The NBA announced 3 finalists for the MVP award. Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, and James Harden. Why Russ? Why Kawhi? Why Harden? By the time you finish reading, you may have a better idea on who the MVP is, or you might be more lost than ever! It’s important to remember that this is a regular season award, not Playoffs. Let’s take a closer look!
Russell Westbrook has quite the resume. He had 42 triple-doubles where he made history having the most in a season. This season he avg 31.9 PPG (league leader), 10.4 APG (3rd in league), and 10.7 RPG (10th in league). He led Oklahoma City Thunder to the 6 seed in the west playing with a heavy heart as his long time teammate Kevin Durant was no longer around. He led the league in clutch shots this year including a memorable one against the Nuggets to win the game on the night of his 42nd Triple Double. Russell had an unbelievable season and makes a great case for MVP.
James Harden is back on the top of the MVP race. He is the only player ever to score 2000 points and have 2000 assists in one season. This season he averaged 29.0 PPG (2nd in league), 7.8 RPG, 10.9 APG (led league), and also made 262 3-point shots. He also tallied in 22 triple-doubles this season. Harden was the first player to have more than one 50 point Triple Double adding some remarkable games from this season.
Kawhi Leonard was the third finalist for the MVP award. He was the only player to rank in the top 10 in PPG, SPG and deflections per game. This season he averaged 25.8 PPG (10th in league), 6.1 RPG, and 3.7 APG. Kawhi is also in contention for the Definsive Player of the Year Award. Some people forget that defenses is half the game. Another thing is that he was the only All-Star on the Spurs and won 61 games which was 6 more than James and 14 more than Westbrook. Not lonely that, but he averaged only 2.1 TPG while Harden and Russ were the top 2 players in the category. Kawhi has a pretty convincing case for being the MVP.
All stats via Basketball-Reference.com
Writer: Cole Mayberry