Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2012 NBA MVP Race

 Considering there are roughly 15 regular season games left this season (give or take), I figured it would be appropriate to touch on the NBA MVP race. At this point (April 3rd, 2012), it seems like a two man race between Kevin Durant and LeBron James, but there are some other viable candidates. Kobe and the Lakers are looking vulnerable in the West, and unless Kobe keeps dropping 40 a night, I don't see him taking home the award. Kevin Love is putting up surreal numbers out in Minnesota, but the T-Pups are fifth in their division with a mediocre 25-30 record, which will ultimately prevent him from winning MVP.

Andrew Bynum got off to a monster start, but immaturity issues, as well as a lack of effort have jettisoned him out of the conversation. Chris Paul and the Clippers have won six straight, and despite 19 points and 9 assists on a nightly basis from CP3, I don't see him finishing in the top three. In my eyes, CP3 is the most valuable player to his team (with the exception of maybe Kobe), but the voters don't always see it that way.

Tony Parker and the Spurs have a tight grip on the #2 seed in the West, thanks in part to the Frenchman's exceptional performance this year (arguably his best season as a professional). Parker is averaging 19 points per game (two and half more than his career average) and 8 assists per game (over two more than his career average). Russell Westbrook has come on as of late, but I don't see him finishing anywhere near the top three. Dwight Howard is a beast, don't get me wrong, but I'll be surprised if he finishes towards the top of this list.

As of today, I'd have to go with Durant, Lebron, Kobe, Kevin Love, Tony Parker, CP3, and Russell Westbrook (in that order).

Honorable Mention (as of now): Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Steve Nash, Josh Smith

**UPDATE** LeBron responds with 41 tonight against the Sixers. If he can get the Heat into the #1 spot in the East, it will be hard to deny King James of his third MVP award.

**UPDATE** (4/5 12:20 AM ET) LeBron put up 34 points, dropped ten dimes and grabbed seven boards in a victory against OKC last night. Kevin Durant had a career-high nine turnovers and his "point guard" Russell Westbrook shot 9-26 from the floor. LeBron also added four steals and only turned it over twice. LeBron undoubtedly moves into the number one spot after a dominating performance like that.

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