When we make our pre-season predictions for MVP of the NBA names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant usually top the list on a yearly basis. Kevin Durant is the front runner for that honor this season which would be his first while Kobe has already taken home the trophy. Then of course there's 2 time winner's like Tim Duncan and Steve Nash but nobody compares to King James and his 4 MVP's over the last 5 years with Derrick Rose stealing one in 2011. So as you can see it's always the big name that takes home the highly coveted individual award. If you don't believe me then just check the list over the past 60 years and find me even 1 player that isn't considered an all time great as nearly everyone is in the Hall of Fame. But what about the guy that takes you by surprise and turns an annually pathetic team into the 3rd seed in the playoffs nearly single handily?!
DeMar DeRozan is the man that fits that bill this NBA season. He does have a couple of guys around him like Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas who can both score and contribute every night. Lowry is averaging almost 8 assists this year as Jonas is grabbing nearly 9 rebounds. No "offense" to these guys or the rest of the team but even in a pathetic Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors wouldn't sniff the playoffs without the super star in the making DeMar DeRozan.
DeRozan has become the catalyst for this recently forgotten lonesome Canadian team and turned Air Canada Centre into an exciting playoff type atmosphere because that's where they're headed this season and will be the 3rd seed in the East. His numbers are consistent, he's progressively getting better and his maturity has been exposed on and off the court. As the teams leader in a place where basketball is secondary to the Luge, DeRozan has risen the basketball fans from the dead and grabbed the attention of the "experts" of the NBA world.
DeMar DeRozan is averaging 23 points a game in a defensive conference and for a guy who has the ball in his hands so often rarely turns the ball over. He can also pass the rock with 4 assists and 4 rebounds to go along with his scoring and play making ability. But the question is if he's an MVP candidate. The answer is yes in the aspect of his name being on the list but the official answer is no.
Kevin Durant started out as the MVP from the first game with injured Russell Westbrook sidelined after surgery. Durant has been a scoring machine and in an excellent conference like the West has his team securely slotted as the #2 seed and did it in incredible fashion. With Westbrook being injured on and off, Durant had to step up even more and went on streaks where he scored at least 25 points in 40 consecutive games and 30 points or more during a very hot streak earlier this season. He's playing better defense, fighting harder for loose balls and from what I can see is the look in his eyes and the words he speaks as a man on a mission not just for the MVP and another scoring title but the big title called the NBA Finals and walk off the court as champions this time around. As much as I love what DeRozan has done all year and absolutely should be in the conversation for league MVP, I have little doubt that Durant will finally take home the MVP trophy.