We’re a little past the halfway point of the NBA season, and it’s time for my midseason NBA MVP voting. To create an objective MVP ranking, I assigned points based off of in game totals, efficiency, and advanced metrics. The lower the score, the higher the rank.
More information on voting criterion can be found at my previous MVP ranking: https://thesportsstorm.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/1st-quarter-mvps-of-the-2014-2015-nba-season/.
Without further ado, here are my NBA candidates (Parenthesis stats are: points – rebounds – assists).
1. Anthony Davis (24.2 – 10.4 – 1.6), Score 60: Davis has one of the weakest supporting casts in the Western conference and still has this team above .500. He plays very well on both sides of the court, and is one of the most efficient offensive players in the game. James Harden would have the real award if voting ended today, but the numbers slightly favor Davis so that’s who I’m taking.
2. James Harden (27.3 – 5.5 – 6.8), Score 64: Harden is having a monster season and kept the Rockets near the top of the conference despite missing Dwight Howard for a significant period of time. He might be the best offensive player on the planet right now, and could very well be seeing his first ever MVP award by season’s end.
3. Stephen Curry (22.8 – 4.7 – 8.1), Score 76.5: Curry is the biggest reason why the Warriors have the best record in the NBA. He’s shooting lights out, and currently has the highest single season FG% for his career. If it wasn’t for other Warriors like Thompson and Green taking over games, Curry would be at the top of the list.
4. LeBron James (26.0 – 5.5 – 7.4), Score 83.5: Unsurprisingly, the Cavs struggled mightily when James missed time. Despite a slight decline in numbers, James is still the best player on the planet, and could very well win his 5th MVP award if the Cavaliers somehow manage a top 2 spot in the Eastern Conference.
5. Marc Gasol (19.1 – 8.2 – 3.7), Score 94: Gasol’s having a career year, and is a major reason why the Grizzlies are so dangerous. He can do it all offensively, and defensively, making him a legitimate MVP candidate. He doesn’t take over games as often as the 4 guys ahead of him, and that will most likely be what keeps him away from the MVP award.
6. Jimmy Butler (20.5 – 6.0 – 3.3), Score 95.5: Derrick Rose might be back, but there is no doubt that Jimmy Butler has been the MVP of the Bulls for the first half of the year. The iron man continues to play extremely well on both sides of the floor and will at least win the MIP if not MVP. The presence of Rose and Pau will limit his chances, but it’s still been a great run.
7. Russell Westbrook (25.0 – 6.0 – 7.6), Score 97.5: Westbrook would easily be a top 5 candidate if he hadn’t missed so much time. The guy has been doing it all, and is the biggest reason why the Thunder are still in the thick of the playoff hunt. With KD back, he probably won’t win the award. Regardless, it’s been one of the most exciting rides of the season.
8. Chris Paul (17.3 – 4.7 – 9.8), Score 99.5: Chris Paul is still as efficient as ever, but he just isn’t asked to do as much as a lot of the other MVP candidates. Regardless, the Clippers wouldn’t be a title contender without him. Saving CP3 for the grind of the playoffs is probably the best move.
9. Blake Griffin (23.0 – 7.6 – 4.9), Score 100: Griffin and CP3 will both eat into each others’ MVP votes. Griffin’s been a stud, but his scoring and rebounding are both down from last year. It’s tough to be the MVP when you might not even be the best player on your own team. However, the Clippers wouldn’t be anywhere near this dangerous without Griffin.
10. DeMarcus Cousins (25.8 – 12.4 – 2.7), Score 100.5: The Kings are 3 games under .500 in games Cousins played in. A few more losses, and Cousins will no longer be eligible for my MVP rank. Of course, Cousins is the last guy you’d blame for the Kings’ struggles. Cousins is having a career year, and is the only reason why the Kings are even slightly relevant.
Honorable mentions: LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Pau Gasol, Klay Thompson, Kyle Lowry
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
By: Milap Mehta