By Kevin Rouse and Jeremy Schier
It is halfway through the NBA season, and there is plenty to talk about so far. The biggest question is who will be the MVP. The top four contenders for the coveted title of MVP are LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, and James Harden.
LeBron James and the Cavs are in first place in the Eastern Conference, mainly due to LeBron’s spectacular play. So far, he is averaging 26.1 points per game, 8.4 assists per game, 7.9 rebounds per game, and .6 blocks per game. His ability to score, rebound and pass the ball, as well as the fact that the Cavaliers won the Finals last year, are the main reasons that he is a big contender for winning the MVP.
Russell Westbrook has also been phenomenal this season. Although his team is only 21-16, Westbrook has been putting up numbers that many people have not seen before. He is averaging a triple double with 10.3 assists, 10.5 rebounds, and 31.4 points per game. Only one other player in the history of the NBA has done this so far, Oscar Robertson.
Another player who has been playing at a very high level this season is James Harden. Harden is averaging 27.9 points, 11.9 assists, and 8.2 rebounds per game. These are very similar to Westbrook’s numbers, however they are a little bit lower. He makes up for this in the fact that the Rockets have a much better record than the Thunder. The Rockets are third in the Western Conference whereas the Thunder are seventh.
Steph Curry isn’t playing as well as he was last season, but he still has been playing at MVP caliber. He is averaging 24.6 points, 1.6 steals, and 5.8 assists per game, and the Warriors have the best record in the league.
Overall, Westbrook seems like the leader in the MVP race. He is doing something this season that no player has done since the 1961-1962 season.
Photo courtesy of LA Times