Last year, Russell Westbrook watched all-star teammate Kevin Durant win the NBA’s highest individual honor by winning the MVP award. Durant averaged 32 points per game, which hasn’t been done since 2009-2010 when Durant himself averaged 30.1 points per game. The last player to average 30 or more points per game before Durant was Dwyane Wade back in 2008-2009 when he averaged 30.2 points. Durant also averaged 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists during his NBA season.
THIS JUST IN: Kevin Durant wins NBA MVP w/ 119 of 125 1st place votes. » pic.twitter.com/9tTMp9J6ox
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 6, 2014
With Kevin Durant being hurt for a majority of the year, Westbrook has taken advantage by putting up his own MVP type season, averaging 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7 assists, with those numbers not even including his 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 11 assists performance tonight. Westbrook is leading LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and James Harden in points, rebounds, and assists per game, who are all also notable MVP candidates.
The Thunder’s record is the only thing that can possibly restrict Westbrook from his MVP award, as the Thunder are the 8th seed in the Western Conference sitting at 35-28 with the Suns and Pelicans not far behind. I think it would be ridiculous for Westbrook not to win MVP, because Oklahoma City had to deal without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook early on the season ruining their record.
The Thunder are 4-11 without Westbrook, and 31-17 with him. Those 31 wins are more wins then 11 teams in the Eastern Conference currently have. If you combine the 76ers and Knicks records, you only get 26 wins. The Thunder’s winning percentage with Westbrook is higher then LeBron James’ with the Cavaliers, and close to James Harden’s with the Houston Rockets.
Westbrook is also the first player since the legendary Michael Jordan to record 4 straight triple doubles, which is also similar to Kevin Durant’s awesome streak of 30 plus point games last season, which lasted 12 games. Durant also made history that involved Jordan last year, by becoming the first player since Jordan to record 40 straight games of 25 plus points or more.
Speaking of Westbrook’s triple doubles, he recorded his 7th triple double of the season tonight, which is the most in the NBA. No other NBA player has more than 3 triple doubles this season. In the last 10 games, which Kevin Durant has all missed, Westbrook is also averaging 34.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 11.5 assists. If Westbrook wins MVP, the Thunder would be the first team to have back-to-back MVP’s since Bill Russell and Bob Cousy did it for the Celtics. Cousy won the award in 1957, while Russell won the award in 1958.
Russell Westbrook is on another level this season, and when the Thunder get Kevin Durant back, it can only be more dangerous for the NBA if the Thunder make the playoffs with the two most recent MVP’s in the NBA.