We’re just weeks into the NBA season. There hasn’t been a ton of basketball played so far, but Stephen A. Smith is apparently ready to call it on the 2020-21 MVP Award: he’s taking the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant.
KD is coming off of the Nets’ biggest win of the year so far. In just their second game with James Harden, Brooklyn won a dramatic shootout with the Eastern Conference favorite Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, outlasting Giannis Antetokounmpo 125-123.
Harden had 34 points and 12 assists in his second game with the team, after a triple-double in his debut. Durant scored 30 points on 21 shots, adding nine rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes. With 36 seconds left in the game, Durant drilled the big go-ahead three that would prove to be the game-winner for the Nets.
Durant is averaging 30.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in just under 35 minutes per night. Stephen A. thinks he’s already making a major MVP push, on top of a Comeback Player of the Year bid.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) January 19, 2021
“Both of (the awards) are going to belong to him. You can book it,” Stephen A. Smith said on First Take today. “It’s kind of difficult to put into words what we’re witnessing transpire. The Brooklyn Nets have won four straight, by the way. Kevin Durant is averaging 30.6 points per game, on 54-percent shooting from the field, 48-percent from three-point range, and 87-percent from the free throw line. And these are only his first 11 games back from an 18-month layoff from an Achilles tear.
“And the 30 he’s averaging ain’t six months into the season. It’s the first 11 games! This dude is on another level, and Kevin Durant is gonna win the league MVP.”
Stephen A. Smith seems to insinuate that he thinks that Durant will kick it up to another level even from where he’s playing right now, which is both hard to fathom, but may be right. Durant may very well be shaking off rust at this point, though it’s barely noticeable.
The next test is to see how Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving all play together. Durant and Kyrie and Durant and Harden have looked spectacular in short samples so far. Irving is set to return from his unplanned absence from the team this week, so we should get our first look at the full-power Brooklyn Nets soon.