The NBA MVP race heating up by Jaelin McDonald
This year has been amazing for many players in the National Basketball Association. Players have have led their teams to great seasons while being the anchors to success.
With the playoffs rapidly approaching, the MVP race is continuing to heat up. Here is a quick look at six players who on June 25, could not only hear their name called for the MVP award, but could very well hold up the championship trophy at the end of the NBA Finals.
Fear the Beard
James Harden has been nothing short of amazing the last three years and has constantly made his case to be in the MVP conversation each year. However, this could be the season for him to finally win the race due to not only his team’s success, but his personal successes as well.
Losing less than 20 games this year, the Houston Rockets have already clinched home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Harden is averaging over 30 points per game which leads all players in the league, eight assists per game and five rebounds per game while having the best record in the NBA. His case is the strongest out of all nominees. Also, after the All-Star game break, he has had ten games of 30 points or more.
The King- The Pursuit of Greatness
LeBron James, arguably the best player in the world is a without a doubt in the race for MVP. With a complete roster change after the All-Star break, James has been averaging triple-doubles and going on a one man rampage against top playoff contenders.
James is averaging almost ten assists per game, the highest in his career and he is in his 15th year. With the Eastern Conference seeming to be unstable this year, James has a chance to make his final statement on his case for MVP. Also this season, he is nearing a triple-double with 27.5 ppg, 9.2 asg, and 8.7 rpg. James will most likely be amongst the top two.
The Resurgence of Chris Paul has been tremendous this year. The All-Star has found new life in Houston playing alongside James Harden. Paul is having an amazing year averaging 18.6 ppg, 7.9 asg, and 5.5 asg.
The only downside for CP3 is he has missed a lot of games and that could hinder his case, but when healthy and on the court, the Rockets have only under five games with him on the court.
Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors is the next candidate for the MVP trophy. The Warriors are the defending champions of the NBA and that in large part is due to Durant’s monstrous performance in the Finals last year.
This year he has been quietly averaging 26.5 points per contest. The Warriors sit in second place in the Western Conference. This year has been spectacular for Durant due to his defensive improvements, he is averaging almost 2 blocks per game and is fourth in the category.
Raise the Brow
Fifth, “The Brow” Anthony Davis who is pushing for a playoff berth right now and averaging 28 ppg and 11 rpg. Since the start of 2018, Anthony Davis has had six games with 40 plus points or more, an NBA best.
Losing teammate and All -Star, DeMarcus Cousins, Davis has single-handedly took over the New Orleans Pelicans and propelling them into playoff contention. His case for MVP depends on his team making an playoff appearance and how he finishes out.
The Unstoppable – Why Not?
Last, the reigning MVP of the 2016-17 season, Russell Westbrook is making history again. Averaging multiple triple-doubles for the second year in a row seems nearly impossible right? Not for Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is averaging 25.6ppg, 10.1asg, and 9.9rpg.
If Westbrook can win for the rest of the season and push the Oklahoma City Thunder into the playoffs, his chances are very high. The crowded Western Conference is risky currently and there’s only about six games remaining and every game is separated by one for teams 4-8. If Westbrook can eclipse yet another triple-double and a playoff appearance, Harden may be in trouble for the third time.