SteemSports Presenter: @dwin0603
SteemSports Editor: @theprophet0
Thus far, the NBA season has been a little surprising and different. With less than 20 games remaining in the season, the Toronto Raptors are on top in the Eastern Conference and they are the first team to clinch the playoff berth, the Celtics are also doing great, and for the first time in over 6 years, the Philadelphia 76ers are finally a playoff contender now. In the Western conference, the Houston Rockets sit atop while the Minnesota Timberwolves are playoff contenders now after acquiring former Bulls guard Jimmy Butler. The Oklahoma City Thunder are looking good with their new Big 3. This has been a fantastic season to watch and everyone is getting hyped up for the playoffs, but for now, we're going to to take a look at the awards category and we're going to look at the top five players with the best shot at winning the MVP title this season.
#5. Anthony Davis
Davis is always criticized for not being able to bring his team to the playoffs, year in & year out. Being Demarcus Cousins is out for the remainder of the season with an injury, Davis has emerged and carryed the load on his shoulders and averaged a league best 32.1 points and 12.8 rebounds per game that lead the Pelicans into a 10 game winning streak. The usual two-way monster has put on a great display since he arrived in the league and proved that he is the best big man in the league today.
#4. DeMar DeRozan
The Toronto Raptors are the top seed in the Eastern Conference and DeRozan is the main reason why. He is the most productive offensive player on their team. He is averaging 24.0 points per game, 4.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and shooting 46.5% from the field and 32.1% from three. He set the franchise record with 52 points against the Milwaukee Bucks and has 10+ games with 30+ points. He's shooting his highest percentage he's ever had which means his game is expanding and he's getting easier shots.
#3. Kevin Durant
Everybody thought that the probability of Kevin Durant winning the MVP would fall when he joined the Warriors, but as always, Kevin Durant is staying in the MVP conversation. He averages 26.4 points per game, 6.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and shoots 52.6% from the field. While the Rockets are streaking and people are impressed with the individual performances of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant is silently posting incredibly efficient numbers. Since February 1st, he's averaged 28.5 points per game, with a true shooting percentage of 72.1%, now he's averaging a career high 3-point percentage of 43.6% and is third in the league in total blocked shots. That makes him number three in the MVP ladder.
#2. LeBron James
In his 15th season, a 33 years old in LeBron James is still very much in the MVP conversation. He's the closest to steal the award away from James Harden. He's now averaging 26.9 points per game, 8.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, shooting 54.5% from the field, and 37.4% from three point area and playing his best season of his career. After the All Star break, he has averaged almost a triple double night in, night out and still winning without the presence of Kevin Love. It absolutely still holds true that he has a major impact on the court every single game and the reason why he is number two in the MVP ladder.
#1. James Harden
There's no doubt that James Hardern is leading the MVP rankings. Houston is the first seed and previously had a 17-game win streak. Basketball Analysts state that Harden has a huge lead in the MVP ranking and is very sure to get the award. He's averaging 31.1 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, 8.8 assists, shooting 45.3% from the field, and 38% from beyond the arc. He is the only player that averages greater than 30 points per contest. Adding an elite point guard in Chris Paul helps him a lot. They are averaging under 50 points and 17 assists combined. The Rockets are 34-1 with Harden, Paul and Capela this season. Harden is playing at a MVP level from the beginning of the season, up until now, and that's why he is said to be a lock for the MVP award.