We’re about 1/4th through the NBA season, meaning it’s time to start making way too early predictions. This season has shown us a bunch of strange things. Derrick Rose seems to be back to being one of the best point guards in the league. The Celtics suck. The Warriors are fighting with each other and losing to bad teams. And the Clippers are somehow good. With all of this wacky shit going on, we need to look at those players who are standing out and deserve some MVP recognition. James Harden as of now will be left off this list until his team can start winning games and becoming the great team we know they are. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
About a year ago, I was on a radio show vouching for the Greek Freak as the early season MVP. At that time, his team was not nearly as successful as they are now. The Milwaukee Bucks are currently the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Giannis is putting up some insane stats of 27.3ppg, 6apg, and 13rpg. He is doing all of this while being double teamed on most instances on offense. On top of those numbers, he has gained confidence to start taking 3-point shots. He still isn’t at the level he wants to be from deep, but his confidence will allow him to steadily improve. I have noticed defenders beginning to close out on him when he’s stationed behind the 3-point line giving him the ability to drive to the rim with ease. If the Bucks manage to stay within the top 3 of the Eastern Conference and Giannis keeps up these stats, he will be the MVP.
Lebron James is always an easy player to put in MVP discussions as he is still by far the best player in the league. Prior to this season, Lebron left Cleveland to join the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have a long and successful history that falls right in line with what James preaches. He preaches leadership and success. The Lakers haven’t been good in many years and Lebron is helping them become an instant contender. This season, he’s averaging 27.6ppg, 6.7apg, and 7.9rpg. Incredible stats as well as bringing a garbage team into relevancy looks incredible for his resume. The team is young and outside of being the best player on the team, Lebron is serving as a mentor to the likes of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball. Simply playing alongside the potential GOAT will improve their overall games. If the Lakers can simply make it to the playoffs with Lebron as their leader, he might have a very strong case to be the MVP.
Kawhi is the quietest assassin in the NBA. Nobody was sure how he would perform coming off of a strange season with the Spurs. Combine that with changing teams and everything was up in the air. However, since joining the Toronto Raptors Kawhi has been playing insanely well. His defense is still at the top of this league and his averages are great as well. Thus far, his averages are 24.3ppg, 3.1apg, and 8.6rpg. Outside of his statistics, Kawhi and the Raptors have been the best team this season by a pretty decent margin. Kyle Lowry has been a great 1B to Kawhi’s 1A as well. The two play well together and cause defenses to never have the chance to relax. If the Raptors finish as the clear best team in the east and Kawhi is their leader, I don’t see a reason he shouldn’t win the MVP.
-Brandon Black (Follow @bhblack02)
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