As we take on another season’s awards on NBA Tuesday, it’s crazy how close to the present day we are getting. Consider the Golden State Warriors’ recent dynasty run through the NBA Finals (2015-2019)… that season comes next week in this column space. We’re not quite there yet, but we are, oh, so close!
On with the best NBA awards show on the Internet …
2014 NBA MVP: Kevin Durant (original, confirmed)
We selected Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant for our MVP last year, and this time around, he won the MVP vote for topping the league in both Win Shares (19.22) and Player Efficiency (29.82), dethroning Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (15.94 WS, 29.30 PER) as the best player in the sport. James finished second in both sabermetric categories.
The Thunder won 59 games to post the second-best record in the Western Conference, while the Heat won 54 games to also place second in the East. Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love was third in the MVP pecking order (14.29 WS, 26.90 PER), coming in behind the two stars in all ways, even though his team won just 40 times to miss the postseason by 9 victories out West.
With the Heat having a 17-game postseason cushion and the Thunder having just an 11-game playoff edge over the worst postseason entry in its conference, it once again looks like Durant was more valuable than James. Also, with such a huge gap in WS, we find it easy to anoint KD as the MVP again.
He won his fourth (and most recent) scoring title (32.0 ppg), while adding 7.4 rpg, 5.5 apg, and 1.3 spg. He shot 50.3 percent from the floor, posting career highs in shot attempts (20.8 per game) and shots made (10.5 per game). His 56.0 eFG% was the best of his career at this point (his age-25 season).
2014 NBA ROTY: Michael Carter-Williams (original), Mason Plumlee (revised)
The two best rookies were Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee (4.7 WS) and New York Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (3.1 WS). No other rookies passed 3.0 WS on the season. But somehow, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams (1.3 WS) won the ROTY vote, so you know he’s not winning it here.
The Nets made the postseason with 44 victories, while the Knicks only won 37 times, so it’s easy to give this award to Plumlee, even though he only started in 22 games overall. He did play in 70 games on the season, however, so that’s good enough.