Kobe Bryant has the killer instinct. LeBron James has the NFL body. But if you were designing a player from scratch to play a game of one-on-one, wouldn't the product look something like Kevin Durant? The Thunder star was at it again Tuesday, scoring 33 points in a win against the Hawks. It was his 22nd 23rd consecutive game with 25-plus points, the most since Allen Iverson did it 25 games in a row nine years ago.

Too big for smaller guys inside, too quick and possessing too soft a touch from the outside for big guys, Durant's just about unstoppable. Sure, maybe some will say the former Texas star forward sometimes plays defense like a Big 12 football team -- sporadically and only on Saturdays -- but that's not why we love him.

SportsNation recently ranked Durant No. 6 among NBA players. ESPN.com's Chad Ford says Durant's top-five material. But when it comes to young offensive stars not named LeBron, is there anyone better?

Justin (Detroit)

If the Thunder win over 50 games (small chance), how does Kevin Durant not deserve the MVP? I realize Lebron is playing out of this world basketball, but a 50 win Thunder team is far more impressive that a 60 win Cavs team.

Chris Sheridan
Chris Sheridan

No argument from me on your latter point, but does that team success translate into an individual accolade that carries as much weight as the MVP award? Typically, voters tend to transfer that credit into Coach of the Year consideration (It's Brooks and Hollins neck and neck at the halfway pole). I'd have a hard time using the Thunder's success to justify putting Durant ahead of LBJ on my ballot. Not to minimalize Durant's improvement, but LBJ is far more valuable to the Cavs than Durant is to the Thunder. Full transcript

Chad Ridgeway (Auburn Hills, MI)

How excited are you to see Kevin Durant in the playoffs?

Chad Ford
Chad Ford

Thrilled. Love watching the Thunder and love watching KD do his thing. I try not to play favorites but he's one of my Top 5 players in the league to watch right now. Full transcript

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