Cavaliers forward Kevin Love was recently criticized for calling Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook the NBA’s MVP over current teammate LeBron James. Westbrook is currently on a stretch where it seems like every night he takes the floor he’s getting a triple double. Early in the season, the Thunder had both Kevin Durant and Westbrook out and since have been trying to make up ground in the Western Conference to make the playoffs. However, after returning from injury, Kevin Durant is now sidelined again indefinitely and possibly for the season. Russell Westbrook has taken it upon himself to have the Thunder make the playoffs.
Russell Westbrook is averaging 27.5 points, 8.7 assists, and 7.2 rebounds a night. Phenomenal numbers from anyone today and the best of his career. All numbers are well above his career average and at age 26, the best may be yet to come. He currently has the Thunder sitting in the last playoff spot at 41-30, 3 games ahead of the 9th place Phoenix Suns.
Another candidate is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Curry currently has the Warriors with the best record in the NBA at 58-13 and the #1 seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. On the year Curry is averaging 23.4 points, 7.9 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. While Westbrook’s numbers exceed all of Curry’s, its the way Curry goes about reaching those numbers that separates him from Westbrook. Curry shoots 48%, 42%, and 91% (field, 3pt, free throw) while Westbrook shoots 43%, 31%, and 84%. Curry also averages 1 less turnover a night. Curry is more efficient in the way he goes about hitting his numbers, and he also has his team in first place.
James Harden has been phenomenal for the Houston Rockets. Even when star center Dwight Howard has been sidelined, Harden has made sure the Rockets don’t skip a beat. At 47-23, the Rockets trail only the Warriors and Grizzlies in the Western Conference playoff picture. Harden has been incredible, especially of late with a 44 point performance against Indiana and a career high 50 vs Denver. He’s currently averaging 27.2 points, 7.0 assists, and 5.8 rebounds a night.
It’s not an MVP conversation if we don’t mention LeBron James. James again is having a tremendous season averaging 25.9 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game. However, his points and rebounds are down in comparison to his career numbers. In fact, this seasons points per game output is the 2nd lowest of his career with only his rookie season lower. James has the Cavaliers sitting at 46-26, good for second in the Eastern Conference. However, they are unlikely to catch the first place Atlanta Hawks. Still although this isn’t his best season he does need to be in the discussion for MVP.