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NBA MVP Watch: January 31st
Posted By Richard Hardy On January 31, 2013 @ 5:00 am In All,NBA | No Comments
Welcome to another edition of HOOPSWORLD’s MVP watch. This week two Western Conference point guards swapped places in the top five. While Chris Paul continues to rest his injured knee, Tony Parker has put the Duncan-less Spurs on his back and carried them to a season high eight-game winning streak. We also have a new number one this week. Kevin Durant has claimed the top spot for the last two weeks, but LeBron James has moved back into the top spot this week. It’s going to be fun to watch these two guys battle for the number one spot as the season rolls along.
Without further ado, here is our breakdown of the 2012-13 NBA MVP race after thirteen weeks of basketball.
#5 – Chris Paul – Los Angeles Clippers
16.6 points, 9.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 steals
Last week I made the claim that the 2012-13 NBA MVP race will come down to Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and LeBron James. While I am sticking by my statement, it’s hard for me to keep Chris Paul in the top three when he hasn’t played in four games. I think it’s also important to mention that in the seven games that Paul has missed this season the Clippers are 4-3. Despite sliding to third place in the Western Conference, the Clippers have proven that they’re legit contenders to come out of the West this season. But Paul remains the leader of this team and his ability to make the players around him better cannot be overlooked. He still leads the league in steals and is second behind the injured Rajon Rondo in assists. Once Paul returns it should only be a matter of time before he finds himself back in the top three.
#4 – Carmelo Anthony – New York Knicks
29.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 steals
Yes, Carmelo Anthony is second in the NBA in scoring and he’s scored at least 20 points in his last 29 games. The New York Knicks also hold the second best record in the Eastern Conference. Still, the other aspects of Anthony’s game remain inconsistent. His last double-double was December 26th. He’s yet to exceed seven assists all season. What scares me the most is that Anthony is averaging 26.4 shots per game in his last five games. It seems like the same story every year with Carmelo. The guy keeps his team in games with his offensive ability, but he continues to lack the complete game that LeBron James and Kevin Durant possess. I don’t doubt that Anthony will get some MVP votes for his play this season, but he’d need to take a page from Kobe Bryant’s book if he wants win the MVP award this season.
#3 – Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs
20.1 points, 7.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 0.9 steals
After winning eight straight games, the San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the NBA. What’s most impressive about their eight-game winning streak is the fact that they’ve won four of those eight games without Tim Duncan. While Duncan is having an MVP season in his own right, Tony Parker is beginning to establish himself as the other leader of this team. Parker leads the Spurs in both points and assists. At thirty years old Parker is leading all NBA guards in shooting percentage. He is seventh in the NBA in assists and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.01. He is also shooting a career high 81% from the free-throw line. The Spurs continue to prove that they still have at least one more run in them. But in order for Parker to get any love from the MVP voters the Spurs will have to continue to hold the best record in the NBA when the regular season ends.
#2 – Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder
29.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.2 blocks
Last season the race between LeBron James and Kevin Durant was paper-thin. This season it looks like it’s going to be just as close. After the Thunder won six straight games a couple weeks ago, they’ve lost three of their last five games. The Thunder no longer hold the best record in the NBA, but they’re just two games back of the San Antonio Spurs. Statistically Durant is having the best season of his career. He is shooting 51 percent from the field, 41 percent from three-point range and 91 percent from the free-throw line. He also leads the league in scoring. But Durant has shot below 40 percent twice in the last two weeks. Pointing out a state like that is just an indication of how good he has been this season. Durant could very easily regain the top spot next week, but this week I give the nod to LeBron James.
#1 – LeBron James – Miami HEAT
26.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.9 blocks
In LeBron James’ last five games he is averaging 30.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.6 assists. James has shown us once again that he gets better and better every single year. He has career highs in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, rebounds and turnovers. The HEAT remain the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but James has been the only one of the big three that has been consistent all season. He leads the HEAT in points per game, assists, rebounds and steals. What puts him a notch above Durant is the fact that James is shooting a higher percentage from the field. He is also averaging more rebounds, assists and steals. Not to mention the fact that nobody on the HEAT is having the type of season that Russell Westbrook is having offensively or the type of season Serge Ibaka is having defensively. At this point it could come down to who has the best record by the end of the season. While the Thunder have 18 home games left this season, the HEAT have 20 home games left.
David Lee, Golden State Warriors: 19.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.9 steals
James Harden, Houston Rockets: 26.0 points, 5.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals
What will it take for LeBron James to win his fourth MVP? Has Tony Parker’s play been good enough for him to win his first MVP this season? Is Chris Paul’s injury serious enough to hurt his MVP chances? Who’s your MVP after 13 weeks? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below! Check back next week to see who moved up and down in the race for the 2012-13 NBA MVP.
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