Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been in red-hot form this season, with records toppling all around him. He looks on track to be named the NBA MVP, but we’ve picked out five players who could give him a run for his money.
1. LeBron James
It comes as no surprise that LeBron James features on this list as he has once again been the go-to man for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. After coming up short in his goal of being crowned NBA Champion last season, James seems to be a man on a mission this season and will do whatever it takes to avenge his side’s loss to the Warriors in the NBA Finals last year.
James is currently averaging 24.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game, but don’t be surprised if those numbers rise as the playoffs get nearer.
2. Russell Westbrook
Explosive and dynamic are the two words that come to mind when Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook is mentioned, but what stands out the most about the 27-year-old is the fact that he has recorded eight triple-doubles this season. Westbrook, who is averaging 24 points, 7.5 rebounds, 10.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game, is certainly a player that shouldn’t be ruled out of the running for the NBA MVP award as the regular season is far from over, which leaves him with time to add to his plethora of accomplishments this season.
3. James Harden
Last season, Houston Rockets guard James Harden was extremely disappointed that he wasn’t crowned MVP, saying: “I know I was the MVP. That’s 100 percent given all the things that happened last season.” While Harden was obviously frustrated to lose out to Curry, he has definitely made a case for himself this season as the 26-year-old is averaging 28.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game.
However, the one issue that could jeopardise his chances this season is the fact that the Rockets haven’t lived up to expectations thus far as they have won just 29 of their 58 games to date, which leaves them in eighth place on the Western Conference standings.
4. Anthony Davis
This selection could raise a few eyebrows given that the New Orleans Pelicans have only won 23 of the 57 games they have played this season. However, before jumping to conclusions, one has to consider that Davis is averaging 24 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.3 steals per game this season. Add that to the fact that he has scored 30 points or more on 12 occasions this season, which includes a career-high and franchise-record 59 points against the Detroit Pistons on February 21, and he becomes a serious contender for the MVP title.
5. Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard is like a silent assassin as he goes about his business without getting noticed. However, the San Antonio Spurs forward is firmly in the race to be crowned MVP as he has been one of the most consistent players in the NBA this season and has played an integral role in helping the Spurs establish a 49-9 record, which is the second best in the league behind the Warriors who are 52-5.
While Leonard may not be putting up the same numbers as other players mentioned on this list, the fact that he averaging a career-best 20.2 points along with 6.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game is an incredible feat considering that he is averaging just 32.4 minutes per game. What makes it even more impressive is the fact that the Spurs live and die by the team basketball motto rather than having two or three standout players doing most of the work like many of the other teams in the league.