The NBA season is a little over 75% done, and teams are heading down the home stretch. Ultimately, this year’s MVP race is going to come down to 5 five candidates: Davis, Harden, Curry, James, and Westbrook. However, I want to highlight a few more of the outstanding players from this year. I posted links to my previous two posts on the bottom which should clarify how I did the scoring . Without further ado, here are my MVP rankings:
1. Anthony Davis (24.3 – 10.4 – 1.7), Score 60.5: Davis no longer leads the league in Hollinger’s value added, but he’s still my top MVP candidate. He’s still the most efficient player in the league and has kept the Pelicans alive in the uber-competitive western conference. If Davis had a better supporting cast, he would be a near-unanimous MVP pick.
2. James Harden (27.1 – 5.8 – 7.1), Score 66.5: Harden has been a monster this regular season and has been single-handedly carrying the Rockets for most of the year. Harden’s pretty far behind Davis in efficiency which is the difference in their scores. Despite that, he will probably win the MVP award by season’s end.
3. Stephen Curry (23.6 – 4.4 – 7.8), Score 80.5: Curry is the best player on the team with the best record in the NBA. He’s not asked to do as much as Harden and Davis which is why he didn’t score as well. Regardless, Curry’s having a phenomenal year and is a very deserving MVP candidate
4. LeBron James (26.0 – 5.7 – 7.3), Score 84.5: James is once again in the thick of the MVP race thanks to his resurrection of the Cavs. He’s still scoring and passing at an elite level, and has the Cavs positioned to contend for the Eastern conference title. A strong push in the last quarter of the season could propel him to his 5th MVP award.
5. Russell Westbrook (27.4 – 7.1 – 8.3), Score 87.5: Westbrook wasn’t even qualified for the award in the 1st quarter, and now he’s in the thick of the race. If Westbrook keeps up this level of play for the rest of the year, he will definitely be the MVP this year. Even if he doesn’t win, the guy is still the most exciting player in the NBA this year.
6. Marc Gasol (18.0 – 8.0 – 3.8), Score 93: Gasol has been the Grizzlies’ anchor this year and should be a perennial MVP candidate. He’s asked to do less than the majority of the candidates on this list and that’s what’s holding him back. Gasol probably won’t win the award, but he should finish in the top 10 in voting.
7. Chris Paul (18.5 – 4.8 – 10.1), Score 98.5: CP3’s biggest weakness is that he plays with 2 all-star caliber teammates who are both in the top 25 in value added. He’s leading another solid Clippers team, but needs to carry them to the next level if he wants to win an MVP award.
8. Jimmy Butler (20.2 – 5.9 – 3.3), Score 101: Because of his injury, Butler won’t be in the top 10 for the final MVP rankings. However, he has been a top 10 candidate up till this point. He’s the 2nd best shooting guard in the NBA and will be missed heavily by the Bulls who are littered with injuries.
9. Pau Gasol (18.3 – 12.1 – 2.7), Score 102: Pau should climb the rankings during the final stretch of the season. With Butler and Rose both out, the Bulls should lean heavily on the big man. He’s a long shot to win the award, but could be in the conversation if he helps the Bulls secure the second seed in the East.
10. Al Horford (15.4 – 7.6 – 3.4), Score 104.5: Horford cracks the list for the first time this year. His return has been a huge reason why the Hawks are 1st in the east and just a half game behind Golden State for the best record in the NBA. He plays the least out of all the MVP candidates which hurts him, but his team probably has the best chemistry.
Honorable mentions: LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard.
Thanks for reading. Any and all comments are appreciated.
By: Milap Mehta