The NBA regular season is winding down. Since the playoffs do not figure into the MVP voting, who will win this year’s award? Many believe Lebron James has already laid claim to the award. It’s hard to argue otherwise. He is clearly the best players on the best team. Lebron and his Miami Heat have caught fire coming down the stretch as Lebron has led the way. His scoring numbers are awesome. He is fourth in the league at 26.7 points per game. He trails only Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant.
So why not have those three in the conversation? They are in the conversation. But here is where Lebron separated himself. James is 10th in the NBA in assists. He is the first non-point guard on the list as well. Kobe Bryant comes in at 20th place. James is at 7.1 per game while Bryant is at 5.8. Kevin Durant is at 4.7 in 29th.
Lebron is 18th in defensive rebounds. He averages 6.8 while Durant averages 7.3. Anthony has 4.7. Bryant is not on the list. Offensive rebounds, none of those fur show up.
So statistically, Lebron holds his own against the other three. So from there you have to go to the “eyeball test.” James’ team is the runaway leader in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks and Lakers are well off the pace. So that leaves the Thunder and Durant. In two meetings this year, Lebron and the Heat have beaten the Thunder. That makes six game in a row dating back to last year’s NBA Finals. If you can’t beat him on the court, then you cannot claim to be the MVP.
All four of those guys play for teams who would be lost without them. The Heat might still be a playoff team as would the Thunder. Neither would sniff the championship. If you want to know how valuable James is to a team, look at the Cleveland Cavaliers since he left.
There is a valid argument that stats should not decide the MVP, nor should the team’s wins. There might be a player more valuable to his team than the best player on the best team. That is certainly a valid argument. Chris Paul would have a huge claim if we look at the drop-off of the Los Angeles Clippers when he is out. But the MVP should be the player that elevates his team the most. Clearly Lebron has done that with Miami. They were a playoff team before he arrived. But now they are the best.
So is the MVP already decided? Unless has an awful second half of March and April, the answer is yes. Lebron James is clearly the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.