Top five MVP candidates for the 2016-17 NBA season

It’s been a crazy year in the NBA, and the season isn’t finished yet. There have been a lot of amazing games, but what’s even more astonishing is how tight the MVP race this year is. A number of guys have been playing incredible basketball, posting video game-like numbers night in and night out.

Let’s take a look at five NBA players who could win the MVP award this season.

ISAIAH THOMAS (PG, BOSTON CELTICS)

To the surprise of many, the Boston Celtics are currently the second best in the Eastern Conference this season. And that’s mainly because of their 5’9 guard Isaiah Thomas.

Thomas has been carrying the Celtics this season with averages of 29.2 points, 6.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds. He may be small but he plays all heart and all out. He can do damage from the outside, beyond the arc (38.3% 3FG), as well as in the paint with his nifty drives.

LEBRON JAMES (SF, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS)

It wouldn’t be an MVP list if LeBron James wasn’t in it, would it? The King is having the best statistical season in his career. This season he’s been putting up 26.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game, while shooting 54% from the field.

The Cavs are the best team in the East and are looking to win another championship with James leading the charge. LeBron is still a beast and let’s not forget that he’s already a four-time MVP.

KAWHI LEONARD (SF, SAN ANTONIO SPURS)

Nobody on this list can play better defense than Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs forward is arguably the best two-way player in the league today. He wasn’t named Defensive Player of the Year twice for nothing. Plus he’s a two-time All-Star and a Finals MVP in 2014.

This season Leonard is averaging 26.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per outing. The Spurs has an inside track on getting the number one spot in the West, especially with the Warriors with Kevin Durant’s injury. San Antonio ending up at the top spot might just help Leonard’s case for MVP.

JAMES HARDEN (PG, HOUSTON ROCKETS)

It’s been a while since the Houston Rockets played great basketball. The Rockets are having an interesting season with their new coach (Mike D’Antoni) and their free-flowing system that has definitely boosted the way James Harden plays.

The Beard has been phenomenal this year, leading the Rockets to a third seed in the West as of March 18. Harden hasn’t been short on the statistics side too as he’s averaging 29.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and a league-leading 11.2 assists per game. Many believe the MVP race will come down to him and the next guy on this list.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK (PG, OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER)

When dropping a triple-double is normal for you on a nightly basis, it’s no surprise you’ll make it on this list. That’s what Russell Westbrook brings to the table.

Based on stats through March 18, Westbrook is averaging 31.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game. NBA 2K17 stats right there! He is on pace to become the first player to average a triple-double in one season since Oscar Robertson did it in 1962. He currently leads the league in triple-doubles with 34 so far.

It’s mind-boggling how Westbrook can produce those numbers considering his teammates aren’t as good as the supporting cast of the other candidates’ on this list. If he does end the season with a triple-double average it would be surprising if Westbrook doesn’t win the award. I’m sure a lot of NBA fans – including me – will throw a fit if that happens.

Who do you think should win MVP this season? Tell us who your pick is in the comments section!

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