By Mo Islam
Now that we are more tenth of the way of completing the NBA season, it’s time to start thinking about possible MVP candidates. Disclaimer, I am a lakers fan and I would have loved to put Kobe Bryant at the top of list, but obviously I remain unbiased. Also, these rankings are my opinion and are not reflective of the rest of the MadMan squaaaadddddd. Each week I’ll post an updated version of the rankings, so here’s my first list.
- Stephen Curry
There isn’t much; Curry should be number 1 on anybodies list. Stephen has been shooting 48.8% from the field and 45.2% from the three, while averaging 33.7 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game. Curry will probably stay at the number one spot for long time as long as he keeps playing the way he does, as he’s been the best player on the best team.
- Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook has continued his prolific play from last season. He is averaging 23.7 points , 11 assists and 8 rebounds a game. There is no debate; he is balling right now. He has been great for the Thunder, especially since Kevin Durant has been out. And to those who are questioning if those two players can co exist together, just look at their stat lines.
- Lebron James
Lebron James has been the best player in the NBA since he has entered the league, and this year is no different. James has been averaging 29 points, 7 assists, and 6.6 rebounds a game. He’s the key reason why the Cavs have been playing so well to start the season. As long as James continues to play like at a high level, he will probably remain top three in the MVP hunt.
- Blake Griffin
Griffin has really stepped up this year, and his production shows it. He is averaging 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists a game. A noticeable improvement has been his shot from the charity stripe, which has jumped to 76.1%, higher than his 65.8% career average from .658 career. Blake has become a major focal point of the Clippers’ offensive game and will continue to fill the stat line as the season progresses.
- Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard has really come into his own. Already a great defender, Kawhi’s production has improved while his efficiency from the field and line have remained top notch. There is no question that he is the leader of this Spurs team going forward, even with LaMarcus Aldridge thrown into the mix. This guy is an absolute stud. Look for him to lead his team deep into the playoffs, as well as remain in the MVP race. Kawhi is averaging 20.9 points, 7 rebounds, 1.9 assists a game, while shooting 52.6% from the field and 38.2% from the three point line.
- Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh seems to have found his stride. He is a major contributor on a Heat team that seems to be clicking on all cylinders. Bosh is averaging 18 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He’s also shooting 34.8% from three, which has been a huge plus for the Heat. I predict Bosh will continue keep up this level of play even while playing alongside a rejuvenated Dwyane Wade, a young talented big man Hassan Whiteside, and the rest of this talented Heat team.
- Paul George
Paul George has bounced back from the freak injury he sustained about a year ago and he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. He is averaging 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists while carrying this Pacers team to a 6-5 record. It’s no question that George returned to his status as an elite scorer Expect him to raise in the rankings very quickly.
- Kyle Lowry
Kyle’s production has taken command of this Raptors team; he orchestrates the offense and is also one of their top scorers. Though his field goal percentage (41.9%) isn’t ideal, his play has given the Raptors a huge boost. He is averaging 20.7 points, 6 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. The Raptors likely would not be where they are today without Lowry, and I expect this to continue.
- Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight has been playing very well together. Though, if I had to choose between them I would go with Eric Bledsoe because frankly he has been slightly more efficient than Knight. Bledsoe is averaging 23 points, 6.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds and, along with Knight, has brought this team to a 6-4 record. Bledsoe could help lead this team to a late playoff berth if he keeps this up.
- Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond is a complete monster on the boards and is one of the reasons why the Pistons are still completive. Drummond has benefitted from the departure of Greg Monroe, averaging 19 points and 19.9 rebounds a game. However, Drummond still needs to work on his free throw percentage (42% this season) if he wants serious MVP consideration.
Davis is already battling with a lot of injuries, but despite that he’s had a productive season so far. He is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game, though the Pelicans’ record isn’t reflective of that. If the Pelicans start winning, Davis will likely rise on this list.
There is a lot to love about Jimmy Butler; he’s a two way player who is the heart of the Bulls. He’s averaging 19 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds a game. While those numbers might not pop off the screen, keep in mind that he is usually guarding the opposing team’s best player, especially down the stretch. For Butler to climb the rankings, he would have to do a little more on the offensive side of the ball.
Kevin Durant is arguably the best offensive player in the game right now. The gifted scorer is averaging 26.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while also coexisting with the other superstar on his team, Russell Westbrook. Durant is currently injured and hopefully this a minor setback for KD; I expect a healthy KD to have one of his best seasons and the Thunder to make a title run.