With the impending announcement of the MVP of the 2017 NBA season, it is appropriate to discuss the frontrunners for this sought after award.
Let’s begin with the highly controversial Russel Westbrook:
After the spectacular season he has had, it is easy to drown in all of the records he had broken this year alone. Russ averaged a triple double. A feat no one had been able to accomplish since Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season. And let’s not forget to mention the 42 triple doubles he accumulated. However, although incredibly impressive, some people argue that his team was concentrated solely in ‘getting Russ the ball’ and disregarded winning in order to have him break the long-standing record. In my opinion, there is no excuse for his greatness. This year, he was the best all-around player. Yes, his team lost early in the playoffs. However, he did not have a single player backing him up, an unfortunate fact that haunted him and the Thunder this whole season. Personally, I believe that Russ should be crowned MVP, the only thing holding him back is the fact that he lost to his former teammate who happens to be another frontrunner, James Harden.
James Harden has undoubtedly silenced his haters this year. In addition to his deadeye shooting ability, he has gotten his whole team involved, averaging 11.2 assists per game. Unlike Westbrook, Harden did not break any long-standing spectacular records, but he did earn some outstanding accolades. For example, he had 2 50-point triple-doubles in the regular season. However, despite his unnatural shooting ability and pretty impressive win:loss ratio, I have not come to appreciate Harden as a player. In my opinion, if Harden wins the MVP award this year it is due to his accomplishments in the postseason. Other than that I have to hand it to Russel.
The next and final frontrunners that I believe have a chance of being crowned MVPs this year are LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. LeBron James has been a very consistent player his entire career and has not stopped in the ’17 season. Holding him back are a few factors. First, his unfortunate 2nd place seeding in the playoffs. Second, his average LeBron year. Yes, he had an awesome year averaging 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.7 assists, but that’s just another LeBron year. LeBron has had some unparalleled seasons in the past and this is great, yet not prime LeBron. As for Kawhi, he had a really impressive year stacking up some wild numbers on the stat sheet, yet he still isn’t on the same level as LeBron, Russ, or Harden. But, some factors that are aiding him in the quest for MVP include his lockdown defense, phenomenal winning record coming in at second place in the whole NBA, and his consistency.
In conclusion, there is no clear winner and we can only guess as to who will win the MVP showdown. It does seem fairly obvious that it will come down to Russ and Harden. But who knows what LeBron and Kawhi have up their sleeves.
Guess we’ll just have to wait until June 26th.