2018 NBA MVP Race: The Five Frontrunners
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 10, 2018 12:40 PM
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 25: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Denver Nuggets on February 25, 2018 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
Last year’s MVP race came down to a duel between Russell Westbrook and James Harden. While The Beard wasn’t able secure the 2017 trophy, many regard him as this year’s odds-on favorite. However, he isn’t without competition. Here are the contenders vying to become the 2018 NBA regular season MVP.
With the Houston Rockets claiming the #1 seed in the Western Conference, it’s no surprise that many think that 2018 is going to be James Harden’s year. Leading the league in points per game (30.6) and ranking third in assists per game (8.7), The Beard may finally put his MVP runner-up status firmly in the past. Arguably the most consistent player among all frontrunners this year, he also led the Rockets to a 17-game winning streak, the longest by any team this season.
The Portland Trail Blazers have been white-hot since the All-Star break, even going on a 13-game win streak at one point, before settling into the third seed in the highly competitive Western Conference. These reasons are why Damian Lillard has entered the MVP conversation. If we only consider the games after the All-Star break, it’s perhaps Dame’s time to be crowned as the MVP.
When DeMarcus Cousins went down, many thought that the New Orleans Pelicans would, too. That was not the case, though, because Anthony Davis wouldn’t let them. For almost a month, the Pels went on a 10-game winning streak with A.D. balling out of his mind. Despite missing a couple of games down the stretch, Davis is posting 28.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. Because of his stellar play, the shorthanded Pelicans have been able to hold on to a Playoffs spot.
The Cavs have been going through a rough patch, as they’re adjusting to their newly revamped roster. The only constant has been The King. His continued greatness is the reason why the Cavs continue to hang on to third seed in the East despite their struggles. Last February, he averaged a triple-double, with 27 points (on 54.6% shooting), 10.5 assists, and 10.5 rebounds per game. James also broke Michael Jordan's record for consecutive games with double-digit scoring. As long as The King is in the league, there’s a good chance that he’ll always be a part of the MVP conversation.
Before Steph Curry was ruled out until after the first round of the Playoff, the two-time MVP was on a major roll. Curry was averaging 26.4 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.1 rebounds, shooting almost 50% from the field and 42% beyond the arc. Steph remains the focal point of Golden State’s attack, and the Dubs have significantly felt his absence, going 4-5 in their latest stretch without him. That said, he’s determined to prove that he’s still the man that won’t let the Warriors down, when he returns.
Steph Curry is able to continually play at an MVP level because he depends on the World’s No. 1 Deodorant to stay cool and confident. The two-time MVP only trusts Rexona Ice Cool with Anti-Stain Technology to help him feel dry and fresh all day so that he can be his best on the court, and even off it.
Who’s your horse in the 2018 NBA MVP race? Sound off in the comments!