Sports Out West

NBA offseason 2013: Predicting the NBA MVP

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LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world.

He’s the four-time MVP of the NBA and is just 28; he’s just getting started. It can be argued that James is the favorite for the three-peat and it’s a solid argument.

There is still no true point guard in Miami, Dwyane Wade is not getting younger, and Chris Bosh is still Chris Bosh. The supporting cast are majorly restoration projects like Greg Oden and Michael Beasley, so that’s also out. James is the de facto option one, two, and possibly three.

So, give him the award, right?

Not too fast. There are two players in the NBA who may just rip that three-peat off of James’ mantle.

First, we have the shoe-in for NBA scoring champion in every season, Kevin Durant. He’s perhaps the biggest threat for the MVP because James Harden is out of the picture. That leaves Durant to be the face of the one-two punch for the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside teammate Russell Westbrook.

Let’s review:

Durant’s last season saw averages of 28.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. He also shot 51 percent from the field, 41.6 percent from 3-point line, and an absurd 90.5 percent from the free-throw line. And let’s not forget the 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. Simply insane numbers for one individual. On a statistical point-of-view, Durant’s may only be percentages away from James and his impact for the team is every bit as valuable.

The next, and third in the preseason MVP voting is Derrick Rose. Rose was a former MVP and lost an entire season last year. Counting statistics, he doesn’t touch James or Durant, but Rose is definitely up there if he improves on his MVP year in 2010.

Everything depends on his health. If Rose is the same explosive player and pioneering point guard he was, this award may just be his to lose. There was no player more valuable to a team than Rose. He changed a defensive-first team with small offensive output into a title-contender and a team that can outscore anyone. His MVP year was a 25 point-per-game season that was an outlier on an even-scoring Chicago team. It’s clear who made the most buckets for the team.

Statistics-wise Rose isn’t the worst candidate, but his impact and his overall fan reaction forces his name to be in the MVP discussion.

For my pick, I hope someone surprises me. I’m hoping for Kevin Love.   

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a sports and video game journalist born and raised in Southern California. He is great at finding the important detail in the mundane and ordinary. He has published articles for Riot Games, IGN.com, 1UP.com, Rotowire.com, and SBNation.

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