courtesy Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers on Twitter

NBA MVP race narrows to shortlist of superstars

One of the most coveted awards in basketball, and in any sport for that matter, is the MVP, or Most Valuable Player. As of yet, there are a lot of front runners that have a great chance of winning the high honor. At the start of the season, Vegas odds favored Luka Dončić to win MVP. But with how well other players look now, the prestigious award is back in the air.

Along with Luka, one hot contender is LeBron James. James plays for the Los Angeles Lakers and is arguably one of the best to ever play the game. As of now, LeBron averages 25.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.9 rebounds per outing. The Lakers are 22-7 and are presently a close second in the Western Conference. LeBron is putting up great numbers, doing what he can to help his team win, and helping sculpt that record as much as anyone. LeBron also just received designation as the captain for the Western Conference in the All-Star game. This will be his 17th appearance playing in one.

Another contender for the NBA MVP is Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. He is easily one of the best shooters in the NBA, arguably a top contender of all-time. Last season, Curry missed the majority of the season with a broken hand, but this season he has come back with a vengeance. Curry is averaging 30 points, 6 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game. The Warriors are 15-13 and currently sit at 8th in the West. Doing what he does with an average at best supporting cast is something else. Curry is playing some of the most ruthless basketball of his career. On top of that, he was named a starter for the Western Conference in this year’s NBA All-Star game.

Another player in the race for MVP is Damian Lillard. Lillard is by far one of the most underrated talents in the league, and he took his team to the Western Conference Semifinals last year. Lillard plays for the Portland Trail Blazers and is a scoring machine. His scoring success has led him to average 29.8 points, 7.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. The Portland Trail Blazers are currently 4th in the standings, but with the way Dame Dollar is playing, the sky’s the limit for them.

A sleeper MVP-caliber player is Bradley Beal. The Washington Wizard superstar is perhaps one of the most underrated of the league right now. He currently leads the league in points per game with a whopping 32.8 on average. Along with that, he averages 4.7 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game. Beal was also elected a starter for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game. The Wizards are sitting 13th in the East, the biggest argument against his candidacy, but Bradley Beal’s desire to win will not stop him from putting up big numbers and pushing his team up the ladder.

You can not rule out the big men as well. Joel Embid is a center for the Phildephila 76ers and the man is on a mission to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. By being number one in the East with a record of 20-10, the 76ers are a force to be reckoned with. Embid is averaging a double-double with 30 points per game, 11 rebounds per game, and 3.2 assists per game. MVP caliber stats right there. The man is hungry and is playing like a man among boys.

It is still early in the season and there are also other great ball players playing some great ball. We will see what happens at the end of season.

tucollegian | Collegian

Post Author: Joseph Breedlove