The Great Debate: NBA MVP?

By on April 20, 2015

 

 

The NBA MVP award has never been more relevant and never closer.  In years past it was easy to give the award to one person, LeBron James.  James has won the award 4 out of the past 6 years.  But this year, there are 4 maybe 5 players worthy of the MVP (including LeBron).  But let’s focus our attention on 3 candidates:

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30, right) shoots the basketball against New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23, left) during the second quarter in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans 106-99.(USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Terada)

Might be a foul…Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry goes up strong on New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis  during the second quarter in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena Saturday night. The Warriors defended home-court and  won 106-99.(USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Terada)

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

Stephen Curry was a one man 3 point machine this year, leading the NBA in 3 pointer made (284) and attempts (642).  He was also 3rd in the league in 3 pt. %.  The last person to lead the NBA in these 3 categories was LeBron James.  Curry averaged 23.8 points/game, 7.7 assists/game and 4.3 rebounds/game.  Also, per Vantage, Curry had a 42% FG rate when a defender was within 3 feet of him with a hand up, which was good for 3rd best in the league.  He is also considered the best player on the   league’s best team.

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena.  (USA TODAY Sports /  Mark D. Smith)

In the last regular season meeting between the Thunder and the Rockets on April 5th,  Russell Westbrook  goes up on James Harden. (USA TODAY Sports / Mark D. Smith)

James Harden (Houston Rockets)

With Dwight Howard missing half the season, Harden put the weight of the team on his shoulders and carried the Rockets to the Rockets to the 2nd best record in the NBA.  He was 2nd in the league in scoring averaging 27.4 points/game.  He also averaged 7 assists/game as well as 5.7 rebounds/game while making a league high 707 free throws.  That’s 170 more free throws than Russell Westbrook and 300 more than Stephan Curry!  Harden also had 22 games with 30 plus points, 6 games with 40 plus points and 2 games of 50 plus points.

Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Nobody did more with less than Russell Westbrook.  After losing Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka to season ending injuries (both players missed a combined 73 games), Westbrook went on to win the NBA scoring title averaging 28.1 points/game.  He is 1 of 2 point guards to win the scoring title in 35 years.  The other PG was Allen Iverson in 2001 and he won the NBA MVP award that season.  Westbrook finished 4th in the league in Assists and 2nd in Steals.  He finished the season with 11 triple doubles, including 9 triple doubles in a span of 20 games from Feb. 20-April 5, but the Thunder failed to make the playoffs.

History tells us that MVP means Most Valuable Player and the award goes to the best player on the best team and if that’s the case then Stephen Curry is your MVP.  But does the MVP award have to go the best player on the best team?  Maybe this year MVP should stand for Most Valuable Person on their team, and if it does, then who is the Most Valuable Person.  That is the great debate.

Categories: Basketball, Featured, Sports
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