Thursday, April 5th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  147 responses

LeBron James Won the MVP Battle Over Kevin Durant

by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

The 2012 NBA MVP debate was more or less settled last night in Miami.

The two leading candidates, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, showed up to make their respective cases, in what had suddenly turned into a tight race for the game’s highest individual honor.

After last night, you’d be hard-pressed to give the award to anyone but LBJ this season.

James led the Miami Heat to a tough, physical win over the visiting OKC Thunder, posting a typically absurd line: 34 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds. LeBron also played tremendous defense on numerous players (including Durant, who despite his own solid performance, coughed up the rock 9 times) , and nailed several big shots down the stretch to ensure the victory.

The AP has the postgame quotes:

“Every night I go out on the court, I try to play like the MVP for our team,” James told the reporters surrounding his locker after the game. “I’ve always said that. … It doesn’t matter to me. For us, we got better tonight as a team. And I was the MVP for our team and just trying to lead those guys, lead us to a victory. That’s what it’s all about.”

“I think he’s the best two-way player in this league,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He does it in a night-in, night-out basis and he does it in a way where most teams would not ask a player to shoulder that type of responsibility. But the fact remains: He must play at an MVP level at both ends of the court for us. We’ve talked about him playing like a defensive player of the year, to defend all five positions, while at the same time playing four positions offensively.”

Last night’s Heat/Thunder matchup was of the more relentlessly competitive games of the season.

One gets the feeling that most NBA fans wouldn’t mind seeing these two squads meet again in June, where LeBron James and Kevin Durant would battle for an even more important MVP award.

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  • ALD

    what is a mvp???? if its the most valuable player, than it is Dwight.

  • bike

    Well Lebron haters, what now? If the last game made KD MVP, by your logic this game LBJ MVP. How can a more or less one way player be MVP over the guy who is better this season on both ends?

  • Justin G.

    Good Lord, do we have to do this again? Fifth time in a week and the same old people will come out with the same old arguments. Now, I’m for Lebron winning it this year but why is this one game more of a statement for the award than last week’s game? Makes no sense to me. The only reason it may have been “settled” is because it comes off the heals of a 41 point performance and apparently (at least according to many SLAM posters) it’s what have you done for me lately

  • http://www.streetbasket.lv Krisjanis

    @bike by your logic Kobe’s the MVP, because he won the last game against heat, right?

  • bike

    Did you read my comment? Your response made no sense.

  • Justin G.

    I don’t think Krisjanis knows what was written in here after last week’s game to make a nonsensical comment like that

  • ALD

    they need to change this awrd to best player of the year instead of most valuable player.. Durant and lebron might not be the most valuable to that team.

  • bike

    @JustinG: I figured that.


    Marcel is stirring the pot good today. I love to do that too. :)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    One game doesn’t make him the MVP, the same way KD’s great game in OKC didn’t make him the MVP.

  • abaci

    To make a case for a season award after one game is ridiculous. Im a much bigger fan of KD than Lebron. That being said i think Lebron is the MVP this year. The Thunder have improved enough to be comparable with the Heat as a team. Bron just does more things than KD.

  • RunNGun

    One game overreaction.

  • bike

    I think that’s the point. After one game, Durant was suddenly the MVP. Looking at an entire season and deciding after one game that Durant had surpassed Lebron was silly, so by that very same logic they’d have to say the same about Lebron now. It’s nonesense.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance DFrance21

    Yeah I think Lebron has been the MVP all season, not just after this game. And maybe they should change the name of the award so people can stop with the logic that the MVP= “The players whose team would suck the most if they left.”

  • Rasheedionics

    Lebron is a better all around player than KD. No doubt about it. Whether that makes him MVP is debatable. Lebron got considerably better supporting cast which allows him more freedom to play the game the way he’s comfortable playing.

  • Jazzy

    I wonder why ppl hate LeBron so much? What have he possibly done, besides “taking his talents to south beach”. Really, explain…..

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Kobe did put in his third dagger in a row last night. And he’s taking a Mike Brown(GRIMACE!!!) coached team to the playoffs. I thought that automatically qualified you for the MVP? Just in Cleveland? Ok.

  • Old Long Johnson

    KD is still the MVP, a game where the officials helped the heat win doesnt count.

  • Seb

    Just to be annoying, LeBron actually posted a stat line of 10 assists and 7 rebounds, not the other way around.

  • ALD

    @dfrance21 but isnt that what the most valuable player means?

  • arjae

    @ Brad Long…Bron took a Mike Brown team to the best record in the L. Also, his second best play was Anderson V. Hardly gasol, or bynum…

    but about the comments: I wonder how Wade feels about LeBron calling himself the mvp of the team…hmm

  • Respect

    I wish the mvp would just always go to the best player of the year. This year thats LeBron.

  • Kyle

    One game does not make him MVP. Durant scoring wise and shooting wise even played better last night than lebron did in the last meeting vs miami before last night. If lebron throws together another horrible stretch like he did before the 41 pt game the other night then this would be even more of a joke. Durants stayed very consistant during the season, although he has had some turnover issues trying to distribute more.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    @arjae:I thought Mo Williams was his second best player? Wasn’t he an All-Star that year?

  • bike

    Mo Williams <<< Pau. Mo Williams<<<Bynum.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    @ALD If you’re taking it in the extreme literal sense then yes, but what about leading your team to one of the best records in the league while posting incredible individual stats? The Wizards would have no wins without John Wall, does that make him the MVP?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    Brad Long: are you seriously comparing the Lakers’ secondary players to what Lebron had to work with at any point during his stay in Cleveland? Don’t quit your day job buddy.

  • fizzbucket

    What’s up with this subjective piece being the top story in the News & Rumors section? Really? If you want to make cases for MVP, write a column or something. One game doesn’t decide the MVP race, that was apparent after the two played in OKC, and it’s still obvious.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Let ESPN tell it and they are just as fickled as anyone else. After the game in OKC they were ready to crown KD as the MVP. I turn on the tv this morning and they’re raving about how of a complete player LeBron is and that he’s the MVP. The real question is why the hell do I continue to watch EPSN and their “experts”?! It’s either that or Looney Tunes and I’m leaning towards Looney Tunes.

  • ALD

    @dfrance the mvp has to be given to a team in the playoff race at least…… But most valuable player should be dwight howard. Even with al the bs he has caused, his numbers are crazy with the fact that their one of the best in the lg…. Durant cnt be the mvp when westbrook’s play dictates their record against tough teams. Lebron’s only the favorite because wade has been injured most of the season.

  • http://nonstopsports1.blogspot.com/ WeKnowSports

    See: Miami vs OKC on 03/25. How did this one game settle anything?

  • shutup

    Tony Parker put in work last night and now the Spurs are riding a 9 game winning streak. Both the Thunder and Miami have better overall teams than the Spurs. Just saying….

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Yeah, but the East had teams that my AAU team could’ve beat them. J/K. The East did suck then, though. All I’m saying is that Kobe is taking a team that traded it’s third best player to Dallas for nothing, hired one of the worst head coaches in the last decade, and has had constant nagging trade rumors disrupting team chemistry all season, to the playoffs with a first round home court advantage a possibility. That’s pretty soild not to be in the MVP discussion if you ask me. He leads the league in scoring, and has also DEMANDED that the team go to the teams budding super star center in certain clutch situations. Oh yeah, he also is still the most feared person on the face of the planet when the ball is in his hands and the game is on the line.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    This is idiotic. One game means nothing. OKC is in the harder conference, still has more wins, and Durant doesnt pass up final shots.

  • Sheed

    LeBron’s performance last night was indicative of how he’s been playing all season. I can’t imagine anyone else being MVP (Kobe is a close second, let’s see how the rest of the season plays out)

  • http://www.borntocompete.com Money$hot

    The jury is still out, still close race between Lebron and KD


    mvp should be measured by how well the team would perform without them. If kd and lebron didn’t play, their teams would still be decent on their own. Instead we should be looking at players like dwight who if he didn’t play his team loses all competitiveness. Also a player like chris paul should be considered as well.

  • robb

    What bike said is true. Lebron plays great on both ends, that makes him more valuable than Durant.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    So I guess Tony Parker is out of the picture. I’m not saying Parker should win it, but still, he should be in the convo.

  • LA Huey

    “Every night I go out on the court, I try to play like the MVP for our team” So is that why he laid an egg the past two Sundays? Because they were afternoon games?

  • Ldub

    Unfortunately the MVP award typically goes to the best player on the best team. A player that makes all of his teammates better. I enjoy watching both these cats do their thing night in and night out, however if youre gonna talk about the latter (making their teammates better) id have to say LBJ. Damn near walking trip dub. And if not that, then he at least is a 25, 8 and 8. And then he plays better D than KD. However the Bulls have a better record than the Heat in the east. And OKC has the best record in the west. You can argue that KD is more clutch in the 4th, and he has come up with bigger wins throughout the season. Either way it goes, Im a LBJ and KD fan, so to see either one of these guys get that MVP would be fine with me. And whomever said it was DWIGHT deserves to be slapped. SMH

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Crazy to think but… If Phoenix get that 8th spot in the west, Steve Nash could potentially be the MVP (unlikely, as I think 2 is enough for him already). It’s been remarkable what he’s done lately to keep the Suns from slipping away. Dude is carrying them at the moment. Also leading the league in assists with a nice 11.2 a game.

  • Randy Brown

    D should count, but is often ignored, Lebron for MVP

  • LA Huey

    Russbrook and KD’s alley-oop was nicely done. LBJ got caught turning his head for just a moment…

  • http://www.nba.com JB

    KD for MVP.

  • Chuck

    Great logic. One game and it’s settled. After the last game it was settled in KD’s favor. If KD outplays LBJ in the next game, it will be resettled. After the Heat won a series in last year’s playoffs, it was settled because the Heat had LBJ, but something happened to the MVP on the way to the championship. Let’s see the King play big in the finals, and we can crown him, but until then I think we should wait. Silly article.

  • http://Yahoo SenecaMaytubby

    Lebron Is To Cold For KD,Lol.I Mean Look @ His Stats,We Can Also Look @ 2K12.He Is 99 Overall!!!!!Mvp Is His No Question’s Asked.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Last night didn’t change anything.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yes it did.

  • http://www.nba.com Red

    @betcats how the hell is okc in the harder conference?! Lmao no way and okc has the better supporting cast.

  • Najee the ripper

    bullsh*T lebron still should not win MVP

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    There isn’t a real argument agains LBJ for MVP at this point… it’s all personal preference. Dwight should get MVP at some point bc Orlando is NOTHING without him. Personally though? I wouldn’t be too upset at Durant getting an MVP bc he does need one at some point. it’s a shame wade will never get one.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    For you maybe. But it actually didn’t change anything, the home team won as expected.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Red… the east looked tougher at the beginning of the year, but the west has more top tier teams IMO. and OKC has just as much talent as the heat.. and is slightly deeper. in that sense they could be considered to have a better supporting cast.

  • 23

    shutup, you really think lebron has a better supporting cast than parker?????????????!!! smh

  • 23

    lets switch durant and lebron. lebron on the thunder and durant on the heat. thats a valid arguement now considering they both play the same position. i believe the thunder with lebron would be WAY better than durant with the heat.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    even if the Thunder and Heat do have better overall teams (they probably do, but it’s pretty close), the Spurs have Greg Poppovich. And Tony Parker’s production isn’t anywhere near LeBron and Durant’s anyway. (imo) he’s clearly a top 5 MVP candidate, I have him at 3 or 4 or 5 right now, my opinion keeps changing between him, Bean, & Paul

  • LA Huey

    As far as players go, the LeBron has better teammates than Parker. But when you factor in Pop vs Spo. It’s a wash. In fact, I sometimes like to daydream about how tough the Heat would be to guard with Pop pulling the strings.

  • Chuck

    The rumors are that in case the Heat don’t win it all with their 3 supers, LBJ and DWade will work for nothing next year to get Dwight and Dwill to play along side them. Then the King may get his ring, emphasizing “may.” the heat are deeply flawed, and I would be concerned about Wade.

  • http://slamonline Brion

    ^ cosign

  • 23

    i think a duncan/ginobili combo is just as good, arguably better than wade/bosh. ginobili is SEVERELY UNDERATED! One of the best clutch players this league has seen, and he can also play pg very efficently. plays defense too. plus jackson off the bench? plus blair > any heat center. and the coaching doesnt even need to be mentioned. we all know the answer to that

  • http://miamiherald Heatfan198715

    Ill start off by saying Im a heat fan. So you can all say this is me being a homer. But the heat are 10-1 without wade in the line up. Westbrook is the same type of player wade is hes averaging about 25 pts per game and has not missed one. Lebron has proved even with out Wade he is the MVP this year. Hes proved with out wade he can make this team a winner. And if any of you add bosh into this statement I will bring up harden who averages about what bosh does. I want to see how well durant can play and his team without westbrooke for me to say he is the MVP.

  • Jerome

    Kevin Love … Kevin Love … Kevin Love … Kevin Love … Kevin Love … K

  • -Mas-

    So what your trying to say is that the Spurs are getting out of the first round this year?

  • LA Huey

    23. Even without factoring in health, Wade/Bosh is better than easily better than Manu/Duncan (and I’m a fan of those two cats).

  • rr

    I don’t beleive how you guys are so eager to award the MVP to Lebron James. All Lebron have to do is show up in a couple of games and you
    are ready to give him the award. There are players that plays far better every night than this guy, but you refuse to give them their props,play awesome games every night but get little credit from you guys. But if Lebron 34 pts you guys act as if he scored 81 points or more. Give me a break, We can clearly see you are not dealing fair, You are in love with Lebron James and can not see the greatness in the other players.
    You are stuck on Lebron James. Lebron James should be in 3rd place,
    not 1st or 2nd place. The race should be between Kobe and Kevin, they
    are the best by far!

  • Rainman

    LeBron james is the better player, he’s the best overall player in the L. And if the MVP is gonna be given out based on a head to head matchup, then its gnna be given to LeBron most times than not. (See his late season matchups with Kobe in years 09 and 10). But we might as well name the award Most Valuable Performance in that case. Cuz the MVP has been Durant all year round, one head to head matchup doesnt change that for me.Dont get me wrong, LeBron killed it last night(he always kills it during the season anyways)but LeBron’s team is just coming off a skid of being unable to win on the road, they’re the best team in the LEAGUE at home and they win while AT HOME. Whoop dee doo. Prove to me u’re a better than medicore road team first, then we can talk.

  • http://ww.realgm.com Nate James

    Kevins Love’s numbers mean nothing? Kid should atleast get most improved. sucls that he makes it look easy. But he should be mentioned. cause 10-15 years ago people woulda sh!!t bricks over his performence. Or if he was on a different team.

  • http://jsklff.com Jukai

    Overreaction post is overreacting.

  • tomtom

    Cosign fizzbucket, the last 3 weeks on slam seem to have been written by the LBJ PR team…that being said I think he is the mvp, but Slam needs to be more of a news outfit than a fansite, its quite unprofessional.

  • LA Huey

    I think the Heat proved their road prowess over the course of January and February. Would it be better if they spread their losses out over the season like OKC?

  • Nate

    How about the other FOUR games this year? Garbage article

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Huey, to the masses yes.

  • Lloyd

    I think there’s a key factor being missed here. The Thunder are a TEAM. They play TEAM defense. They switch, they help, and are very strong in the middle due to their shot blockers. The Heat play alright team defense behind Lebron, Battier, and Wade, but their defense stems from the outside guys. Two different defensive systems, and the Heat’s one just shows off Lebron’s defensive skills more potently than the Thunder’s does Durant (mostly Ibaka and some Perk). We can’t just give the MVP to Lebron because of the apparent defensive edge that Lebron has.

  • LA Huey

    Lloyd, you don’t know what you’re talking about. No offense.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Lloyd, there is nothing “apparent” about Lebron’s defensive edge. If your argument is that the defensive system hinders Durant’s defensive achievements, and arguement can be made that Miami’s offense hinders Lebron’s scoring. After all, Durant has taken in excess of 150 more shot attempts at a lower FG% and does not have the same responsibilites as a facilitator (Lebron +3apg) yet only averages 1 more point per game?

  • Lloyd

    How? Ibaka is the defensive stale to the Thunder. Lebron has to be the defensive leader for the Heat. Durant doesn’t have to shoulder that load. It’s like comparing a shooter to a slasher…

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I’m not taking anything away from Lebron offensively. How he’s been playing this year is ridiculous. I just think that you can’t give him MVP honors off of a defensive edge, like a lot of posters are saying on here, because his skills are showcased in his defensive system.

  • Lloyd

    That last comment was me, not meat hook.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/13215/charting-the-heat-five-problems-for-miami Allenp

    People are crazy. That’s all I have to contribute.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher


  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    lloyd your tripping fam. KD has Nowhere near the defensive versatility Lebron does. he could develop it, but it’s not their yet, which is why the thunder don’t give him the opportunity to “showcase” his skills… if they did he’d get lit up(there’s a reason why you’ve never seen him guard pau gasol) and if a player is SUPERIOR on one side of the ball, and more efficient/arguably better on another then he is ABSOLUTELY better for his team and therefore more MVP worthy. period.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The Heat play the 2nd or 3rd best team defense in the league behind Philadelphia and Boston. Having a strong team defense is how a team without a defensive anchor in the paint can be one of the best defenses in the league. This should be common sense. The Heat’s defense is so dominant because they are flexible, they are uber athletic, they recover at all 5 positions, and they help at all 5 positions. Basically the Heat are a great defense because of their system and how they play as a team. LeBron being the best overall defender, and probably Wade being the best help defender (and possibly the worst one on one defender the majority of the time) unless you prefer what Turiaf provides.

  • Zeke

    typo alert. 10 Assists, 7 assists

  • IamYOU

    Scalabrine or Luke Walton for MVP race! But seriously it’s LeBron’s award we’re talking about right?

  • Mike

    They’re gonna hand out two MVPs this year because the heat and thunder wouldn’t be shit without those two

  • LA Huey

    So because Durant has the luxury of a great help defender in Ibaka protecting the rim, KD’s forced to funnel his man towards the rim? Shouldn’t having an eraser like Ibaka have the opposite effect? Whenever I play ball, if I have shot blocker in the paint, I’ll start getting intimate with the guy I’m guarding because I know that I have great help if he gets by me.
    In fact, after Serge slap his ish against the glass, Wade was definitely aware of Ibaka’s presence in the lane and his actions when he drove reflected that.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    What nbk? Bulls have the #1 team defense. #2 is a toss up depending on who is on their game more. Philly should be #2, with Heat following at #3 and Celtics #4 with Lakers #5.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Yes Huey you are exactly right. This lloyd person doesn’t know at all what they are talking about.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lakeshow talking about how the team plays as a unit. Not who has the best overall defenders and system. Was talking strictly team (help) defense.

  • Lloyd

    See this is what I’m kind of getting at. You can’t determine an MVP based on just on-paper advantages. Dwight would then be strongly considered rather than this just being a two-man race, and arguably he’s got the most impact on the success of his team. There’s no definitive criteria for MVP. I think the argument is pretty redundant because at the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference because the top runners are so close, and there are different factors at play on any given team (i.e. we’ve seen Lebron succeed without Wade, but never had the chance to see Durant without Westbrook). I personally really like KD as a player and he seems to be a real stand up guy. I’m really rooting for the kid.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    It’s funny, because if KD wins the MVP award, then LeBron will probably win the DPOY. However, you could argue Bron should win both. And yes, LeBron is a better defensive player than Durant.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I still think the Bulls are #1. Maybe i’m not understanding what your speaking about in your terms of help defense. No one would have to help more to have an elite defensive squad with Boozer on it? lol. Sorry couldn’t resist going at the Booz.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Looks like people are still overrating MIA’s defense. They don’t belong in the same convo as CHI’s, BOS’s and at times PHI’s defense, sorry.

  • LA Huey

    Dwight removed himself from the MVP race with his behavior this season. Basically threw his teammates under the bus and now his coach. He’s be right up there with KD but, fair or not, nobody is going to vote someone who acts like that MVP.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    JTaylor why do you think Miami’s defense is overrated? Because of some regular season games?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lakeshow, Boozer is not a bad defender. Especially in the regular season. Despite popular perception. He has bad outings against really good players, but he isn’t a bad defender. And Thibs system (the shots they force other teams into) and their ability to rebound are more of a reason they are the best defense in the league then what they do for each other in terms of helping. They just don’t give up second chance points, and force teams into bad shots by having a good individual defender at every single position.

  • LA Huey

    nbk, Boozer is an subpar individual defender and awful at rotating on defense.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Fair, I was viewing “team defense” a little different. The Celtics 2 or 3 years ago played the best team defense I have seen in recent years. They made defense so fun to watch.

  • lakernation

    Who cares about the MVP race, it doesnt win you a championship…. Individual awards doesnt mean anything to me, it just adds to the players EGO. I get it Lebron James has been the best player in the NBA for years now with 0 rings. KD has made the OKC thunder a household name because they were a joke 3 years ago. Lets just give it to KD and call it a season. I’m tired of this conversation.

  • LA Huey

    We talk about the MVP race because the Finals are still two months away. Duh.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Huey, I’m not arguing that he is a good defender. And I am not at all talking about his team defense, that is putrid. But his individual, one on one D isn’t bad. He’s not a big liability unless they are playing against a top 6 PF. (Dirk, Pau, Bosh, Love, Garnett, Z-Bo)

  • http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=320404014 Allenp

    Wasn’t Tyler Hansbrough giving it to Boozer last playoffs?
    Boozer is decent in team defense, in my opinion and bad on the ball. He employs the initial stop then swipe and foul defense. He will put up some initial resistance, then fail to move his feet and swipe at the ball or just push the other man. Against some players, that initial show is enough.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Boozer doesn’t rotate. Hansbrough was hitting mid-range jumpers.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lake, when KG and Perkins were together & healthy that was the best team defense I think I’ve ever seen.

  • http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=320404014 Allenp

    That is true about Perkins and KG. People really underestimated what he was doing before the knee injury and with someone as smart and skilled as Garnett as his PIC.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    nbk, no because of the finals and the number of wide-open shots/layups/dunks I’ve seen them give up this season.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I C Jt, I don’t agree but I understand. I think the Heat have a top 3 defense when they are all playing they’re hardest. They get complacent in the regular season too often, but during the playoffs they are one of the best defenses in the league. They were better defensively in the playoffs last year than either Chicago or Boston.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    that’s the point I was trying to convey. They are too inconsistent on defense during the RS compared to CHI and BOS to be considered in the same class defensively but when they do turn it up especially in the playoffs, they are on a different plateau. The Finals were a different story.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Honestly the Mavericks were strongest in the areas that Miami tries to force offenses into. It’s like trying to force Steve Nash to beat you with his passing ability. Dallas is a jump shooting team that relies on other teams trapping and switching. Miami is a defense that forces teams to beat them with jump shots by trapping and switching.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    nbk, I wanted to say that, but I figured i’d have to defend that position and didn’t want to defend the Celtics about anything lol.

  • http://jsklff.com Jukai

    JTaylor kind of has a point, but I don’t think it has to do with “defense” as much as it has to do with “Spo still can’t make proper in-game adjustments.”
    When the switching defense starts failing because the other team is making a lot of mid-range or three point jump shots, they keep doing the same sh*t. They never change up their scheme. Boston would change how they played defense depending on the team and if it wasn’t working, would change to something else. Spo rarely ever does that stuff, usually it’s “focus on this guy and keep on switching.”

  • http://SLAMONLINE.COM Gab

    I personally think its silly to crown the MVP to some over one game(MIA vs OKC 3/25) ESPN always gassing shit up. But as a HEAT fan KD has been balling like the MVP the passed 2 weeks but with overall stats and all Lebron now took the jump over KD for the MVP race.

  • LA Huey

    Miami’s defensive weakness are 3 point shots. That’s why Orlando is a potential match-up nightmare for the Heat in the playoffs.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF30WneDtQc Datkid

    true LA huey…and also bc nobody on the heat can effectively guard Dwight. what happened to eddy curry?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lake you wouldn’t have to defend that to me, actually you’d probably have to just argue with yourself being a Lakers fan and all. Which would be entertaining as hell.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Haha precisely. Not worth the energy. I can never beat myself at an argument.

  • http://www.twitter.com/MeSSiahDaTruth Messiah Da Truth

    Lebron is the MVP point blank. Everyone hypes KD up but he has been in the league for 5 years and hasn’t been to the finals yet and has a way better team than Lebron ever had in Cleveland but by year 5 Bron had been to the finals! I never understood why people just hate on Lebron for the dude is a beast and clearly D-Wade has lost a step. He is way more valuable to the Heat than D-Wade is and will be the reason they win a title if they win! Durant scores more because unlike Lebron if they are blowing teams out he sits Durants stays on the court even when there up 40 to just pad stats!!! #LBJ #MVP

  • Jamaal87

    Peace, Zombie Sonics!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Messiah. The East was a little different then. West was kinda stacked… Different scenarios.

  • Heals

    Good stuff and some C’s love sprinkled on top at the end, not to shabby…

  • showtime

    i’m a laker fan but i think the mvp should be the chicago bulls role players who’ve been without their star for awhile now and are still on top of the east!

  • LA Huey

    Yeah, comparing Durant and LeBron’s career arcs is a bit unfair. I mean, Rondo got his chip way before Zeke did in his career. Circumstances have a HUGE influence on your successess.

  • honest truth


  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Lebron is not MVP, first 20 games yes, last 20 games no. KD deserves it, but Westbrook great play is hurting KD chances. BOOK IT!!

  • Boogers

    Can we be serious for a moment.

    OKC team leaders:
    Points – K. Durant–27.6:::::
    Assists – R. Westbrook–5.4:::::
    Rebounds – K. Durant–8.1:::::
    FG% – S. Ibaka–53.1::::::
    Steals – R. Westbrook–1.8:::::
    Blocks – S. Ibaka –3.4::::::

    MIA team leaders:
    Points – L. James–26.9::::
    Assists – L. James 6.5::::
    Rebounds – L. James 8.1::::
    FG% – L. James 53.6::::
    Steals – L. James 2.0::::
    Blocks – J. Anthony 1.3::::…And Lebron aint far from Joel in this category either. This is starting to get ridiculous. This is the obvious MVP. Stop hating!

  • http://www,nba.com VanCityBBall

    this is confusing to me… when OKC beat MIA at OKC, people were saying right off the top that Kevin Durant was MVP 4 seconds after… but the next game that MIA beats them LBJ is all of a sudden MVP. i guess it goes by bais even myself i will admit it, but if you like a player that is just “GOOD” at all aspect’s then obviously LBJ would be your choice, but if you like a player that is “GREAT” at one thing but “OK” at the others then you would like KD as MVP. if you are basing MVP ranks by just single game stats then why wouldnt Rajon Rondo be considered because of his tripple dub’s?< (just an example)

  • http://www,nba.com VanCityBBall

    and i dont remember Steve Nash winning MVP because of his defence… so it’s a real toss up

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/04/lebron-james-won-the-mvp-battle-over-kevin-durant/ thePhoenix

    Luol Deng is the MVP. The Bulls have the best record in the NBA and Rose has been out too much to be MVP. Therefore the best player on the best team is Deng. See how that logic is flawed?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/04/lebron-james-won-the-mvp-battle-over-kevin-durant/ thePhoenix

    There should be two requirements in determining MVP. It should first be the player who’s team is very very good with him. There are roughly 8 ‘very very good’ teams each year. Probably less. Of those ‘very very good’ teams, find the player whose team success would suffer the greatest falloff. That man is the MVP.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/04/lebron-james-won-the-mvp-battle-over-kevin-durant/ thePhoenix

    There should be two requirements in determining the MVP. First, it should be the player who’s team is very very good with him. There are roughly 8 ‘very very good’ teams each year. Probably less. Of those ‘very very good’ teams, find the player whose team success would suffer the greatest falloff. That man is the MVP.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/04/lebron-james-won-the-mvp-battle-over-kevin-durant/ thePhoenix

    Slam won’t post my MVP criteria.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/04/lebron-james-won-the-mvp-battle-over-kevin-durant/ thePhoenix


  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/04/lebron-james-won-the-mvp-battle-over-kevin-durant/ thePhoenix

    Using that criteria, Chris Paul and Dwight are very strong candidates for MVP. Those teams do not make the playoffs without them. 8th seed at best. OKC, MIA, CHI, SAN, BOS and LAL would all still be very competitive playoff teams without Durant, Lebron, Rose, Parker, Rondo and Kobe. The trouble is whether you think the Clippers and Magic are good enough WITH Paul and Dwight to merit MVP consideration. Arguably, they are not. Durant and Lebron are no doubt having the most outstanding seasons of all players, but they may not be the most valuable. Kobe has a better argument as far as value goes. In saying that, since the award is more of a combination of outstanding play/stats and valuableness, then Lebron is my pick. Otherwise I’d take CP3.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=542782613 The White Steve Smith

    Would you like to try the new chicken McBites?
    -Nah im straight.
    -Let me get a big mac with bacon and extra mac sauce, two double cheese burgers with no pickles, fish fillet with no tarter sauce oatmeal rasin cookies and a chocolate milk.
    Will that complete your order?
    -And let me get the all american cups yall got left over.
    Please pull around for your total.
    -Yall take Antonie Walker checks?

  • Boogers

    Chris Paul and Dwight are strong candidates for the MVP. They just aren’t as strong as Lebron or Durant because of wins for the team. That should be one of the main criteria judging by previous years.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/04/lebron-james-won-the-mvp-battle-over-kevin-durant/ An interesting guy

    I don’t always post comments, but when I do, I prefer LeBron


    Bron has greatest impact on both ends & is the most complete player in the L. He adds most wins for his team, there are no players on his level & thats why he is MVP. simples

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/04/lebron-james-won-the-mvp-battle-over-kevin-durant/ thePhoenix

    My argument hinges on how you would IDEALLY define valuable though. Not on who should be MVP this year based on the precedent set by previous years’ MVPs. And to me valuableness is defined by the difference that the individual makes on the success of his team. While I agree Lebron is no doubt the most outstanding player in the league, and may very well be the MVP, I don’t think the Heat would be much worse without him. Same with Durant and the Thunder. Whereas the Magic and Clippers would experience a huge drop off in success without Dwight and Chris Paul. What I’m saying essentially is that although the Heat and Thunder have superior records, those records aren’t completely attributable to Lebron and Durant. Their strong supporting casts diminish their overall ‘value.’ That’s all. I’m not saying I’m right, it’s just a thought on how to define the ‘valuable’ part of MVP.

  • FnF

    Getting your team to the top 3 in standings should hold LITTLE weight in an MVP discussion. All of the MVP candidates secretly wish for a better supporting cast. Once you get a better supporting cast, the MVP candidates relative value diminishes. The team isn’t dependent on that ONE superstar but their sucess is now a function of a collection of players. IMO, the MVP’s team should at least have a winning record. To follow up the comment above, a Kobe-Smush-Kwame line up makes Kobe hella valuable to that team. Kobe-Gasol-Bynum makes Kobe less valuable because the supporting cast is better. Durant-Westbrook-Ibaka; Lebron-Wade-Bosh; Dwight-Nelson-Anderson… Which superstar in their respective trio is the most valuable relative to the other groups?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/04/mike-brown-kobe-bryant-getting-overlooked-in-mvp-race/ thePhoenix

    @FNF: precisely. If we’re talking strictly ‘value’ which I don’t think a lot of people really are.

  • GeeCyrous

    Both players have the Luxury to play with other elite players. It makes their job alot easier. Tony Parker deserves it more than any of these two.

  • Drig

    MVP of the year is definitely LeBron. Kobe’s in 2nd :P

  • Drig

    @FnF……I’d say Howard~Kobe>LeBron>Durant. Howard because it’s obvious. Kobe because LA has no perimeter production without Kobe drawing doubles away from Sessions. LeBron because Miami is more Big 3 dependent than OKC, which is a lot more deeper. However, this sort of selection makes it heavily biased towards PFs and Cs as they influence a team more than any other position.

  • Jake

    LeBron should be MVP for numerous reasons……first of all, when he plays on ALL cylinders, the rest of the team responds & steps it up. He’s also an all-around guy, KD is a good shooter PERIOD!! An MVP should be someone that deserves that title, not many players can play all-around, however, there are quite a few GOOD shooters, that’s the difference!!

  • FnF

    I can’t wait for an MVP to use this speech, “I’d like to thank the scrubs that I play with for making my value standout amongst the league’s elite. Shoutout to the GM for drafting back-to-back busts and the recent hasbeen signings. I’d also like to thank myself for the hardwork that only I could have put in to save this organization from being a disgrace. I’d like to thank myself again for the countless heroics and highlights I provided. Don’t worry I just showered, so you can go ahead and kiss my a$z. Thank You all”

  • 23

    Here’s the thing . Okc without Durant is still a scary playoff team without Durant. Probably scarier than a LeBron-less heat team. But having Durant and LeBron elevates the team from playoff team, to serious contenders. As a matter of fact, not just serious contenders, but overwhelming favorite to win their respective conference. That’s very valuable in my eyes