worship on this site?

    As if he could be one of the all time greats? Are you all teenagers? Let me tell you something about Magic, Bird, Kareem, Wilt, and Russell. None of these guys ever flopped.

    They also didn’t whine the way he does when things don’t go his way. Case in point the other night when he got blocked cleanly by Plumlee. He whined when it happened, after watching the replay, again in the locker room, and for good measure, in the post-game conference.

    When he screws up, he always looks at the ref, the ball, the rim, or his teammates and starts jabbering instead of just owning it.

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