For the first 1/3 of the NBA season, James Harden and Russell Westbrook battled over the MVP award. Now, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas is having the most ridiculous month of his career, and he’s beginning to wedge his way into the MVP conversation.
What’s interesting: They’re all guards. At this rate, two of those three will be 1st team All-NBA. The other will be 2nd team.
And then what about John Wall? He leads the NBA in steals (2.18), and he’s 2nd in assists (10.4). He’s also setting career highs in points (23.0) and shooting (45.8%). His resurgence over the last six weeks has pushed the Wizards into contention for the 2nd spot in the East.
Another guard is having a career year: Kyle Lowry (Toronto). For awhile, Kemba Walker of Charlotte had the Hornets in the Top 3 in the East. Is Giannis Antetokounmpo a point guard? He just turned 22 and is averaging 23.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 5.5 apg.
And finally, there’s Kyrie Irving, who is also averaging a career-high 24.2 ppg (and shooting 46/39, both of which are hovering near career bests). And he’s arguably the most clutch point guard in the NBA right now.
The competition is fierce, and we haven’t even mentioned the reigning two-time MVP, Stephen Curry. His numbers are very good – 25.6 ppg, 47/42 shooting, and 6.4 assists per game. The problem, of course, is that he was so otherworldly last year (30.1 ppg, 50/45 shooting, 6.7 assists per game), that it looks like Curry is having a down year. Here’s the thing – this is the 2nd best scoring season he’s ever had, and he’s on pace to finish with the 2nd most 3-pointers in NBA history. But judging him this year vs. last year – which is what most voters may do – could hurt him in the voting.
The February guesses:
1st team: Cousins (C), LeBron (F), Durant (F), Westbrook (G), Harden (G)
2nd team: Anthony Davis (C), Kawhi Leonard (F), Draymond Green (F), Isaiah Thomas (G), Kyrie Irving (G)
3rd team: Karl Anthony-Towns (C), Jimmy Butler (F), Andrew Wiggins (F), John Wall (G), Stephen Curry (G)