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Durant, 34, in line for MVP

Sports 10 Jan, 2023 Follow News

Kevin Durant seems to have a point to prove

Nikola Jokic leads the MVP rankings

Kevin Durant is at the veteran stage of most NBA players’ careers yet the Brooklyn Nets forward is in contention for MVP. 

Despite leading the Eastern Conference in the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting, Durant has just cracked the top three to the race to be MVP for the first time.

At an age when many start to fade, Durant continues is improving, having led Brooklyn to 17 wins in their last 19 games up till Sunday.

He has been in sizzling form this season. Although the Nets suffered their first loss in a month on last Wednesday, against the Chicago Bulls, Durant finished only one-point shy of tying his season high of 44 points. It was his third 40-point game of 2022-23. In recent games, Durant is averaging 30.7 points while shooting 66.7% from the field.

All his other stats are impressive too. Durant believes the Nets have finally caught a rhythm after their sloppy 9-11 start. “We understand how we want to play every night,” Durant said. “I feel like the league is always on notice with the talent we have on our team. I don’t think anybody takes us for granted when they’re preparing for us each night. We’ve found some things that were good for us on both ends of the floor, and want to just be consistent with executing those things as we move forward.”

Forget about the offseason trade request. It doesn’t factor into things now after seeing how the 12-time All-Star has been a model of consistency in Brooklyn, demonstrating as much during Wednesday’s loss at Chicago. Durant still defends his decision to make his trade request, noting that he did it in the off-season not like so many other NBA stars during the season. He didn’t miss any games nor any practices.

“What I did didn’t get in the way of the games that was being played, so I felt like that’s the difference in everything,” he said. “So we hashed that all up right before camp, and it was cool, it didn’t get in the way of the hoops. So that’s the difference between what happened with those guys and me,” referring to players like his former teammate James Harden.

Durant is No.3 in the MVP ratings while reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic clings to a slim lead for the top spot after leading the Denver Nuggets to an impressive run of wins recently. Jayson Tatum stays at No. 2 after dropping his second career triple-double last Thursday in a blowout win over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks is No.4 in the MVP ratings and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is No.5. 

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