SportsNation Blog Archives Kevin Durant
Recently we brought you the top 10 players, as rated by the latest "NBA 2K" game.
The ratings for "NBA Live 16" also are here -- and they're quite a bit different.
Here's the top 10 (and ties):
1. LeBron James (97)
2. Kevin Durant (96)
T-3. Anthony Davis (95)
T-3. Marc Gasol (95)
T-3. Blake Griffin (95)
T-3. James Harden (95)
T-3. Chris Paul (95)
T-8. LaMarcus Aldridge (94)
T-8. DeMarcus Cousins (94)
T-8. Stephen Curry (94)
T-8. Russell Westbrook (94)
That's right: LeBron James (no surprise) is No. 1, 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant is No. 2, and a handful of talented stars across positions come in tied for third.
Meanwhile, the reigning NBA MVP is tied for eighth -- definitely an eye-opening number for a player many consider the best in the league. Then again, perhaps "NBA Live" is drawing upon more than just last season for its ratings; few before 2014-15 had Curry in that top-player-overall conversation.
The ratings for "NBA 2K16" are out, and -- unlike in "Madden" -- nobody in the league was given a 99.
In fact, the highest rating was a 94, given to a player whose name long has been synonymous with "best in the NBA."
That's right. Even Stephen Curry's MVP season -- which gave him a four-point jump over his score a year ago -- couldn't push him past LeBron James, although the latter dropped four points (partly due to, as Bleacher Report explains, a new way of calculating rankings).
James Harden's players' choice MVP campaign got him a four-point boost, as did the continued scary-goodness of Anthony Davis, but they still couldn't take down The King. Kevin Durant's injury, meanwhile, likely was the reason for his fall from second place and a 95 rating a year ago. (Interesting note: The three non-LeBron top-four players are on the cover.)
There were a couple of surprise inclusions on the list. Carmelo Anthony was 20th in player efficiency rating, 49th in real plus-minus and 81st in wins above replacement last season, yet checks in at No. 8. LaMarcus Aldridge (11th/25th/22nd) was also an eyebrow-raiser at tied for eighth/No. 10.
Not that either is bad, far from it, But still, no love for the best player on Aldridge's team?
Russell Westbrook had an incredible statistical day Sunday: 54 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
But other things did not go as well for the Oklahoma City Thunder star. His team lost 116-104 at the Indiana Pacers, which kept them behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the final Western Conference playoff spot because of the head-to-head tiebreaker. And the guard was called for the following technical, which will have him suspended one game, per NBA rules:
Westbrook's injured teammate, Kevin Durant, was apparently not happy with the call:
Durant, who has been rather outspoken of late, did not delete the tweet (at least as of this writing). He followed with another that showed how much it pains him to watch this playoff race from the sideline:
Good fight fellas! Love yall, let's get this one tomorrow!! #Imissgoingtobattlewiththemob— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) April 13, 2015
If the technical isn't rescinded, Westbrook will miss Monday's home game against the Portland Trail Blazers. That game is followed by a visit to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, also travel to Minnesota, then play host to the San Antonio Spurs.
Both teams are 43-37.
UPDATE: The NBA rescinded Westbrook's technical, meaning he will play Monday night.
There's talk that the Oklahoma City Thunder possibly would trading Kevin Durant before he leaves in free agency. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has dismissed it. But should he be worried about losing the reigning NBA MVP?
Unless you've been separated from all technology for the past month, you're aware that Russell Westbrook is on an absolute tear -- five triple-doubles in six games, to be exact. But what you might not be aware of is that NBA analyst and former NBA executive Tom Penn thinks Westbrook's hot streak could have Oklahoma City Thunder management thinking about moving Durant next season:
"I think this burst from Westbrook makes it much more likely that Durant ultimately gets traded next year. ... Sam Presti has proven that he does not ever want to lose anybody for nothing. So he traded James Harden a year early to avoid a potential luxury tax problem a year later.
"The Kevin Durant drumbeat next year is going to be so loud because he will not commit early to Oklahoma City contractually because the rules are against that. He can't get the same contract if he signs early as if he just goes to free agency and resigns.
So if Sam Presti doesn't get that commitment, he'll look to to trade Kevin Durant. And looking at the performance of Westbrook and the team around Westbrook will make it easier for him to do that potentially."
Click here to listen to Penn's full appearance on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd."