Tag: MVP

Early Top 5 NBA MVP Candidates

The NBA season has been full of surprises, we have seen the rise of the Denver Nuggets and the fall of the Houston Rockets. Questions remain with all the surprises in the NBA, who will be the MVP this season?

The NBA MVP race has been interesting this season. We have seen remarkable plays and emergence of many players. Here are the 5 players who are the top candidates to win MVP this season:

5. Anthony Davis

Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Record: 14-15
Stats: 27.4 Points 12.2 Rebounds 4.8 Assists 2.8 Blocks

Anthony Davis has been an MVP caliber player for the past four seasons, but his team hasn’t produced the wins for Davis to be a serious candidate. Davis is doing it all for the Pelicans this season. He is producing on both sides of the court, offense, and defense.

The Pelicans are 4-6 in their last 10 games falling to the 10th seed in the Western Conference. For Davis to win MVP this season, his team has to start winning. Davis has MVP caliber stats but unfortunately is not winning games to back up his case for MVP.

Davis does have a decent supporting cast to pull out wins but the Pels haven’t found a way to win games consistently. The Pelicans as a team rank 2nd in both points per game and assists per game. The offense is there for the Pelicans but they must be consistent on this end and also on the defensive end.

4. Stephen Curry

Team: Golden State Warriors
Record: 19-9
Stats: 30.1 Points 5.8 Assists 5.2 Rebounds 1.1 Steals

Stephen Curry is always an MVP candidate every year since 2015. His tremendous shooting ability, playmaking, and overall offensive abilities have helped lead the Warriors to a winning culture.

Curry is currently having a 50/50/90 season. The last person to achieve this historic stat for a season is his coach Steve Kerr in the 1995-1996 season with the Chicago Bulls. Curry is shooting 51% from the field, 50% from the 3, and 93% from the free throw line. These historic shooting numbers from Curry will help elevate his case for MVP this season.

Curry’s MVP case might be tarnished due to early season injuries as well as being on a super team with Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Curry is having a historic season and is easily the best player on the Warriors. He will have plenty of nods to be in the MVP conversation this year.

3. Kawhi Leonard

Team: Toronto Raptors
Record: 22-7
Stats: 26.1 Points 3 Assists 8.3 Rebounds 1.9 Steals

The Toronto Raptors are currently the best team in the NBA, holding the best record in the league. This is in large part due to the remarkable play by Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard is the best player on the raptors and affects the floor both on offense and defense. With the help of Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka, the Raptors may find themselves in the NBA Finals in June.

After his dramatic departure from San Antonio during the offseason, Leonard is reminding everyone that he is a Top 5 player in the league.

With the Raptors rolling this season, Leonard is a top MVP candidate this year.

2. Lebron James

Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 17-10
Stats: 28.3 Points 7.1 Assists 7 Rebounds 1.3 Steals

A 33-year-old Lebron James is leading the Lakers to a 5th seed in the Brutal Western Conference. James is averaging close to a triple-double and producing wins for this Lakers roster whose next best player is Kyle Kuzma.

James is on a tear this season and has been the sole reason this Laker team is winning games. He has the best chance to take the MVP trophy home this season if he continues to produce more wins for his team. He has played in every single game this season and it seems like he is getting better with age.

The Lakers have won 7 games in their last 10 games. James continues to exceed expectations year in and year out as he is leading this team who has struggled the past 5 years to the playoffs. The Lakers are 1.5 games behind from being the number one seed in the conference. With how the Lakers are playing, they might be the first seed by Christmas.

James is leading the Lakers in Points, Rebounds and assists for the Lakers. His Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is the highest on the team at 27.4. Next highest is Kyle Kuzma at 16.1 PER.

1. Giannis Antentokoumpo

Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Record: 18-8
Stats: 26.5 Points 13.3 Rebounds 6 Assists 1.3 Blocks

Giannis Antentokoumpo is doing everything for the Bucks, scoring, grabbing rebounds, playing defense, dishing out assists. 2019 is the year of the Greek Freak as he has lifted the Bucks to the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis is the best player in the Eastern Conference. He is a nightmare for any team. Giannis hasn’t quite figured out his shooting ability in the NBA yet, only shooting 11% but is still finding a way to score buckets and be a force in the league.

The Bucks are a scary team to face as they currently rank 1st as a team in points per game and rebound per game. They also rank 4th in assists per game being one of the more unselfish teams in the league.

Giannis is leading the team in Points, Rebounds, assists and steals basically every statistical category other than blocks which Brook Lopez currently leads the team in.

Giannis is 4th in PER, ranking only behind Steph Curry, Boban Marjanovic and Anthony Davis.

The Bucks are a difficult and scary team to face this season and that is due to the rise of Giannis Antentokoumpo. Giannis has the best chance to win MVP this year as he doing everything and winning with the Bucks.

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Addressing NHL awards talk

Hall, Giroux for MVP…

Philadelphia Flyers vs Detroit Red Wings NBCSN

MVP, usually this award is given to the player who is the most important and valuable to his team, last years winner was Connor McDavid which is understandable, brought the Oilers from irrelevant to relevant in a season. And if we base last years winner to this years winner, we have to be considering Claude Giroux and Taylor Hall as the favorites right now, correct? I mean, look yes Kucherov is playing unreal but without him, the Lightning still has three to four high scoring players. And yes Malkin has been a Russian machine but again without him, the Penguins have Crosby and Kessel, plus Brassard now. If we look at the Devils line up who in the word pops out to you besides Hall, yes, no one. Hall has made his statement now and this 30-goal season and 26-game point streak are like his thesis to the league as to why he should be considered for the MVP. Hall has 74 points(Top-10) in 62 games, 44 assists and 30 goals(T-11). On top of that Hall has single handily brought this Devils team to be a contender for a playoff spot, where last season when he was injured it was evident they needed their star player back, well return a healthy Hall and now the Devils are finally a playoff team again. Giroux, same goes for him in a sense, the Flyers missed the playoffs last year and now with Giroux playing some his best hockey the Flyers are within a top three divisional spot and points out of the Metro lead. Giroux on the season has 79 points(T-4) and 56 assists(T-3) in 67 games. It is obvious while yes Voracek is one hell of a player this Flyers team feeds off the captain’s energy and performance and that is exactly what Giroux has done, performed unbelievably and has led this Flyers team back to the playoffs.

Laine, Malkin for the Rocket…

Rocket Richard Trophy, this one seemed clear as day a couple weeks back, it seemed like it was all Ovechkin for the entirety of this season, but now another Russian player Evegani Malkin wants to be in talks for the Rocket trophy. At points, it was Kucherov and Ovechkin(something about Russians and the back of the net I see), but as Kucherov missed some time and tailed off, Malkin has joined the topic of conversation. Malkin trails Ovechkin by two goals, Ovi(40), Malkin(38). Wait, let’s not forget sophomore Patrik Laine, it seemed like Laine was in his own battle with the sophomore slump but his recent 13-goals in 9 games the Swedish sniper has emerged in the conversation as well now. Laine is tied with Malkin with 38 goals and has shown no signs of slowing down. This is going to be a down to the wire race, like any award, but with the way the Jets and Penguins are playing as a team, I think we may see one of either Laine and Malkin take it. Either or I think deserves it and Laine winning it would just add onto why this 20-year-old goal scorer is going to be around doing this for quite some time.

Klingberg or Carlson for the Norris

imagesNorris trophy, this trophy always gets messed up and given to the wrong person I feel like. But in years past it never really goes to the bets defenseman it just goes to the defenseman with the most points and at the moment that is, John Klingberg with 56 points. In a close second is John Carlson with 53 points, after that it goes, Brent Burns(52), PK Subban(50), Shayne Gostisbehere(50). I am not sure what the ruling is one this award, what the voting process is like and who picks the winner. But I think we have to consider either Carlson or Klingberg, both have taken an expanded role for there team and both have been consistently doing this all season. Carlson first off has a blue line accompanied by Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, Dimitry Orlov, Michal Kempny and Madison Bowey, a bunch of alright defensemen who do not bring a ton to the table. While Klingberg went from having a down year with 49 points last year and having already exceeded that point total. Klingberg also plays with a list of decent defenseman and has carried this blue line all year. Klingberg averages 23:41 time on ice and 27.6 shifts per game, while Carlson 25:20 time on ice(top 15 ice time) and 27.0 shifts per game. This two eat some major minutes and for chalking all that time, still being able to produce the way they are, with the other defenseman they have is amazing. I would hope to see either of these guys win it, but highly doubt they will.

 

MVP Cases: Early Season Edition

They say it’s too early to start talking about the end of season awards. I say it’s never too early to at least start looking at who is in the mix. Many players thus far in the season have made their case of why they should be taking home the MVP award. Let’s take a look at a few players that separate themselves from the rest, with their stats, improvement from last season, and their win-loss record.

 

Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)Image result for kristaps porzingis

Wow. remember when this guy- excuse me- this unicorn got booed on draft day? Has he proved his worth to the Knicks, and in a big way. Now with Carmelo gone, it is safe to say this is his team and he has taken the task as the main guy for the team. Through 10 games he has averaged 30 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks, while also shooting 51% from the field. His versatility definitely helps him and his defense has improved from last year. He can shoot from deep, post you up, get rebounds and run the floor. He is a great player and he is only going to get better as the season keeps going.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)Image result for giannis antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak has gotten better in each season so far in his career and this season will be no different. Right now he is having a monstrous season so far posting up some big numbers early this season. 31.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.8 assist, 1.5 steals, and 1.6 blocks. To top all of that off he is shooting 60% from the field, that is pretty impressive for someone that is getting the most touches on the team. With the addition of Eric Bledsoe to the team, his touches may take a slight hit but that only will mean his efficiency will start to rise, making his case even stronger.

 

Kyrie Irving (BOS)Image result for kyrie irving celtics

He left so that he could be the focal point of the team. People said he would not be able to do that with Gordon Hayward on the team. Unfortunately, he is out for the season with a gruesome ankle injury. Kyrie was forced to step up and he has in a big way. He has led the Celtics to an NBA best 11-2 record while averaging 20.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. So far he has proved that he is ready to lead a team and his decision to leave the Lebron led Cavs (currently – ) is not looking too bad, as of right now.

 

Kevin Durant (GSW)Image result for kevin durant last night

In his 10th year in the league, Kevin Durant has never been better on defense than he is right now. His long reach is allowing him to get a career-high 2.5 blocks per game, which is the second highest in the league, right behind Rudy Gobert. He is also still scoring at a high rate, with 28.2 points per game, along with 5 assist and 8.2 rebounds per game. He is already a candidate with his impact scoring the ball, now that he is making an impact on defense and its showing on the stat sheet it only improves his case for MVP.

 

James Harden (HOU)Image result for james harden last night

When the Rockets signed CP3, the workload of James Harden was expected to go down. That changed as soon as Chris Paul is injured and until he comes back James Harden is going back to his form from last season. Right now he is averaging 29.9 points, 10 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals. If he keeps putting up big numbers like he did against Utah (56 points and 13 assists) then his name will continue to show up in MVP debates.

 

Honorable Mentions (per game stats)

Stephen Curry (GSW) – 25.4 pts 6.5 ast 4.8 reb 1.8 stl

Lebron James (CLE) – 29.3 pts 8.9 ast 7 reb 1.2 stl 1.4 blk

DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) – 28.3 pts 5.8 ast 13.8 reb 1.7stl 1.8 blk

Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) – 21.3 pts 1.1 ast 11 reb 1.8 blk

Damian Lillard (POR) – 25.7 pts 6.5 ast 5.4 reb 1.2 stl