This year has one of the greatest MVP races to come about in a while. There are several strong candidates who are all incredibly deserving of the award. Unfortunately, my MVP for the year has faded as the season progressed. Despite losing recognition, Anthony Davis scored the best compared to the other candidates and is my pick for the year. Here is how the entire list played out:
1. Anthony Davis (24.4 – 10.2 – 2.2), Score: 64.5. Despite missing 14 games, Davis scored the best out of all the MVP candidates. He managed to carry the Pelicans to the playoffs despite having the worst supporting cast out of all the playoff teams. He is a legitimate 2-way player and many believe that he overtook LeBron this year as the best player on the planet. He’s not going to win the award, but he is just as deserving as the next 4 guys who are getting a lot more attention.
2. James Harden (27.4 – 5.7 – 7.0), Score: 70.5. Harden was the heart and soul of the Rockets this year, and he managed to carry them to the playoffs despite missing Dwight Howard for half the year. He has the highest value added in the NBA thanks to reaching career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He is the favorite to win the MVP award and for good reason.
3. Stephen Curry (23.8 – 4.3 – 7.7), Score: 84.5. Curry is the guy who pretty much everyone wants to win the award. He seems like a nice person, is the best player on the team with the best record, and is an incredible combination of cerebral and elegant on the court. He wasn’t asked to do as much as Harden and Davis because he had a better supporting cast. Regardless, the MVP race comes down to Curry and the Beard.
4. Russell Westbrook (28.1 – 7.3 – 8.6), Score: 89. Westbrook was easily the most entertaining player to watch this year. People complain about his turnovers and shot selection, but there is no doubt that he is unstoppable when he’s on. The Thunder missed the playoffs which guarantees that he won’t win the award. Regardless, he had a phenomenal year and will finish top 5 in voting for sure.
5. LeBron James (25.3 – 6.0 – 7.4), Score: 92. James still has claim to the title of best basketball player on the planet. He was the most important factor in the Cavs turning around their season. Despite putting up another phenomenal season, there are a couple guys who beat him out statistically. The Cavs also play in the weaker conference which could hurt The King in voting.
6. Chris Paul (19.1 – 4.6 – 10.2), Score: 92. CP3 is in this position virtually every year. He plays extremely efficiently on offense, is solid on defense, and is the best player on a title contender (at least an on-paper title contender). The problem is that Blake Griffin and De’Andre Jordan are on their way up and can take over games just like Paul. He’s not going to win the award, but will get some of the votes.
7. Al Horford (15.2 – 7.2 – 3.2), Score: 98.5. Horford stayed healthy this year and led the most surprising team in the league to the Eastern Conference title. He was asked to do the least out of every player on the list which is why he is 7th despite playing on a team with the 2nd best record. If Horford had his 2012-13 playing time, he would have a legitimate shot at the MVP, but that’s unfortunately not the case.
8. Pau Gasol (18.5 – 11.8 – 2.7), Score: 99.5. Pau might not have been the Bulls’ best player this year, but he was the most consistent. The man led the NBA in double-doubles and anchored a lethal Bulls offense. The Bulls went through a few slumps this year, but most of the rough stretches were because of injuries, or Pau not getting the ball enough.
9. Marc Gasol (17.4 – 7.8 – 3.8), Score: 100. The other Gasol brother looked like he was going to crack the top 5 a month ago. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies faded toward the closing stretch as Gasol had his worst statistical month of the year in March. MVP or not, Gasol’s presence makes the Grizzlies a legitimate title contender. I really want to see the Gasol brothers duke it out in the finals.
10. Kawhi Leonard (16.5 – 7.2 – 2.5), Score: 101. Most people thought that Leonard was going to break out in a big way this year after winning the finals MVP award. Leonard followed through by setting career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. He played the fewest games out of everyone on this list, which is why it took so long for his value added to get to the required threshold. If he stays healthy, Leonard will be a legitimate candidate next year.
Honorable mentions: Blake Griffin, Jimmy Butler, De’Andre Jordan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kyrie Irving
By: Milap Mehta