Jan 4, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Thunder won 115-111. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant surpasses LeBron in PER; Is he MVP front-runner now?

Whenever you made the case for Kevin Durant as the MVP of the league in the past, it was always while making a note that LeBron James is putting up numbers and is the best player in the league.

At least some of that is not the case anymore. As Tom Haberstroh points out here, Durant has caught LeBron in the PER category for the first time this season.

KD is currently the NBA leader with a PER of 29.14 on the season, which is just ahead of LeBron’s 29.05 mark.

In the last six games since Russell Westbrook has been out, Durant is averaging 32.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game with 51.9/40.5/87.3 shooting splits. The Thunder are 4-2 in those games.

As Haberstroh points out in his piece, Durant’s PER without Westbrook on the floor this season is an astounding 35.4, while only 25.4 alongside Russ.

The biggest thing you can take away from that is that while Westbrook is out this season, Durant may start to run away with the MVP.

Right now, Durant has to be the league’s MVP. The Thunder have a better record than Miami and are doing that in a much tougher conference. And Durant’s numbers are actually better than LeBron’s so far.

We all knew there would be a time when Durant gets close enough to LeBron to warrant winning the MVP. This may very well be that time.

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Tags: Kevin Durant LeBron James Oklahoma City Thunder

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