1. Lebron James: Miami Heat
27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. PER: 30.80.
Team Record: 46-20
- Regardless of what people think of him, Lebron James deserves the MVP trophy, as he was simply the best player in the NBA this year. Doubters always talk about his lack of 4th quarter success and the fact that he plays with Dwayne Wade, but the numbers are simply astonishing. The two biggest factors in MVP voting are usually stats and team wins and he has both in staggering numbers. He was 3rd in the NBA in points, 1st in PER, 13th in assists, 3rd in steals and 25th in rebounds, while shooting a career best from the field and from three at 53.1% and 36.2% respectively. He did this while leading his team to the fourth best record in the NBA, which all adds up to Lebron winning his third MVP trophy.
2. Kevin Durant: Oklahoma City Thunder
28.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. PER: 26.2.
Team Record: 47-19
-The only other player with a real shot at winning the award is Durant, who has had his best season yet. He just won his third straight scoring title and had a major jump in assists and rebounds per game, while improving on the defensive end. He is simply the best offensive player in the league, but because of James’ historically amazing season, Durant will have to wait for at least another year for his first MVP trophy. Thunder fans, do not fret, his time to win this award will come, as he is simply too good to be denied for long.
3. Kevin Love: Minnesota Timberwolves
26.0 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. PER: 25.41.
Team Record: 26-40
- Yes his team did not make the playoffs and he did stomp on Luis Scola, but his numbers were absolutely fantastic and looking back, people will view his season as one of pure brilliance. 4th in the NBA in points and 2nd in rebounds, while helping Minnesota finally get out of the cellar of the Western Conference, Love deserves significant respect and although he wont win MVP, he has become a superstar.
4. Chris Paul: Los Angeles Clippers
19.8 points, 9.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. PER: 27.09.
Team Record: 40-26
- Most people probably have Paul firmly in third place, but as a stat geek, I felt compelled to go with Kevin Love. However, Paul had another brilliant season and helped turn the Clippers into an immediate playoff team. Paul is simply a fantastic all-around player, as he is one of the league’s top distributors, shooters and defenders and makes everyone around him a far superior player. Chris Paul has re-cemented his claim as the best point guard in the NBA.
5. Kobe Bryant: Los Angeles Lakers
27.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. PER: 21.95.
Team Record: 41-25
- Bryant, now 33 and finishing his 16th year in the NBA, has had another great season and should once again be near the top of
the MVP standings. Kobe was 2nd in the league in scoring and helped lead the Lakers to the third seed in the Western Conference, despite a sub-par roster outside of Bynum, Gasol and a half season from Ramon Sessions. Really, there is nothing congratulatory that can be said about Bryant that hasn’t been said and despite the fact that he won’t win his second MVP, he has a great chance of winning his sixth championship ring; which is the only thing he cares about. The fact that Kobe Bryant has only won one MVP in his career is a travesty and one of the saddest facts in the NBA. He did make 25 million this year, maybe he can buy back one of the two MVP trophies that Nash stole for him.
6. Tony Parker: San Antonio Spurs
18.3 points and 7.7 assists per game. PER: 22.04.
Team Record: 50-16
- Parker has officially taken over as the franchise player for San Antonio and has had the best season of his career. Arguably the fastest player in the NBA, Parker can get to the hoop with ease, has a brilliant mid-range game and is one of the better distributors in the league. Parker was the best player on the best team in the West and is the piece that makes the Spurs’ engine run. Who needs Eva Longoria?
7. Steve Nash: Phoenix Suns
12.5 points and 10.7 assists per game. PER 20.29
Team Record: 33-33
- Nash almost single handedly took the Suns to the playoffs as a 38 year old, which makes his place on the ballot all but secure. He placed second in the league in assists per game and kept the Suns on a winning path despite a complete lack of top-level talent on his team. Nash refuses to let age affect him and it will be quite interesting to see how long he can play at this level, as he has amazingly not allowed age to slow him down. If this was Nash’s final season in Phoenix, the Suns are in for one massive drop in the standings, he is that good.
8. Rajon Rondo: Boston Celtics
11.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 11.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game. PER: 17.55.
Team Record: 39-27
- Why does Rondo’s name keep coming up in trade rumors? That is one of the most interesting questions in the NBA today, as Rondo is one of the league’s best players and is playing on a cheap long-term contract. For the second straight year he has led the league in assists, runs the Celtics’ offense to perfection and is arguably the top defensive point guard in the league. Seriously, why would they trade him? Yes, there may be problems with his attitude, but he is simply too good for there to be any reason to part ways with him.
9. Dwayne Wade: Miami Heat
22.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. Per: 26.37.
Team Record: 46-20
- Wade missed time here and there this season, but was his normal amazing self when he played. He plays on a team with the best player in the league, which will affect his numbers and cause him to be overshadowed, but there is no doubting the fact that he is one of the league’s top five players.
10. Russell Westbrook: Oklahoma City Thunder
23.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. PER: 23.00
Team Record: 47-19
- Westbrook will continue be the second best player in OKC as long as Durant is around, but that in no way reflects badly on possibly Westbrook’s best season as a pro. He had a career high in points, but his assists did decline substantially, which is a bit of a letdown after last season’s high assist totals. What sets this season apart is how good Westbrook has become on offense. He is a much improved shooter, especially from distance, but few, if any, player is better at getting to the basket than Westbrook. It would be nice to see Westbrook become a better distributor and work harder on his defender in coming seasons, but few players are as good on offense as Westbrook.
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