We owe a gigantic thank you to Kevin Durant and LeBron James for this regular season. Amid a tumultuous season riddled by injury, they gave us one of the great MVP battles of recent memory. After seesawing back and forth over the past several weeks, Durant managed to edge out James in both real plus-minus and player efficiency rating. It's clear that there's Durant and James, and then there's everybody else.
We can't take these two titans for granted. Not just because we have a pair of all-time greats in their primes at the same position playing on title contenders, but because of something else: They're pushing their bodies to the absolute limit.
Durant played more minutes than any other player in the NBA this season and missed only one game. While other stars rested before the finish line, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks didn't give Durant a break; he played 42 minutes in the season finale. And while Dwyane Wade missed 28 games to rest and treat his troublesome legs, James received only two games at the end of the regular season to catch a breather.
But the astonishing thing is how much work these two stars have put in the past four seasons with almost no rest. With four Finals trips between them, they've played far more minutes than any other player in the league.