Michael Jordan's got six reasons why he's a better player than Kevin Durant, on top of all the other reasons watching the two play. Kevin Durant's never winning a defensive MVP, and Jordan has the better all around game by a good margin. That said, Kevin Durant's 25 point scoring streak is easily more impressive than Jordan's.
Pace of the game
The Pace of the NBA reflects how many possessions each team has to work with in a typical game. The higher the pace the more possessions there were to work with.
High pace is why Oscar Robertson averaged a triple double, Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50 points a game, and all kinds of records will never be broken from that era.
It's why guys in the 60s could average 20+ rebounds a game even though their rebounding percentage wasn't notably different than guys in today's era.
In the 86-87 the average league pace was 100.8 possessions per team, per game. While the average pace now is 93.9. This means Michael Jordan had more possessions in a game to hit his 25 points than Kevin Durant had.
But who touched the ball more?
Beyond the number of possessions which also comes into play is how many of those possessions did each player use? As it turns out, Jordan had a sizable edge here as well.
Michael Jordan had a usage rate of 38.3 during the 1986-1987 compared to a usage rate of just 32.9 for Kevin Durant this season. That means Durant is using fewer of his teams possessions than Jordan.
This stat is only measured while each player was on the floor, except Jordan averaged 40 minutes per game to Durant's 38.5, so in terms of floor time, Jordan gets another advantage as well.
This is backed up by TS% which shows how efficiently each player scores. Jordan's percentage was a very good 56.2% though that's actually below his career average. Kevin Durant's sizzling 64.1% TS% annihilates even Jordan's best in terms of scoring efficiency though.
Durant's career 60% TS% is in the "insane" category for how good it is as Jordan's career average was 56.9% and his career high is 61.4% with only four years above the 60% mark Durant is averaging so far.
Durant has been above 60% four times in seven years so far.
The defense in Durant's era is better than Jordan's
I know this will fly in the face of old fogey's who want to talk about hand checking and rule changes, but as it turns out, the league average defensive rating this season is 106.5 vs a 108.3 in the Jordan era.
This means that whatever rules were in place, teams were scoring more points per 100 possessions in Jordan's era than they were in the present era.
The advent of zone defenses have made scoring for individuals tougher as well as teams can now mob guys at the basket more easily. It's harder to get guys in a pure isolation than in the past.
Jordan's the best, but give Durant his due
I'm a Bulls guy, and obviously no one can touch Jordan in terms of elite players to me. If my team needed a basket, I'm still taking Jordan over Durant as well.
Jordan's streak was more a measure of the Bulls at the time. His insane usage rate combined with 40 minutes a night got him this streak despite not having all that efficient of a season scoring the ball.
Durant's streak didn't ride on him taking over the whole team nearly so much and came while he turned the Thunder into an elite team.
Sure, I'm taking Jordan for a slew of reasons to long to name as the better player, and I doubt Durant would argue that one either. That said, Durant's streak is the far more impressive of the two.