Why Dwyane Wade, Not Kevin Durant, Will Be the 2011 NBA MVP

From the amount of attention that Kevin Durant has received since his Oklahoma City Thunder were ousted by the L.A. Lakers, I would have assumed his team had bowed out in overtime of Game 7 of the conference finals, rather than Game 6 of the first round.

Because of that one series, Durant has been crowned by some to be the odds on favorite to win next year's NBA MVP award, despite the fact that his scoring dropped from his season average of 30 PPG to 25 in the series, and he was harassed by Ron Artest into shooting an abysmal 35 percent.

Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have been largely dismissed as serious contenders for the award because, by playing together, their statistics will decline and so neither player will stand out. This ignores the fact that James and Wade's impact on the game transcends merely stat sheets.

But while assessing the landscape of contenders in the running for the award, I can't help but think that next season, Dwayne Wade will win the award, and not Kevin Durant.

Here are just a few reasons why:


Wade's Team Will Assuredly See An Improvement in Wins, I'm Not So Sure That Can Be Said About The Thunder—The Miami Heat won 47 games last year, and most NBA analysts project that they will win upwards of 60 games this year. The MVP voters love to vote for the best player on a team that has a dramatic season-to-season improvement, think Allen Iverson in 2001 (they were 56-26 an improvement of seven wins from the previous year) and Wade's Heat should do that. The Thunder will be a good team next year, but I think they overachieved a bit and now that the expectations are higher and the pressure is more fierce, this team will be played much tougher than they were last season. It's not likely that Durant would win the MVP if his team takes a step back in any way, but I just don't see this as a 55+ win team either. Will the NBA rewar...

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