The NBA features the best players in the world, so standing out from the pack is one of the most difficult things you can ask out of an athlete, especially if they do it on a nightly basis throughout 82 games.
Winning an MVP is the second best feeling any player could ever experience after winning an NBA Championship, especially considering how much talent we see in the league nowadays.
Moreover, being able to maintain top-tier performances over such a big stretch of time is something that deserves a lot of praise and recognition, especially if they translate that personal glory in team success.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 NBA candidates according to basketball reference. Naturally, you may or may not agree with this rank, but that’s pretty much based on their impact on winning teams.
If you think you can guess who’s going to win this year’s MVP, the NBA Championship or just tonight’s game you should just go ahead and check Basketball Online Betting to try and earn a buck or two thanks to your basketball knowledge.
10. James Harden
The reigning MVP is making a strong case to win the award back this season, but the rest of his teammates haven’t been able to live up to the expectations following a year when they got the 1st seed in the West.
Moreover, Harden has made NBA history by logging his 4th 50+ point triple-double and keeps leading the league in scoring. So far, he’s averaging 30.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 4.1 three-pointers per game.
9. Paul George
When everybody thought Paul George was about to leave the Thunder and join the Lakers, he showed his commitment by staying put and try to make it up for the way they messed up last year in the playoffs.
Needless to say, George has lived up to his work and has successfully led the Thunder to start the season, posting averages of 24.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 3.2 three-pointers a night.
8. Kyle Lowry
Except for a 4-game stretch, Kyle Lowry has been at his best throughout the entire campaign, and he's been the soul and spirit of a renewed Toronto Raptors team that wants to make a splash in this year’s playoffs.
Lowry has led the Raptors when Kawhi has been forced to sit due to injury, and he’s been the best playmaker in the league so far. Up to this day, he’s averaging 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, a league-leading 10.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.1 three-pointers per game.
7. Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic keeps proving that he was one of the biggest steals in NBA Draft history, leading the Denver Nuggets to the best season of the last 4 or 5 years and most likely putting an end to their playoff drought.
Jokic keeps improving as a scorer and a playmaker, something that makes him one of the most dynamic big men in the league. So far, the Serbian center is averaging 17.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 7.6 dimes, 1.4 steals and 1.0 three-pointers per game.
6. Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid hasn’t been his usual self lately, but that’s going to change as soon as he makes the adjustment to playing next to Jimmy Butler. Still, he’s been the best big man in the league considering he’s been healthy all season.
The Sixers are one of the most prominent teams in the Eastern Conference and they have to thank The Process for that, as he’s posting averages of 26.5 points, 13.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.3 three-pointers per game.
5. LeBron James
LeBron James goes back to the top 5 in this MVP race thanks to the way he’s helping the Los Angeles Lakers go back to their winning culture, as he’s been a great mentor and leader for their young studs both on and off the court.
James never ceases to amaze, not even 16 seasons into his great career, and if he’s able to lead the Lakers to a top 3 seed in the West, he’s a lock to win his 5th MVP. So far, he’s averaging 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.0 assists,1.4 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.2 three-pointers a game.
4. Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis has the skill set to be the best big man in the league, but his proneness to get hurt to raise a huge question mark over his head. Either way, the Pelicans just can’t win without him, and that shows how impactful he is.
Davis is a top-tier rim protector and a dominant scorer that just can’t be contained in the low post either. Up to this day, the Brow is posting averages of 28.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.8 blocks per contest.
3. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant led the Golden State Warriors when Stephen Curry was out with a groin injury, and that really helped him climb the MVP ladder. You may love him or hate him, but there’s just no disrespecting him anymore.
The reigning Finals MVP has quite an interesting impending free agency ahead of him, but so far, the Warriors can’t complain about his performances. As of today, Durant is averaging 28.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.7 three-pointers per game.
2. Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard hasn’t shown any signs of rust or fatigue from his year in the sidelines, even though he’s piled up a lot of DNPs to rest his injury, and there’s always the chance of him getting hurt again like he’s been throughout his career.
Even so, he’s been a major stud for the Raptors when he’s been able to play, and they have to be really pleased with the decision they made to trade DeMar DeRozan. So far, the Klaw is averaging 26.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.8 three-pointers per game, and the Raptors are the best team in basketball.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Once again, Giannis Antetokounmpo keeps leading the MVP race, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down anytime soon. Barring a disaster, the Greek Freak is finally going to take home the first MVP award of his career, and his Bucks are ready to make a splash in the playoffs.
Giannis is the only player in the league that doesn’t need a jump shot to dominate as a scorer nowadays, while his defense just keeps on improving on a yearly basis. So far, the 24-year-old is averaging 25.9 points, 13.1 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks per game on 57% shooting.