NBA fans have been treated to one of the most unconventional MVP races in quite some time, as there is no clearcut favorite for the award with the Playoffs being nearly two weeks away.
Typically one player is touted as the favorite to win with the postseason in such close proximity, but this regular season we’ve been treated to a slew of brilliant individual performances that have produced many deserving candidates.
Stephen Curry is leading the Golden State to their best season in decades, James Harden has the Houston Rockets in the hunt for the West’s second seed despite the plethora of injuries dealt to his supporting cast, Chris Paul has been sneaky brilliant, LeBron James has rescued the Cleveland Cavaliers’ season after his two-week hiatus, and fans have grown accustomed to seeing Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook put up video-game numbers for their respective ball clubs. All of these men have compelling cases for MVP, but most believe that Curry and Harden are the most serious contenders for the honor.
Davis, who is averaging 24.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game this season, backed Harden for Most Valuable Player during an interview on the Dan Patrick Show.
“It’s tough,” Davis said on the Dan Patrick Show. “A lot of guys are playing out of their mind. James Harden, Russ [Westbrook], Steph [Curry], LeBron [James].”
Davis paused for a few seconds and repeated that it’s tough to choose before settling on Harden.
“He’s out of his mind,” Davis continued. “He’s definitely playing out of his mind. We talk about this on my team every day. It’s like every day. I think with him not having Dwight [Howard] for as much as he did, and he still competed and is still winning games for them, it’s unreal.”
Harden has the Rockets teetering back-and-forth between the second and third seed in the Western Conference, and he’s done it without his running mate Dwight Howard for a huge chunk of the season. Howard, who returned against the Pelicans last week, had been nursing an injured right knee that had forced him to miss 26 games. Harden held down the fort without his big man, averaging 27.2 points, 7 assists and 5.7 rebounds per contest.
Harden has been applauded for doing more with less, while Curry has been celebrated for having Golden State ascend to heights that many did not expect prior to the start of the season. Whoever emerges victorious and hoists the highly coveted award in front of their home crowd doesn’t matter to me, as I can honestly say we’ve been treated to some strong individual seasons for the aforementioned stars. It’s been awesome to watch.
As for Davis, I hope he recognizes that his time to be in the thick of the MVP race is coming. If the Pelicans were the beneficiaries of better health, Davis could’ve pried some of the Most Valuable Player praise away from the Harden and Curry, as he’s been downright dominant this year.
If you want to listen to Davis’ entire interview which includes talk about his Kentucky Wildcats, who look to complete a perfect season and win the NCAA National Championship, click here.
(PS: I wonder if Davis endorsing Harden for MVP has anything to do with this play.)