NBA MVP Race Heats Up
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So, the NBA All-star Weekend is finally here. This star-studded event features the best of the best from the Eastern and Western Conferences. Speaking of the best, it’s time to take a break and review the potential MVP candidates for this season.
James Harden: “The Beard” is without a doubt one of the front runners in the race for this prestigious award. With a staggering 29.1 PPG (points per game) coupled with 11.3 APG (assists per game), Harden is inarguably the most crucial player for the Houston Rockets’ offense. The transition into point guard position helps alleviate lots of defensive duties for the Beard, and having 100% concentration on offense is allowing him to tear teams apart with his arsenal of weapons: from lethal dagger 3s to amazing drives to the basket. One of the best (if not the best) pure offensive players in the game right now, James Harden has taken the league by storm with his 50+-point triple double in multiple games (vs the Knicks and 76ers). Harden needs to keep up this consistency however, as he tends to cool off after a hot game. Can you smell what “the Beard” is cooking? I can, and it’s the smell of the MVP trophy!
Russell Westbrook: Another candidate in the hot seat for this award: Mr. Triple Double. That is the most appropriate word to describe “The Brodie’s” incredible 2016-2017 season. Westbrook is the only reason the Thunder are still in contention for a playoff berth thanks to his amazing athleticism, explosive drives and desire to win. Westbrook is currently averaging 31.2 PPG, 10.5 RBG and 10.2 APG- a triple double season, a feat that is absolutely astounding even for players of this caliber. An well-rounded athlete, racking up 26 triple doubles in 55 starts makes Thunder fans quickly forget about Kevin Durant’s departure to the Warriors. Nevertheless, there have been many criticisms about him ranging from being a ball-hogger, wasteful shooter, stat-padder to Mr. Turnover. However, if Russell keeps this up for the entire season, the MVP prestige is definitely in his reach. You know what they say: If you can’t handle me at my Worstbrook then don’t support me at my Bestbrook.
Kevin Durant: The MVP of the 2014 season is back and more lethal than ever, especially now that he has joined the Warriors squad that was fresh off the greatest regular season ever (insert the 3-1 lead meme here). Being a part of a star-studded line up of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson really lifted the scoring burden off Durant and the man has been producing consistent shooting performances day in day out. 25.9 PPG is nothing to write home about in comparison to Harden’s or Westbrook’s numbers, but Durant’s performance has been way more consistent. What gives Durant an edge over the other 2 is that he has a higher chance of winning a championship ring with this Warriors squad, which greatly bolsters his chances of being nominated if he keeps this up. Fans wont give up on him joining an arch rival though, and his return to Oklahoma last weekend showed that (#MrCupcake).
Will one of these contenders claim the MVP title? Or will another superstar come out of the woodwork to take the league by surprise? Only time will tell!