Hey Dudes, here are our top 5 NBA MVP candidates for the 2017-2018 season.
1. James Harden, Houston Rockets
Season stats: 31.3 points, 9.0 assists, 5.2 rebounds
The brilliance of Harden’s season isn’t just the highlights plays. It’s the consistency of his excellence during the course of this season. With his play, the Rockets can challenge the Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the Western Conference. Only once during the Rockets’ current 13-game win streak has Harden failed to score 25 or more points. Harden believes “this is the year” for Houston and that means leaving nothing to chance. He wants that Western Conference No. 1 seed, the MVP award and everything else. He’s playing like a man who wants it all.
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Season stats: 26.7 points, 9.0 assists, 8.4 rebounds
LeBron is close to becoming the first player in NBA history to pile up 30,000 points, 8,000 rebounds, and 8,000 assists. That huge milestone happens to be coming after this month in which he is averaging a triple-double for the first time in his career. Not bad for an elder statesman doing his best to hold off a crowd of younger stars challenging for his crown as the best player in the game. Perhaps most important, though, is the scoring surge (29 points per game). Cleveland’s trade deadline moves have lead to a resurgence in Lebron’s scoring touch and he could be a favorite to win if it continues to happen through March. The king is once again looking to be crowned.
3. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Season stats: 26.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists
For a guy who has washed his hands of the whole awards chase, Durant sure seems to be doing his reluctant best to keep his name in this season’s MVP mix. His play since the All-Star break has been stellar: 26.5 points, 53.8 percent shooting and 57.8 percent shooting on 3-pointers in the last 4 Warriors wins. The Warriors have a fight on their hands for No. 1 in the West from the Houston Rockets. It’s the first time since they’ve ascended to the top of the Western Conference heap that they’ve had to deal with this sort of challenger. Having a motivated and focused Durant on his side has to provide Kerr some comfort for these finals weeks of the regular season.
4. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Season stats: 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.2 blocks
Only the blockbuster film “Black Panther” (read our review here) has had a better month than Davis, who is wrapping up February averaging 35 ppg, 13 rpg, 2.5 spg, 2.2 bpg and 1.5 apg. There are only four other players, all Hall of Famers — Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone — in NBA history to average at least 35 points and 15 rebounds over a seven-game span. The Pelicans struggled in the immediate aftermath of Cousins’ injury and lost five of six games. Then, Davis took off and the Pelicans cranked it up on this current streak. Not only has Davis inserted himself into the thick of the MVP chase, saving the season in New Orleans and perhaps the job of coach Alvin Gentry, the Pelicans are sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference standings. They have a legitimate shot at challenging for a top-four spot and the home-court advantage in the first round that comes along with it.
5. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Season stats: 26.7 points, 6.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds
Curry and the Warriors are continuing the roll they have been on since the All-Star break. The beautiful thing about being a lights-out shooter like Curry is that even on a rare off night you can save yourself at the free throw line. Most importantly, for Curry is that he stay healthy. A battle for No. 1 in the West with Houston is making it impossible for Golden State to do what they’ve done the past three seasons: cruise into the start of the playoffs. Can old reliable make win one more?