Posted by: Ryan Walker on January 18th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Already almost a quarter of the way through the regular season, here’s a quick look at my top 5 picks for MVP so far this season. Obviously i’m not saying a guy like Kevin Love is in any way better than Dwight Howard, CP3, or any other superstar left off the list. This is just a comprehensive look at players 15 games into this season. Enjoy!
5. Kevin Love- 25.6 ppg, 14.3 reb, 1.8 ast, 44% fg, 37% 3pt fg
While his T-Wolves are a lowly 5-8 and for all intents and purposes already out of the playoff race, one simply can’t ignore the blistering start that Mr. Love has gotten off to. A tireless rebounder, Love is also quite skilled offensively- scoring down low and stretching the floor from the outside with his 3 pt shooting. With his uncanny “nose for the ball” and great work ethic, look for Love to continue this pace throughout the year.
4. Derrick Rose- 20.8 ppg, 3.5 reb, 8.7 ast, 43% fg, 31% 3pt fg
Although injuries have hampered him lately, Rose makes this Eastern Conference leading Bulls team go. While his scoring averages are right on par with last season, he is averaging more than 2 assists more per game this year. Health issues aside, Rose is as dangerous as any player in the league and can single-handedly take over a basketball game at will. While the Bulls’ success ultimately depends on Rose getting help from his teammates, he automatically makes them a contender in the East.
3. Lebron James- 29.8 ppg, 8.0 reb, 7.6 ast, 57% fg, 43% 3pt fg
There isn’t a player in the NBA who can fill up a stat line like LBJ. The man is almost literally a walking triple-double, and has more raw talent than maybe anyone in the history of the game. Having said that, his Heat are only 9-4 and a couple of those losses fell directly onto “The King’s” shoulders. He still struggles to deliver in the clutch (not saying that it will never happen) and lacks that intangible, championship mentality. Don’t count him out yet though, he is still young and will have plenty of chances at capturing a ring.
2. Kevin Durant- 26.0 ppg, 6.8 reb, 3.4 ast, 50% fg, 39% 3pt fg
Durant has lead his OKC Thunder to a league best 12-3 record, while putting up career best numbers in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, and 3-pt percentage. He’s leading this young OKC team into true contender status, proven by their prowess on the road as well as at home- with a 6-2 record away from Oklahoma City, and it all starts with their 23 year old superstar. At 6′11″ the advantage he has against almost everyone night in and night out is unfair, whether it’s launching deep 3 pointers, or crossing over a smaller guard to dunk over the opposing center, “Durantula” has it all.
1. Kobe Bryant- 30.8 ppg, 5.7 reb, 5 ast, 45% fg
The Black Mamba made it to my #1 spot for pretty much one reason- the man’s insatiable desire to WIN. While some have had better seasons statistically this year, no one strikes more fear into opposing teams/fans with the clock winding down and the game on the line than Kobe. While most were counting out Kobe and Co. after failing to complete off-season trades, losing 6th man extraordinaire Lamar Odom, and Kobe’s injured wrist, he decided that he would put up career numbers and fire off 4 straight 40 pt games to lead the Lakers to 10-5. As much as we Jazz fans love to hate the man, it’s hard not to respect his skill, desire, and love for the game.
There’s my Top 5 so far in this young season, i’m sure there are lots of you that disagree so feel free to write your top 5 in the comments! Also my honorable mentions are- Andrew Bynum, Lamarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, and Paul Millsap!
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