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Kevin DurantLayne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images

Who is the hardest player to defend in the NBA? Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers says -- surprise, surprise -- it's Kevin Durant, calling the Oklahoma City Thunder star a taller, better version of George Gervin. Do you agree with Rivers? Where does LeBron James fall on the list? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

Hardest to Defend in NBA

LaMarcus Aldridge

Carmelo Anthony

Kobe Bryant

DeMarcus Cousins

Stephen Curry

Anthony Davis

Goran Dragic

Kevin Durant

Paul George

Blake Griffin

James Harden

Dwight Howard

Kyrie Irving

LeBron James

Al Jefferson

Damian Lillard

Kevin Love

Dirk Nowitzki

Chris Paul

John Wall

Russell Westbrook

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Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images

What to make of NBA MVP race?

Expected to be epic, the Kevin Durant-vs.-LeBron James NBA MVP race has cooled a little bit, allowing players such as Blake Griffin to creep into the discussion. Or have they? The leading scorer for the scorching Los Angeles Clippers says it's still a two-man race, with Durant or James almost destined to take home the trophy. Is he right? If so, who wins it? Would Griffin get your third-place vote, or someone else?

What are the chances someone other than Kevin Durant or LeBron James makes a serious run for NBA MVP this season?

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    24%
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    76%

Discuss (Total votes: 9,862)

  • Right now, which of these players gets your vote for NBA MVP?

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      74%
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      26%

    Discuss (Total votes: 41,568)

  • Assuming Kevin Durant and LeBron James are the top two candidates for NBA MVP this season, who would get your third-place vote?

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      22%
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      36%
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      12%
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      24%
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      6%

    Discuss (Total votes: 38,648)

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Kevin DurantAndrew Richardson/USA TODAY Sports

According to Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, Kevin Durant could be scoring more. That's not to say Brooks is dissatisfied with Durant's ability; instead, the coach praised the MVP frontrunner for being "all about the team." Of course, similar things have been said about LeBron James. Is Durant -- the NBA's scoring leader this season, by a large margin -- the best when it comes to putting points on the board? Where do the rest of the league's top scorers rank? Click on the images below to set your list!

NBA's Best Scorers

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge

2013-14: 23.6 PPG, 30.9 P/48

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

2013-14: 28.1 PPG, 34.6 P/48

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins

2013-14: 22.3 PPG, 33.3 P/48

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford

2013-14: 18.7 PPG, 29.5 P/48

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

2013-14: 23.6 PPG, 30.8 P/48

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

2013-14: 20.4 PPG, 27.7 P/48

DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan

2013-14: 22.7 PPG, 28.6 P/48

Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic

2013-14: 20.5 PPG, 28.3 P/48

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

2013-14: 31.8 PPG, 39.7 P/48

Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay

2013-14: 20.2 PPG, 27.9 P/48

Paul George

Paul George

2013-14: 22.2 PPG, 29.7 P/48

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

2013-14: 24.2 PPG, 32.2 P/48

James Harden

James Harden

2013-14: 24.6 PPG, 30.8 P/48

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

2013-14: 21.5 PPG, 28.8 P/48

LeBron James

LeBron James

2013-14: 27.2 PPG, 35.0 P/48

Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson

2013-14: 21.2 PPG, 30.0 P/48

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard

2013-14: 20.8 PPG, 28.0 P/48

Kevin Love

Kevin Love

2013-14: 26.5 PPG, 35.0 P/48

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki

2013-14: 21.6 PPG, 32.2 P/48

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

2013-14: 20.5 PPG, 28.5 P/48

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

2013-14: 21.3 PPG, 32.4 P/48

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LeBron, Durant in tight MVP race

We might have ourselves an NBA MVP race after all. Long considered a firm second behind the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, LeBron James poured in a career-high and Miami Heat-record 61 points on Monday night against the Charlotte Bobcats -- Miami's eighth straight win. James still trails Durant in scoring and player efficiency rating, but the Heat (43-14) now sit above the Thunder (45-15) in the overall standings. Who gets your vote today? Who will win it in the end?

  • Who gets your NBA MVP vote right now?

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      60%
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      40%

    Discuss (Total votes: 171,079)

  • Which of these players will win NBA MVP?

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      47%
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      53%

    Discuss (Total votes: 52,030)

  • Which team will fare better in the playoffs?

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      72%
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      28%

    Discuss (Total votes: 31,049)

  • Who is the best player in the NBA?

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      22%
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      74%
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      4%

    Discuss (Total votes: 31,440)

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Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports

Heat hammer Thunder in OKC

It's one game, it's one game, it's one game. But when opposite-conference teams play just twice during a long NBA season, it's hard not to read at least a little something into major matchups. Which brings us to Thursday, when the Miami Heat traveled to Oklahoma City, and slammed the Thunder 103-81.

The top individual battle, too, was intriguing, with LeBron James (33 points on 22 shots) getting the better of sudden MVP favorite Kevin Durant (28 points on 22 shots) -- all despite leaving with 5:50 left after getting smacked in the face while dunking on Serge Ibaka. The Heat's performance was so overwhelming, it overshadowed the return of Russell Westbrook, out since Christmas with a knee injury (Westbrook scored 16 points in 24 minutes, but had four turnovers to just two assists). Let's not forget, though, that a Westbrook-less Thunder smashed Miami 112-95 in South Florida less than a month ago.

  • What do you make of the Heat's 103-81 win at OKC in Russell Westbrook's return?

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      37%
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      40%

    Discuss (Total votes: 209,027)

  • Which team would win a seven-game series on a neutral court?

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      48%
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      52%

    Discuss (Total votes: 59,402)

  • What do you make of the NBA MVP race?

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      19%
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      71%
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      10%

    Discuss (Total votes: 12,268)

  • When will Russell Westbrook return to form for the Thunder?

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      52%
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      39%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,363)

  • Which is your NBA Finals matchup?

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      30%
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      53%
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      17%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,457)

  • Which team will win the NBA championship?

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      38%
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      30%
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      19%
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      13%

    Discuss (Total votes: 162,161)

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