NBA MVP Watch: November 29th
2012-2013 NBA MVP Watch Week 4
Welcome to another edition of HOOPSWORLD’s weekly MVP watch. Week four of the NBA season is in the books. This week we saw a lot of movement among last weeks top 5. For the fourth week in a row we have a new number one. Here are my top five MVP candidates this week:
#5 – Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
27.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.5 steals
The Lakers 77-79 loss to the Pacers on Tuesday night could very much be an indicator of their season thus far. Kobe Bryant scored 40-point in that game, despite flu-like symptoms. It was enough to outscore his entire team. Kobe continues to lead the league in scoring and his 5.3 rebounds puts him third amongst shooting guards. But the Lakers continue to struggle with Steve Nash and Steve Blake on the mend. Bryant has upped his assists from last season and he has been the best player in Los Angeles. But if Kobe expects to move up the MVP list, the Lakers are going to need to get healthy and start winning some basketball games.
#4 – Zach Randolph - Memphis Grizzlies
16.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals
Zach Randolph’s streak of consecutive double-doubles ended in the Grizzlies 84-78 win against the Cavaliers. But Randolph is fourth among power forwards in scoring and second in the league in rebounding. He’s shooting 48% from the field, 12 points higher than his career percentage. Despite the fact that Randolph has yet to score more than 20 points in a game this season, the Grizzlies are the best team in the league and Randolph is one of the key components to their success. It would be hard to see Zach any higher than fourth, but if the team continues to win, it’s hard not to include him on this list.
#3 – Carmelo Anthony – New York Knicks
26.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals
Despite the Knicks dropping three of their last five games, Anthony is averaging 30.6 points in those five games. In the Knicks overtime loss to Brooklyn on Monday, Anthony had a season high 13 rebounds to go along with 35 points. But Anthony’s rebounds and assists are down from last week and he’s averaging 21 shots per game in his last five games. He also fouled out for the first time this season in Wednesday’s game against Dallas. For Anthony to win the MVP this season the Knicks are going to have to start playing like they were in the beginning of the season and Anthony is going to have to prove that his defense in the first nine games wasn’t a fluke.
#2 – Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder
25.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.9 steals, 1.5 blocks
Kevin Durant has averaged 29.7 points since he recorded his first triple-double against the Golden State Warriors. But Durant has yet to reach double digits in rebounds or assists since that career game. Despite his rebounding struggles, Durant remains second among small forwards in rebounds. He’s also second among small forwards in assists, behind LeBron James. Expect Durant and James to battle for the number one spot for most of this season. Durant has been great thus far, but this week I have James as the MVP.
#1 – LeBron James – Miami HEAT
25.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.0 blocks, 0.8 steals
On Saturday LeBron James and the HEAT stole a win against the Cavaliers. It was James’ assist to Ray Allen that clinched the win for the HEAT. James filled up the box score with 30 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Although James’ points are down this season, he’s shooting 53% from the field and a career high 43% from three. He’s also third among small forwards with 8.8 rebounds. Dwyane Wade has been battling injuries this season, but James and Bosh have stepped up as the HEAT have the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves: 24.0 points, 16.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals
James Harden, Houston Rockets: 25.1 points, 5.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals
Is LeBron poised for another MVP award? Can Kevin Durant surpass him this season? Did I leave your MVP off the list? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below! Check back next week to see who moved up and who moved down in the race for the 2012-2013 MVP.