Did Kevin Durant deserve the MVP award before getting injured?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 15: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 15: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

As everyone knows by now, the Brooklyn Nets will be without superstar forward Kevin Durant for the foreseeable future after his knee injury Saturday. While the Nets will look to stay at the top of the Eastern Conference standings without Durant, many fans have been questioning who the NBA MVP is at this point in the season.

Everyone does not realize it, but it is KD.

Before going into why Durant is the MVP of the league, I first need to go through which stats are the most important in determining this award.

Over the last ten years, the statistics with the most correlation to winning MVP are box plus-minus, win shares, VORP, and player efficiency rating.

In addition to this, playing on a winning team is crucial, as no player has won the award without making the playoffs since 1976, and only two players have won the award when playing on a team that did not win more than fifty games in a season.

Was Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant the league’s MVP before getting injured?

Box plus-minus

KD is currently 6th in the NBA in box plus-minus, trailing Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, LeBron James, and Joel Embiid. Durant’s BPM is 7.3 and most of the competition is in the same area, while Jokic is the highest at 13.7, but the Nuggets are only on pace to win 44 games this season (only two players have won without winning 50 games)

Player efficiency rating

KD is also sixth in player efficiency rating, trailing the same five players.

Win shares

Durant is seventh in the league in win shares with 5.9. His offensive win shares are fourth in the NBA with 4.4 while his defensive win shares are 44 with 1.5.

Value over replacement (VORP)

KD is third in the NBA in value over replacement.

Points per game and total points

Durant is currently leading the league in points per game with an insane 29.3 PPG. In addition to this, KD is still third in the league in total points, despite playing four games less than Trae Young and two games less than Antetokounmpo. Durant’s shooting splits are insane (he is mainly a jump shooter) and are 52/37/89 with an effective field goal percentage of 56%.

Clutch scoring

Brooklyn has been in eighteen clutch game situations that KD has played in. In those eighteen games, the Nets are 13-5 and he is a huge reason why. Durant is sixth in the league in clutch scoring, averaging 3.9 points, and is an astonishing +1.4 in these situations.


When KD plays Brooklyn has an excellent chance of winning the game. This season they are 24-12 in games Durant plays and 4-4 in games he does not. There is going to be a decent amount of games without him coming up and the Nets are going to have to figure out a way to win without him. While the other players (Embiid, James, Antetokounmpo, Jokic) are ahead of KD in some statistics, they are all outside of the top four seeds in their respective conferences.

Durant is visually the best player on the planet as he can do everything on a basketball court. When you combine the eye test, the statistics, and the winning, there is no doubt that KD has been the MVP this far into the season, but it will be hard for him to remain in that spot if he misses 20-25 games.


Whether it is scoring in bunches, winning games no matter who is playing next to him, getting his teammates involved, or even shutting down the opposition’s best player in clutch time, Durant has proven he is the best player in the NBA and the most valuable to his team.

Without KD where would the Nets be? We are unfortunately about to find out as he is going to miss a good chunk of the remaining of the season and the games missed will be the main knock on his resume.