With under a month to go in the 2014/2015 season, this may be the tightest MVP race in NBA history. Five NBA (National Basketball Association) superstars are all having remarkable seasons and at this point, there is no clear-cut winner. Stephen Curry, James Harden, Lebron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis have been sacrificing their bodies for the better of their team all-season long. The competition between these five all-stars is only going to get tougher between now and the final day of the regular season on April 15.
This is the youngest man of the bunch at just 22-years-old in his third NBA season, the product of Kentucky is averaging 24.7 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 2.9 BLK, and he’s shooting 55 per cent from the field. It’s clear that he is the future of basketball in the NBA. So far in his career, he has been panned to be one of the most athletic and dominant big men that there is in the game. However, there are two things riding against him in winning the NBA MVP trophy. First, he has missed 12 games due to an injury and second, he plays for the New Orleans Pelicans who are currently in a fight with the Oklahoma City Thunder (Russell Westbrook’s team) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the western conference.
He has been doing things this season that no point guard has ever accomplished in the history of basketball. At just 6 foot 3 inches, Westbrook is averaging 27.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 8.3 APG, and 2.1 STL. He had a stretch in early March where he had four consecutive triple doubles (now has eight on the season), and was the first player to do that since hall- of-famer Michael Jordan. Not to mention he has been doing all of this without his teammate and 2013/2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant, who has only played 27 games this season due to a foot injury. Much like Davis, Westbrook has the same two factors going against his odds at winning MVP, as he missed 16 games this season due to injury. Although it’s likely Westbrook and the Thunder will make the playoffs as the eighth seed in the west, here’s one point to keep in mind: Kobe Bryant in 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 averaged a ridiculous 35.4 and 31.6 PPG respectively, but his Los Angeles Lakers finished seventh in the west and he did not win the MVP (Steven Nash – 2005/2006, Dirk Nowitzki – 2006/2007).
Everyone knows that he is the best player in the NBA. He has been for at least a couple of years now, but that doesn’t mean you’re the Most Valuable Player to your team. James plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers who have three other players on the team that are All-Stars. The Cavs got off to rough start this season; they were just 19-20 through their first 39 games. However, LeBron has his team back on a roll now winning 24 of their last 29 and the Cavs are sitting pretty, in second place in the Eastern conference with a record of 42-25. Lebron, who already has four MVP trophies on his resume, is at 26 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 7.4 APG. LeBron is certainly peaking at the right time, but is it too little too late? Also, LeBron is second in the NBA in turnovers a game right now at 4.2.
Harden was arguably the most underrated player in the NBA before this season. Without Dwight Howard for most of the season, whom is one of the most dominate centres in the NBA, Harden has carried the Houston Rockets on his back and guided them to fourth place in the western conference. Harden is averaging 26.9 PPG, 7.1 APG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.9 STL. There isn’t much to say against Harden being this years MVP, except his field goal percentage, at 44 per cent. However, he’s made up for that with his clutch shots, in big time situation, proving that he is in the NBA’s elite.
This is most consistent player of the five, playing on the No. 1 team in the NBA. Curry is a human highlight reel that makes explosive plays at both ends of the court, but most of all, he makes his teammates better. Curry, the starting point guard for the first place Golden State Warriors is averaging 23.6 PPG, 7.8 APG, 4.4 RPG, 2.3 STL, while shooting 48 per cent from the field, 42 per cent from dowtown and 90 per cent from the charity strike. The Warriors have lost just two games at home all-season long, and the western conference’s all-stars starting point guard is a huge reason why.
Prediction: As stated in the NBA Preview article featured in The Brock Press’ Oct. 28 edition, I predicted Stephen Curry will win the NBA MVP, and I’m sticking with my gut. The most consistent player on the NBA’s best team will deservedly take home the hardware for the first time in his career.