Pimpwerx wrote:It's not about being loved. Lebron is just plain doing more for the Heat than Durant is for the Thunder. People love stating that it's not about the best player in the league, it's about the most valuable one. Well, Lebron is having arguably a better season than Durant, and no part of Miami's struggles have anything to do with Lebron. He brings it every single night, and is always competing to get his teammates involved, while also shouldering a heavy load on scoring and defense. The importance of the standings are overblown every year, because one year some salty voters wanted to punish Lebron. He won it pretty handily last season, despite note even winning his conference. Ball don't lie. He'll get his due if he continues to play like he's played this first half of the season. PEACE.
I really feel bothered by a specific phrase you said. Not that it's crazy, I just feel like it's something that can drive you down a wrong path. Basically:
LeBron's doing "more", and none of the Heat's struggles are about LeBron.
If by "more" you mean that LeBron's the offenses on-ball guy, and thus has a bigger role on playmaking, you're absolutely right. There is however a real tendency to overrate on-ball over off-ball. The reality is that if I can is a good enough shooter, and tough enough to alter his shot, he's going to have an absolutely lethal effect simply by the gravity he induces on the court. The defense has to contort itself like a pretzel just to limit the damage.
An on-ball guy certainly presents his own gravity, not saying off-ball is inherently greater, however the passive effect of the off-ball guy is sometimes considerably greater. Even when Durant is on the opposite of the half-court form the ball just standing there, the defense has to see him as essentially on the 3rd base because his shooting is so SO good. LeBron's dangerous off ball, but not THAT dangerous.
So how do you factor in passive impact like that? I really don't think there's anyway you can do it objectively without some form of data analysis, and it's pretty much a given that most of the time you'll underrate such a player if you don't use that analysis and instead think of the two players in terms of which is actively doing "more".
The reality we've seen this year, whether it be due to coasting or not, is that LeBron's team with him on the court is doing a lot worse than it's ever done since he entered his "best in the game" prime, and he's doing this on a team where there are other guys who can take over the alpha offense role if he's not there. He's still amazing, but the mere fact that when he's on the court everyone else gets out of his way and let's him showcase all his skills, does not make him necessarily more valuable than everyone else in the league.
In this case, this year, we happen to have one guy who is really having everything work for him in Durant, and to me it's pretty clear that relegates LeBron to the #2 spot for the moment. Though even as I say this, I won't consider Durant the best player in the game until I see this continue unchanged through the playoffs.