Over half of the 2017-18 campaign is already on the books, and we’ve definitely seen some outstanding performances from the best ballers in the world so far with all of them going head to head to try and see who can dethrone the Golden State Warriors, as well as who can take the MVP award from Russell Westbrook’s hands.
The Most Valuable Player accolade is a distinction just a handful of players have had the honor of holding in their hands, and even though most of them would rather to have a Championship, they wouldn’t complain about getting this award.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 candidates for this award, considering their individual performances as well as the impact they have in the best teams in professional basketball, although there’s still a long way to go in the regular season.
10. Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns has been a stud all year long for the much improved Minnesota Timberwolves, and even though Jimmy Butler has been the main responsible for the team’s turnaround, it’s been KAT the one piling up the stats at Minny.
Throughout the campaign, the big man has put very nice averages of 20.1 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.3 dime and 1.5 blocks per game, with his lone liability being how often he gets lost in defensive assignations.
9. DeMar DeRozan
The Toronto Raptors are peaking right now and playing the best basketball we’ve seen in them since Dwayne Casey took command of the team, and most of that glory has to be credited to their best player DeMar DeRozan.
DeRozan continues to improve his game and he’s even added the three-point shot to his repertoire right now, shooting above 35% from deep this season to go along with 24.6 points, 4.2 boards, 5.1 helpers and 1.2 steals per contest.
8. Kyrie Irving
Obviously, if you’re the best player for the best team in the Eastern Conference, you have to be in the MVP conversation, even despite your numbers not being as impressive as the ones other candidates are having right now.
The Boston Celtics are pretty much an offensive mess when Kyrie sits, while they are a beautifully orchestrated machine when he’s leading the way, posting season averages of 24.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5 assists to go along with 1.1 steals per matchup.
7. Anthony Davis
Just when we all thought the New Orleans Pelicans were legit and could upset a team or two, DeMarcus Cousins falls down with a season-ending injury, something that might as well help Anthony Davis’ MVP case if he doesn’t allow the team to fall down in the standings.
Davis is having a monster season despite sharing touches with Boogie, so his numbers should just trend up from now on. So far, he’s averaging 26.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.5 assist, 1.1 steals and 2.1 blocks per game with just 1.9 turnovers a night.
6. Russell Westbrook
The reigning MVP is making a case for himself once again this season, with the Oklahoma City Thunder playing very good ball in both ends of the hardwood upon the arrivals of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.
Everybody thought Westbrook’s numbers would take a major dip this season, but he’s pretty much doing it again and he could average a triple-double for the season again despite being paired with a couple of All-Stars. So far, he’s racked 15 triple-doubles over the year as well as averaging 25.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 10 assists to go along with 2 steals per game.
5. LeBron James
When it comes to individual performances, LeBron James has been quite impressive this year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as his season averages of 26.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 8.7 dimes and 1.7 steals per game on 55% shooting can show you.
Still, the team has been quite bad defensively when LeBron James is on the court and he’s definitely not going to win the MVP unless he and Lue shake things off and make Cleveland a clear threat once again, as they’ve mightily struggled against teams above .500.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Greek Freak never ceases to amaze and he’s once again improving in every single aspect of his game, with the Milwaukee Bucks kind of struggling but with all the tools they need to turn things around after Jason Kidd’s departure.
Giannis is once again leading his team in all major stats (except steals), posting season averages of 28.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per game on a whopping 54% shooting.
3. Kevin Durant
The reigning finals MVP can add another award to his collection at the end of this season, considering how much of an impact he’s had for the Golden State Warriors in both ends of the floor this year, even being their leader in swats per contest (2 blocks per game).
Durant could definitely also be in the Defensive Player of the Year award conversation as well with his much-improved rim protection skills, averaging 25.8 points, 7 rebounds. 5.6 assists and 0.9 steals per game while shooting 50% from the floor, 45% from deep and 88% from the charity stripe.
2. Stephen Curry
Obviously, being the best team in the world right now, the Golden State Warriors can brag about having a couple of MVP candidates again this season, with Stephen Curry being by far the most important player for the Dubs.
Curry was forced to sit for several games following an ankle injury but he took things right where he left them, posting season averages of 28.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game on 49% from the floor, 43% from beyond the arc and 91% from the free throw line, and he continues to be the best shooter in the world and by a long run.
1. James Harden
After being kind of snubbed the prior campaign because of Russell Westbrook’s historic run, James Harden has managed to play even better this season, and even though everybody expected his assists numbers to take a major dip with Chris Paul beside him, he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.
The Houston Rockets are one of the most entertaining teams to watch right now and obviously Harden’s the main reason why. Besides, he’s pretty much a lock to win this year’s scoring title as well as leading the MVP race with this 31.4 points, 4.8 boards, 9.1 dimes and 1.8 steals per matchup.