This years MVP race will be one of the better ones we’ve had in a while. Everyone now expects #6 to win every year but ’13-’14 is a different story.
Thus far in the 2013-2014 season, there’s 4 very prominent MVP candidates that have started hot, and will be there at the trail end of the season as well; Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Kevin Love coming back from his missed season and dominating early. I’m going to make a case and argument for all of them.
Chris Paul – Averages: 19.5 PPG – 12.6 APG – 4.4 RPG – 2.6 STL – 42.6% FG – 96.7% FT
CP3, as I said earlier, has been the NBA’s best player thus far. He’s played 12 games and has 12 double-double’s. He’s the first player in NBA history to ever start the season with that many straight double-double’s. The Clippers added shooting depth in the off-season leaving Chris more space to operate and more options to dish the ball off too. With more spacing allows CP3 room to drive and finish or drive and kick and you can’t forget about the athletic bigs he has to always throw the ball up too at the rim. An advantage Paul may have over a guy like Kevin Love, is his team is better than Love’s and will more likely finish with more wins and that could be due to Chris’ leadership. He’s going to lead the league in Assists and if he keeps his scoring anywhere from 18-20+ at the percentage he’s scoring at he could make a serious run at the league’s most valuable player. There’s not many players in the NBA that is a leader like Chris Paul. With the addition of Doc Rivers as his head coach, Doc might help elevate CP3’s game to that MVP level.
Kevin Durant – Averages: 29.6 PPG – 7.0 RPG – 5.2 APG – 45.3% FG – 88.3% FT – 12.8 FTA/G
Kevin Durant, the best scorer in the NBA has been second fiddle to LeBron the last 2 seasons in the MVP and a lot of people claim KD as the league’s 2nd best player, rightfully so. But, Kevin has improved and not just with scoring the basketball. His passing ability is very underrated, he is very good at finding an open cutter towards the basket. His length, also causes problems on defense and has been a very good perimeter defender this season. Kevin is averaging 11 made free-throws a game and has 113 on the season ( 31 more than anybody else. ) KD is 2nd in Win Shares in the entire league ( 2.2 ), early on this season, and 4th in Offense Win Shares, behind the 3 other guys mentioned ( LBJ, Love & CP3 ). Kevin will most likely lead the NBA in scoring and with his game expanding, he may land himself an MVP trophy at the end of the season.
LeBron James – Averages: 26.0 PPG – 6.7 APG – 5.5 RPG – 61% FG – 51.7% 3-PT
Who doesn’t expect LBJ, winner of 2 straight MVP’s and 4 of the last 5? This may be the year the king is dethroned. This is the most competitive MVP race in a while, headlining 5 different players, but everyone knows LBJ is going to be the favorite. LBJ is on another planet offensively scoring 27 a game at a 61% clip while shooting 52% from 3-point land, absurd. Every year you think he’s peeked and every year he comes back to the game with a new weapon in his arsenal or an improved aspect – this year a deadly shooter from deep and possibly the most efficient scorer in the league. LBJ is the best 2 way player in the league and can change games defensively just as much as he can offensively. Not many players in the NBA have that skill. Can a wing player such as LeBron score at a 60% clip for an entire season? Can he sustain a 50+ percentage from behind the arc for a full season? Questions that we will find out once the regular season comes to an end. MVP like numbers that we can’t put past the world’s best player until we wait till the playoff time.
Kevin Love – Averages: 26.7 PPG – 13.4 RPG – 4.5 APG – 48.0% FG – 36.3% 3-PT – 83.2% FT
Kevin Love has came back with vengeance. Averaging 27 PPG and 13 RPG early on through 12 games. He arguably has been just as good as the rest of these guys if not better. K Love is in every top 20 in every statistical category in the entire league; 4th in Minutes, 3rd in made FG’s, 8th in made 3-PT FG’s, 3rd in made FT’s, 3rd in Offensive Rebounds, 2nd in Defensive Rebounds, 1st in total Points, 1st in Offensive Win-Shares and 1st in total Win-Shares. Basically stating, Kevin has been spectacular in his return from injury. The NBA had zero 20/10 guys last season, Love might have a chance to do 25/10 and maybe he can find a way to 25/15. He has the Wolves in the right direction, 1 game over .500 but they’re a solid team still building chemistry. I can’t not quickly talk about how Love has been such a better passer this year. Prior to this season he’s never averaged above 2.5 APG, at 4.5 this season. He’s surrounded by more shooters this year, mainly Kevin Martin who has shot the ball well, so there is more kicks to shooters from the post.
I chose Kevin Durant to win the MVP prior to the season and I’m not ready to jump ship but with what the other 3 guys are doing it could go anyway if they all continue at the world class level they’re at.