Kevin Pelton of ESPN.
Using his "championships added formula," Pelton ranked the top 74 individual seasons in NBA history.
Before we get to some of the results -- keep in mind that the rankings include all games each year -- from Opening Night through the NBA Finals -- as well as: "Finals MVPs get an additional .033 championships added, based on how much MVPs tend to overperform their total playoff performance in the Finals; and all players whose teams win the title get a .05 bonus."
Here we go:
55) Kevin Durant in 2017-18
53) Kevin Durant in 2016-17
46) Steph Curry in 2016-17
36) Steph Curry in 2015-16
18) Steph Curry in 2014-15
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Interestingly, KD's 2013-14 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder -- when he was named MVP -- checks in at No. 29 ahead of Curry's unanimous MVP campaign in 2015-16 (clearly, Steph's subpar performance in the Finals hurt him).
The algorithm is the algorithm so we can't really argue against it. Also, Pelton is extremely smart and diligent and knows what he's talking about.
But when we are able to add subjective analysis and/or opinion into the equation ...
... it's surprising to see KD's 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons so low on the list.
Yes, his scoring dipped a little bit and he missed a chunk of games due to injury. But his numbers still were fantastic. And he was named NBA Finals MVP both years and outplayed LeBron James on the biggest stage.
Kevin Durant in Game 2 of the 2017 Finals = 33 points (13-for-22, 4-for-8 3s), 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 5 blocks. Holy f'ing sh** he was unreal amazing pic.twitter.com/apHkfo3tZm
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) March 27, 2020
Kevin Durant hit 3 3s in the 2nd quarter of Game 5. This 29 footer on LeBron is just silly. Pure filth pic.twitter.com/1aeIHzaCgh
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 17, 2020
Lastly, even though Curry didn't take home the NBA Finals MVP hardware in 2015 (Andre Iguodala did), the three-time NBA champion was the regular-season MVP and the Warriors did win the title. So Pelton's method clearly benefitted him in this case.
P.S. -- Michael Jordan's 1995-96 season is considered the best ever.
Kevin Durant's Warriors seasons ranked below three of Steph Curry's by ESPN originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area