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The NBA season is coming to a close as we enter the month of March, so it’s time to discuss the Most Valuable Player race. We all know the two popular players in the back and forth race as of now, yet there is one more player right on their heels. LeBron James, the winner of four of the last five MVP awards; Kevin Durant, runner up for several of the last MVP awards; and Paul George, the new guy emerging to the front all lead in the MVP hunt. All could be named the awards winner at this point but we will leave that to the voters to make that difficult decision. Here is our top 3 candidates for the MVP trophy.
LeBron James (Miami Heat)
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The leader of the two time defending NBA champs just isn’t finished running circles around the league, averaging 27.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 6.4 assists (per NBA.com) per game. And I can’t go without mentioning his most recent MVP performance on March 3rd scoring 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats. After that game, he told reporters, “When that one went in, I knew I was really in a good groove. It felt like I had a golf ball and was throwing it into the ocean (per miamiherald.com).” His four MVP awards over the past few years speak for themselves and he is looking to add one more Maurice Podoloff Trophy to his mantel. Though, at the beginning of his season, the Heat along with James seemed to have some struggles. His points, rebounds and assists were down, plus turnovers rose. Yet, we all know that the Heat capable of flipping the switch back to championship mode as the team did last year winning 27 games in a row.
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
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Is Batman the same without Robin? No? Kevin Durant has been on a mission from the beginning of the year even with his co-star Russell Westbrook on the sideline. In January, Durant started his MVP like campaign scoring 30 points or more in a span of 10 plus games. In those spectacular scoring games, Durant rip apart the Golden State Warriors scoring 54 points at home in Oklahoma. Durant’s extraordinary scoring effort has kept the OKC Thunder without Westbrook atop of the ladder in the competitive western conference. After his 54 point game, Durant was asked about winning the MVP award, “It’s premature. It’s way too early in the season. I try not to think about that type of stuff. Of course, as a player, you’d love to win an MVP award, but I can’t take my focus off the team. Every day, I’ve just got to keep chipping away, keep enjoying the process, and we’ll see what happens (per BleacherReport.com).” KD and LeBron are just giving the world a gift of great basketball scoring and we should all enjoy their talents.
Paul George (Indian Pacers)
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The 2012-2013 Most Improved Player winner is looking hungry for more. George is not just the best player on the Pacers but one of the best in the league as well. Scoring more than 22 points, 6 rebounds, and a hand full of assist per game (per NBA.com), George is more than capable of building his resume for the MVP award. With three key games left against the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Paul George could very well show the voters that his place in the MVP discussion. Like Durant, George had to overcome losing a key team member to injury. Danny Granger was sideline due to a knee injury and hasn’t seen much playing time since the emerging of Paul George. In February, the Pacer’s made a decision to trade Granger to the Clippers. George took the news hard, expressing his feeling via Instagram saying, “On a serious note upset day for me losing a big brother and mentor hate to see him leave us.. You helped me so far along the way big bro! Still one of my toughest match ups.. Nothing but love for you geezy!” The Pacer organization seems very confident in George’s ability to lead the team past the Miami Heat without Granger. If so, I very well picture Paul George raising the MVP trophy in the future without question.