Nets vs. Warriors could be preview of Kevin Durant-Steph Curry MVP race

Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts after a play against the Thunder during Brooklyn's 120-96 win Sunday night at Paycom Center.cover main
Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts after a play against the Thunder during Brooklyn's 120-96 win Sunday night at Paycom Center.cover main /

Kevin Durant will welcome his former team, the Golden State Warriors, to Barclays Center on Tuesday night for what could be a potential MVP showdown. Durant has been the anchor for the Brooklyn Nets and Steph Curry has been his usual spectacular self for the Dubs. The fact that the two were once on a team together is still mind-blowing.

Durant’s average of 29.6 points per game leads the NBA, but Curry’s right behind him with 28.1. Curry also holds the highest average of made three-pointers a game at 5.2. The two are sure to put on a show, but it’s going to come down to which team can better defend the other’s star player.

Even without fellow Splash Bro Klay Thompson, Curry has found a way to lead Golden State to an 11-2 record, the best in the NBA. Brooklyn is navigating the season without Kyrie Irving and is currently second in the Eastern Conference with a 10-4 record. Long story short? Without Curry or Durant, neither team would be in the position that they are in now. In fact, they might be middle of the pack at best.

The Warriors sit atop the league with an average of 115.1 points per game and Curry is the driving force behind that statistic. However, the Nets lead the NBA with their average of 39.3% shooting from the 3-point line. Expect a high-scoring game led by the top-two MVP candidates.

Kevin Durant will go head-to-head with Steph Curry in potential MVP battle.

Durant’s had to have felt the immense weight on his shoulders, even with James Harden in the lineup. He’s averaged 34.6 minutes per game in the team’s first 14 games. The 2014 MVP is the primary reason that Brooklyn has been able to stay afloat. He’s shooting 58.6% from the field (154-of-263) and 42.4% from downtown (28-of-66).

Curry has also played in all 13 games for Golden State. He’s averaging 33.1 minutes and holds a 44.2 field goal percentage (117-of-265) and is shooting 38.7% from long (67-of-173). Interestingly enough, the two have taken nearly the same amount of shots from the field, but Durant has the upper hand. Curry’s made one more three-pointer than the amount of threes Durant has even attempted, which makes it even more impressive that Durant’s leading the league in scoring.

Curry’s game is incredible and flashy, but Durant’s the type of player who puts his nose down and goes to work. The highest number of points that Curry’s scored in a game so far this year is 50, while Durant’s is 38.

In last week’s slate of games, both teams went 3-1. Curry averaged 34.8 points and Durant averaged 32.3. No wonder the two of them were named as the NBA’s Players of the Week.

The Warriors are tailing off a 106-102 loss to Charlotte on Sunday, where Curry went 7-of-22 from the field and 3-of-13 from downtown to be the team’s second-highest scorer with 24 points. Meanwhile, Durant went 9-of-17 and scored 33 points for the Nets in a 120-96 win over Oklahoma City.

If Brooklyn can’t hold off Curry or help Durant on the offensive end, it’s going to be a long night. Either way, the two will get to go head-to-head, and from the looks of their stat lines, it won’t be a disappointment. The former teammates will once again get to share the court.

Dare we go as far to say that Tuesday’s game might even be a preview of the NBA Finals as well?