NBA MVP Watch: Durant continues to thrive with Warriors

Spencer Dutcher

Sports Blogger

@spdutcher75

 

MarinSD/Flickr

Kevin Durant, F, Golden State Warriors, 26.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.4 apg

After winning his first championship as a member of the Golden State Warriors, Durant looks prepared to lead the Warriors to their fourth straight championship. Along the way, Durant could pick up his second MVP award. Durant has always been an amazing offensive player, and this year we are seeing a defensive player in him, too. He is averaging 2.1 blocks per game with a top-4 team defensive rating of 102.9. Durant had an impressive game against the Cleveland Cavaliers with 32 points, eight assists, five rebounds, three steals and one block. Durant and the Warriors head to Houston to take on the Rockets (30-12) at 7:30 Saturday.

James Harden, G, Houston Rockets, 31.7 ppg, 9 apg, 4.9 rpg

After Harden finished second in the MVP contest last season, Harden has been having another amazing season, leading the league in points per game and showing fans he is one of the best offensive players they have seen in a while. He also leads the league in 3-pointers per game with 4.1. The defensive side of the ball has not been a bad spot for Harden and the Rockets, as they sit at 14th in the league in defensive rating with a 105, and Harden has averaged 1.8 steals per game. In his last game before he was sidelined with a hamstring injury, he had 40 points and 11 assists against the Lakers. Harden made his return from the injury Thursday against the 30-12 Timberwolves (30-12). Harden tallied 10 points and seven assists as the Rockets defeated the Timberwolves.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks, 28.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 4.6 apg

The man known as “The Greek Freak” has played his typical amazing game and is still wowing everyone with his length and freakish athletic ability. Averaging 28.3 points per game, he’s second only to James Harden. Antetokounmpo is also averaging double-digit rebounds at 10.1 along with 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. The problem for Antetokounmpo is the struggle of the Bucks. Since the start of the new year, the Bucks are off to a 4-6 record, including two dropped games to the Miami Heat. In the Bucks’ most recent loss to the Heat, Antetokounmpo had 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists along withtwo steals and two blocks. As Antetokounmpo and the Bucks look to get things back on track, they head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers (20-20) at 6:30 Saturday.

ozone@ocolly.com

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