Who will be NBA’s Most Valuable Player of the year? That’s a tough question to give an answer to since at least six players deserve the title, among them Golden State Wariros’ Stephen Curry and Houston Rockets’ James ”The Beard” Harden who are the main favorites.
The league should reconsider the word “valuable” or be stricter when defining it because there are too many factors to take into account when nominating an MVP, especially this year.
Many players were better than expected, while others improved over a short period of time. For instance, James Harden’s explosive play has drawn attention on the Rockets, which was a nearly anonymous team prior to him. He also helped his team stay on the top spots of the Western Conference, which he led in scoring. He also improved his defensive tactics from low to acceptable in no time.
But Pelicans’Anthony Davis is also an MVP favorite with his PER of 30.8. Only three other players are better than him on player efficiency rating: former Warriors star Wilt Chamberlain, Cavs’ LeBron James, and Michael Jordan. However, he will face a hard time in getting the title since the Pelicans had many injured players this season, while the Western Conference is stuffed with so many valuable teams that his team may miss the playoffs.
Also, we need not to forget Oklahoma’s Russell Westbrook who scored eleven triple doubles when no body else could go above three this season. Yet, Westbrook recently struggled with a decrease in his overall efficiency because of Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant’s absence.
Clippers’s Chris Paul is leading the league in assists, and may be nominated soon as the best defender. He also helped the Clippers overcome its rivals when Blake Griffin was recovering from an elbow infection.
Stephen Curry can boast with one of the sharpest shooting efficiency taking into account his height. Only New Orleans’ Luke Babbitt and Atlanta’s Kyle Korver shoot better than him. Also, Curry has a great potential which he failed to reveal since his teammates toke care of most critical situations.
After recovering from a knee injury, LeBron James pulled his team on the top spot of the Eastern Conference. However, his stats may not be too impressive due to his injury and the slow pace at which his team came together.
Overall, taking into account the difficulty of the games and total minutes played, James Harden is the absolute winner, while Curry is second, and Paul third.
Kawhi Leonard could have been the best defensive player in the league – and he really is – but his 18 missed games didn’t do him a favor. So, Warriors’ Draymond Green can easily take his place.
When we speak about the most improved player of the year, things get complicated just like the MVP race. There are many outstanding players that continuously improve themselves and their improvements are various. So, choosing a player over another may be a little subjective. At least this year. The public’s favorite, however, is Anthony Davis.
But we shouldn’t forget to mention coaches, who performed this year considerably better than expected. The public voted for Warriors’ Steve Kerr as the best coach of the year, while Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer was second.
Image Source: Chicago Tribune