1.The NBA is absolutely stacked with talent, more so, perhaps, than ever before. There are currently 8 players ahead of Curry in the scoring leaders’ column.
2.The Golden State Warriors are so absolutely stacked with offensive fire power, and dominate against opposing teams with the highest point differential in the league. Curry often sits the entire fourth quarter averaging only 33 minutes per game, lowest among MVP front-runners.
3.With Klay Thompson averaging 22 per game, and the addition of Kevin Durant averaging 26.2 points per game, there are simply not enough shots to go around. Last week Thompson scored 60 in one game, and while the versatility in the scoring department is what makes Golden State such a front runner to win the NBA title, it doesn’t help Steph rack up the ridiculous scoring numbers that could lead him to yet another MVP. While Steph is a once in a lifetime shooter and unique talent such as the league has never seen, there is a strong argument that he may not even be the best player on his own team, never mind the entire league. Now let’s look at some of the other players in the league vying for the coveted NBA MVP title.
For the San Antonio Spurs, Kawhi Leanard brings a combination of offensive and defensive versatility in a 6’8 frame that’s rare even in a league of world class athletic prowess. Kawhi also plays on a Spurs team that boasts an 18-5 record which helps him in the MVP race as the trophy historically goes to a player on a title contending team. Kawhi is 3rd in betting odds to win MVP at 6:1.
James Harden for the Houston Rockets is a prolific left handed scorer. Harden ranks fourth in the league in scoring at 28.5 points per game and first in the league in assists with 11.4 dimes a night, perhaps a surprising stat for a player who in the past has been criticized for his reluctance to distribute the ball, and tendency to take bad contested shots. His growth as a player is evident, and he is 2nd in MVP betting odds at 5:1.
Lebron James, arguably the most dominant natural talent in the history of the game, finds himself in a similar position as Curry. Leading a dominant Cavs team, often sitting long minutes at the end of games due to blowouts, this minimizes his stats and chances for MVP. At 7:1 Lebron is 4th in MVP betting odds.
The resounding favorite to win the MVP, Russel Westbrook for the OKC Thunder, could be the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple double. Westbrook is a phenomenon of athleticism and his 31 PPG, 10 boards and 11 assists make him a 2:1 favorite to win MVP. My advice: Bet your house, and at the end of the season you’ll have 3 houses. Barring Westbrook doesn’t get injured, Steph won’t get his 3rd straight MVP, but he may get his second title. I’m sure he is good with that.