Kawhi Leonard is one of about a dozen MVP candidates this season. On Monday, Leonard made his best case yet in a 112-110 win over the Houston Rockets. Now all he has to do is split the vote between the other guys to be honored.
LeBron James is the incumbent, leading a team in the Eastern Conference to either the #1 or #2 seed for the 9th consecutive season. He’s averaging 26 points and career-highs in rebounds and assists. He’s also having the second-best 3-point shooting season of his career.
Isaiah Thomas has become the face of Celtics: second-best record in the East, second in the league in scoring (29.5). John Wall is right behind him, almost completely forgotten on a national scale. He’s averaging career-highs in points and assists for a team that is right behind Boston.
Chris Paul is the analytical MVP who missed too many games and has a team too close to the middle.
Kawhi Leonard is the other guy. He doesn’t lead the league in anything. His team isn’t in first place. Leonard and Harden both finished with 39 on Monday, but Leonard closed it out with 17 in the 4th, while Harden managed just 4.
Leoanrd hit the game-winner and blocked Harden’s lay-up attempt seconds later. Then he wrestled a rebound away from LaMarcus Aldridge, got fouled and went to the other end and nailed the free throws to ice the game.
The Spurs are 2nd in the West and average a boring 106.6 points per game (11th) while giving up 98.4 (2nd). Kawhi makes the Spurs go on both ends in the way that Tim Duncan used to. Tim Duncan, the 2-time MVP.