The first week of December has come back around, which means it’s time for us to begin our weekly Race to the MVP Ladder. At the beginning of November, we gave you our opinion on the top ten candidates for the Maurice Podoloff trophy. A lot can change in a matter of a month, and over the course of a full season, there’s no telling what could happen. Although it’s early, this season has been a competitive one so far. No team has really separated themselves from the pack just yet. Everyone has looked imperfect. Some teams have lived up to expectations, and others have exceeded them. A few guys have surprised us so far, and others have just simply done what’s expected of them.
LeBron James took home his third MVP award in four years last year and is the favorite to win it again. But at the same time it seems that Kevin Durant has been long overdue to win the award. He’s had MVP-worthy seasons, but just hasn’t done quite enough to edge the competition. The stars of the NBA all have different things to offer. It’s how they can translate that into wins for their team that makes them worthy of this award. There are plenty of players capable of winning the award, but for now the rest of the pack have a ways to go to catch up with KD and LeBron.
*** *** ***
10. RAJON RONDO (12.9 ppg, 12.9 apg, 4.6 rpg – Nov. 2 rank: 2)
The Celtics haven’t been looking great – they’re only 9-8 on the season so far. But there’s no question Rondo deserves to be in the MVP race after his streak of 37 straight games with double-digit assists. He fell nine games short of Magic Johnson’s record at 46 straight games with at least ten dimes. Had he not gotten thrown out for his altercation with Kris Humphries, there’s no telling how long his streak could’ve lasted. Although Rondo is great at creating for his teammates, it hasn’t necessarily proven to be the winning formula for Boston anymore. The truth is, they’re at their best when he’s a scoring threat, but he just doesn’t have that type of game. Whenever Rondo has those hot games, the Celts are almost unbeatable, but they just don’t have enough scoring firepower around him to win without a significant contribution from Rondo himself. For him to stay relevant in the MVP race he’ll have to start picking up his scoring numbers.