3. RUSSELL WESTBROOK – Last week: 20.7 ppg/5.0 apg/6.2 rpg
LW: No. 3, maintaining
Westbrook has been playing well, but has also continued to shoot the basketball more than Durant, which has become a trend for Oklahoma City. Durant addressed the media in an effort to support his teammate, claiming that the team is at their best when Westbrook takes the most shots and he focuses more on defense and rebounding. Whether he really meant it or not, it could either be a good or a bad thing for the success of the Thunder.
If Westbrook stays hot, it makes the Thunder a lot more difficult to guard. But Westbrook can’t continue hoisting up shots if he’s not hitting them. There’s simply no room for that come playoff time. Keep a close eye on the Thunder as playoff time approaches. As for Westbrook, he’s had some poor shooting nights recently, 5-for-16 in the streak-snapping loss against Memphis, 9-for-26 in the loss against Miami, 7-for-23 in another loss against Indiana, and 5-for-12 in a win against Toronto. So whether or not the team is better when Westbrook shoots the most is yet to be determined.
2. KEVIN DURANT – Last week: 29.5 ppg/5.5 rpg/2.5 apg
LW: No. 1, falling
Although KD has fallen behind again by letting LeBron get the best of him in Miami, he’s not too far behind in the race. There’s still a lot of basketball left to be played. However, Durant might have done himself a disservice by what he said to the media. When’s the last time you remember an MVP saying his team is at it’s best when he doesn’t take the most shots? Sure Durant is a very efficient player, and is admirably humble and supportive of his point guard, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. The fact of the matter is he’s arguably the best scorer in the NBA. To say his team is better when he doesn’t shoot the most shots is taking away from his MVP argument, even though in a loss against Indiana on Friday, Westbrook only took 12 shots while KD took 24, made 15 of them, and finished with 44 points.
1. LEBRON JAMES – Last week: 30.5 ppg/5.75 rpg/5.5 apg
LW: No. 2, rising
LeBron James reclaims the top spot this week with two monster games against Philly and Oklahoma City. With Wade out, LeBron torched Philly for 41 points on 15-for-25 shooting. Then in his face off against Durant, LeBron played like he had a point to prove: 34 points on 10-for-20 shooing, 10 assists and seven rebounds. He followed those monster nights up with 21 points in a loss against Indiana, and 26 points in a win against Detroit. If you ask me, LeBron has hushed up all the talk about Durant being the favorite to win it. For now.
Did I get it right? Who are your top 10 MVP candidates?
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