There are less than two months remaining in the 2017-18 NBA campaign, however, it appears that James Harden will finally claim his first MVP award.
While Harden is the overwhelming favorite to capture the most prestigious individual award, other players are still making their case. Steph Curry is making a huge push up the power rankings, moving up from eighth to second. Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Durant are also still in the mix.
Here is the seventh edition of my 2017-18 MVP Rankings.
All stats are up to date as Feb. 15.
Dropped out: John Wall (No.23), Kevin Love (No. 20),
Others: Kyle Lowry, Andre Drummond, Klay Thompson, Paul George
20. Kristaps Porzingis (-7 spots) 19. DeMarcus Cousins, (- 12 spots), 19. CJ McCollum, (+1 spot) 17. Chris Paul (+6 spots) 16. Bradley Beal (-2 spots) 15. Jimmy Butler (no movement) 14. LaMarcus Aldridge (no movement) 13. Joel Embiid (+ 4 spots), 12. Damian Lillard (+4 spots ) 11.DeMar DeRozan (no movement)
Top 10 Candidates For The NBA MVP Award
10. Anthony Davis, +2 spots
27.4 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 2.1 BPG, 1.3 SPG, 54.1% FG, 36.7% 3PT
Davis has been amazing in February, recording five double-doubles and averaging 33.4 points along with 11.4 caroms, 1.4 assists and 2.4 steals. Davis has tallied 38 or more points in five of his seventh games this month.
Davis will likely put up incredible numbers the rest of the year with DeMarcus Cousins out for the rest of the season. Since Jan. 28, the 6-10 big man is contributing 31.1 points, which is the second most in the league during this period, and 12.2 caroms.
Davis is producing 30.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and a personal-best 2.7 assists per 40 minutes. He is also compiling a career-high 62.0% true shooting percentage.
9 Karl-Anthony Towns, +1 spot
20.4 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.5 BPG, 55.0% FG, 42.5% 3PT
Towns, who leads the league with 50 double-doubles, had his streak of eight double-doubles snapped against the Kings on Sunday. The 7-0 footer is producing his best offensive month of the season thus far, averaging 25.7 points along with 11.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He is shooting 64.6% from the field and 63.6% from beyond the arc. Towns drained a career-high six triples against Cleveland on Feb. 7.
Towns is making a career-best 1.5 3-pointers a game as he is draining those long distance shots at 42.5% clip. He is also producing career-bests in scoring efficiency, shooting efficiency and assist-to-turnover ratio.
In terms of advanced statistical metrics, Towns’ per 40-minute scoring and assists are down from last year. But, his rebounding, true shooting percentage, assist ratio, turnover ratio and rebound rate are slightly higher than his previous season.
8. Russell Westbrook, +1 spot
25.4 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 10.4 APG, 1.9 SPG, 44.4% FG, 29.6% 3PT
Westbrook, who missed two straight games with an ankle injury, returned to the floor for the Thunder’s last two games, combining for 44 points along with 27 assists and 20 rebounds. Westbrook produced a double-double in a loss to the Cavs on Tuesday and a triple-double in the victory over Memphis on Wednesday.
Westbrook has been playing quality basketball since December. Since Dec. 1, Westbrook is averaging the third most points in the league at 27.1 a game while also posting the most triple-doubles with 11.
While the reigning MVP is not having the year he had a year ago, this season is the second most productive year of his career. Westbrook is averaging 28.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 11.5 assists per 40 minutes. In comparison to last year, his true shooting percentage, rebound rate and usage are down from last year, although he has increased his assist ratio.
7. Victor Oladipo, -1 spot
24.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.1 APG, 48.4% FG, 38.1% 3PT
Oladipo has continued his solid play though he has struggled from long-range. Oladipo is shooting 29.9% from beyond the arc since Jan. 1, and is just 8-of-29 (27.6%) on his three-point attempts in February.
Oladipo, who picked up his second double-double of the season on Friday against Boston, has scored 30 or more points in three of his five games in February. He also has grabbed 6.8 boards and 4.2 assists along with 3.8 steals this month.
The 25-year-old combo guard is producing career numbers across the board. In advance stats, Oladipo is producing 28.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.8 dimes per 40 minutes, all of which are personal bests. He also has posted a career-high true shooting percentage of 59.3%.
6. Kevin Durant, -1 spot
26.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 5.5 APG, 52.3% FG, 42.1% 3PT
After an average January, Durant got off to a fantastic start in February. The 6-9 forward topped the 30-point mark in each of his first three games of the month and then exploded for a season-high 50 against Portland on Wednesday.
Durant, who has made at least 57.1% of his shots in six of his seven February games, is averaging 28.3 points along with 6.4 assists and 5.1 rebounds this month. He is also shooting 64.8% from the field and 51.3% from beyond the arc while attempting nearly seven free throws a game, which is a season-high.
Durant is producing slightly more than 30 points per 40 minutes. He also is averaging a career-bests in both assists per 40 minutes (6.4) and assists rate (19.4%).
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo, -2 spots
27.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 4.7 APG, 53.7% FG, 28.6% 3PT
Antetokounmpo has struggled in the early part of February though he is still having the most efficient season of his young career. The 23-year-old, who is currently producing career-highs in several categories, is averaging 22.1 points along with 10.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists as well as 3.0 turnovers this month.
Antetokounmpo has tallied at least 15 points in each of his first seven games this month. But he is shooting a season-low 47.0% from the field and is attempting less than 7.0 free throws a game — which is also a season-low.
In advance metrics, Antetokounmpo is averaging a career-highs with 29.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per 40 minutes. His true shooting percentage of 60.4%, 9.2 turnover ratio and 16.6 rebound rate is also career-bests. In addition, the Greek Freak is on pace to set a career-high in double-doubles, although he has yet to record a triple-double this season.
4. LeBron James, -2 spots
26.5 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 8.1 APG, 54.4% FG, 36.2% 3PT
James has come back to earth a little after the fantastic start to the season. James, who had his worst month of the campaign in January, has produced two double-doubles and two triple-doubles in six February games. He is producing 26.0 points per game, 11.0 assists and 9.5 assists while shooting 53.6% from the floor and 46.4% on three-point attempts.
James is averaging less than 30 points per 40 minutes for the eighth straight year. In fact, he has had just two seasons in his career where he has produced 30 or more points per 40 minutes. However, the King is compiling career-highs in assists per 40 minutes (9.6), assist ratio (25.8) and turnover ratio (12.7).
James is on pace to set personal bests in double-doubles and triple-doubles.
3. Kyrie Irving, no movement
24.7 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.6 RPG, 48.6% FG, 39.7% 3PT
Irving has scored 17 or more points in each of his five games since missing three games with a quad injury. Irving has shot at least 50.0% from the field in three of his five February games and 24 times overall.
The 25-year-old, 6-3 point guard closed out January with a bang, tallying 20 points and four assists in each of his final five games of the month, He averaged 25.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists while shooting 47.4% from the field and 39.7% from beyond the arc for the month.
Irving is having the most efficient shooting season of his career. As a result, he is scoring at the most efficient rate and producing a career-high 30.0 points per 40 minutes. Irving is also making a personal-best 2.6 trifectas and turning the ball at the lowest rate of his career.
2. Steph Curry, +6 spots
26.6 PPG, 6.5 APG, 5.2 RPG, 49.0% FG, 41.3% 3PT
Curry, who appeared in just four of the Warriors’ 15 December games, was fabulous in January. The 29-year-old point guard scorched the net for 29.5 points on 51.4% shooting and 46.3% from beyond the arc. He also doled 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds last month.
Curry has topped the 20-point mark in five of seven February games though he is shooting 46.2% from the floor, which is his worst shooting month since making 44.7% from the floor in November. He is also making just 34.8% from beyond the arc this month.
Curry’s numbers per 40 minutes are comparable to his MVP seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Actually, his per 40-minute numbers are currently better this year than during his first MVP campaign and slightly worse than in 2015-16. Curry is producing career-bests with 1.55 points per shot and 67.2 true shooting percentage.
1. James Harden, no movement
31.3 PPG, 9.0 APG, 5.1 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 44.8% FG, 38.4% 3PT
Harden finished January in style, becoming the first player ever to post a 60 point triple-double against Orlando. It was his third triple-double of the season.
Harden, who missed the first seven games in January, has scored in double-figures in all 50 games this season. He is averaging 29.8 points a game in the month of February as he has scored at least 20 points in seven of the eight contests. Harden has topped the 20-point mark on 48 occasions thus far, which includes four 40-efforts and four 50-point games.
The NBA’s leading scorer is producing a career-high 35.0 points per 40 minutes. He also has a 2.12 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is a personal best.