The Early Season NBA MVP Race

It is still very early in the NBA season, and there is plenty of basketball to be played, but if the first few weeks are any indication, this years NBA MVP discussion will be even more hotly debated than many recent years.

First, we need to mention Chris Paul while he is putting up the numbers he has so far this year. It’s been a while since somebody has been this productive, and if he can keep it up, he’ll be in the conversation.

You also have to include Kevin Love in this conversation. He’s stayed with the Timberwolves, which is awesome. An organization like that, which has had some struggles, can only benefit from having such a classy guy, such as Love, leading them.

Kevin Durant is the second best player in the NBA behind LeBron James. His position is a tough one to be in; being stuck behind Lebron. As long as he is improving, I don’t see KD winning an MVP or a ring. Especially if OKC won’t spend the money to pick up a third scorer to support Durant and Russell Westbrook.

In examining the contenders, here is what they need to do to continue to be in the conversation, and to try to win the award:

Lebron James:

  1. Just keep doing what you’re doing. When you win back to back titles and back to back finals MVPs, there aren’t many holes you have to fill.
  2. Maybe posterize Jason Terry again. That was awesome.

For Chris Paul to win or even finish second in voting:

  1. It is imperative for the Clippers to win 60+ games this season. Last year, CP3 led the Clippers to the best season in team history winning 56 games. Paul’s chances to win a MVP will go up if he is to lead his team to a 60-win season.
  2. Raise his field goal percentage. Right now Paul is shooting 45%; which isn’t terrible, but 45% is not an MVP caliber season, in my opinion. Paul should be better.
  3. Win the assist title. Nothing says valuable like 12.6 assists a game. When you assist on more points than you score, it’s quite impressive. This is the biggest key. The leading assist man in the association should always be in consideration. Nothing says value like making your teammates look good.

There are people say Kevin Durant should be in the conversation. I say why? He fell apart without Westbrook in the playoffs last season. An MVP is a player that can single handily win you many games, without a lot of help. Kevin could not do that. With that being said, Thunder management needs to bring aboard a third scorer. I can’t really think of a case that Durant could overthrow Lebron or CP3; unless he puts up Oscar Robertson type numbers.

Kevin Love is a very curious case. It’s been a while since somebody has put up combined scoring and rebound numbers like Shaq. Not only that, he is almost single handily winning games for the Timberwolves; however, in order for him to win the award he would need to:

  1.  Win the rebounding title. Kevin Love is by far the best rebounder in the league. Rebounding is a vital stat when it comes to winning basketball games.
  2. Make the playoffs comfortably. What do I mean by that?  Avoid sneaking in on the last day of the regular season. They need to be the 6th seed or higher. It’s not often you find an MVP playing on an 8th seed playoff team. For good reason also.

With all this being said, its time to form a conclusion. I am a huge CP3 fan and I love the way he runs his offense and how it gets his teammates open looks. I love Kevin Love. He makes the most of his lack of athletic ability, and can completely dominate the glass and offensive paint. He leads his team with class and I can’t get enough of this guy. Kevin Durant will not win an MVP behind Lebron. Lebron James is the best player in the world. What can you say about the guy? He’s unbelievable.

At this point of the season, my MVP is Chris Paul, second Lebron, and third Kevin Love. Chris Paul has recently beat a record held by the greatest floor general of all time, Magic Johnson. It was the most impressive feat in a long time.

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