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DAR Sports: Top 7 NBA Players This Season


By @TrueGodImmortal



As the season begins to near the end, we wanted to take a look at the best players this year. We did a list back in November, when the season was just kicking off, but now it's time to update that list. On that list, we had Porzingis and Boogie Cousins, but due to injuries that ended each man's season, they won't be featured here. After 60 games, who has managed to be consistent, efficient, and lead their team the best? Let's take a look at the top 7 players this season.

*Steph Curry
(26.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.6 SPG, 50% FG, 42% 3PT, 92% FT)




-I will be honest: I think Steph could make a run at the MVP award if the Warriors can win at least 20 of their remaining 22 games and take the no. 1 seed. If anything, he's deserving of it over Harden in terms of efficiency and importance on the court. Still, i expect Harden to win the award, but Steph is probably no. 2 or 3 in the MVP rankings this season. Averaging 27 points a game, along with being right around his career average for rebounds and assists, Steph is the pillar of consistency after having one of the greatest seasons ever in 2016. He has missed 15 games due to an ankle sprain and complications with his ankle, but has managed to not miss a beat. After the All Star Break, he seems committed to leveling up his intensity and aggression on the court and he's pretty much at that 50/40/90 point for the season, and could end up finishing the year above 50% shooting, which is amazing for a volume shooter like Steph. As the rest of the season plays out, I think we'll see Steph shine brighter than he has all year (which is saying a lot).

*LeBron James
(26.6 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 8.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 55% FG, 36% 3PT)




-If it wasn't for the fact that LeBron had a mediocre December and a horrible January (by his standards), he would probably be the MVP frontrunner. He has been the pillar of efficiency and although his three point percentage has tapered off a bit since the early part of the season, Bron is still the man. At times, he has carried the Cavs, and when he's not on, the rest of the team struggles (aside from a few games this season). He is the engine and he seems to be on pace to average career highs in assists and rebounds if he keeps his pace up. He could put up a ton of stats and minutes heading into this final stretch of the season and possibly surprise the world by stealing the MVP award from James Harden. LeBron is still at the top of his game offensively, and he's been magnificent this season, as always.

*Giannis Antetokounmpo
(27.6 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 54% FG)




-Early this year, Giannis was a huge frontrunner for MVP, but the Bucks haven't won enough games to justify it. The fact of the matter is, Giannis has improved by leaps and bounds and as a result, his star power has risen this season for good reason. He has been vital to the success of the Bucks, and now with the coaching change as well as the trade for Eric Bledsoe and the return of Jabari Parker, the Bucks can challenge some teams in the playoffs out East. It doesn't seem like Giannis will take MVP, but he has been amazing this year and I would keep my eye out for him next season without question.

*James Harden
(31.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 9.0 APG, 1.8 SPG, 45% FG, 38% 3PT, 87% FT)




-The NBA has a love affair with James Harden this season. Whether it's Daryl Morey going overboard and saying Harden is the best isolation player in history (he's not even the best today), or people saying that Harden was robbed of two MVPs prior (he wasn't), or ignoring the ridiculous calls that he gets and how it's a dominant part of his game, the NBA overlooks all of these things to run with the narrative of Harden being MVP. I'm not a fan of Harden at all, but I can recognize he is a top player in the game and this season he's having one of his most efficient years, which is likely why he will end up taking home the MVP trophy. It's clear that Houston will either end up with the no. 1 or 2 seed out West, and that'll be good enough to secure the award unless the Pelicans steal third seed, which that should definitely make the award go to Anthony Davis. However, Harden has been clutch at times this season, as usual in the regular season, and though he hasn't added anything to his game, he has been better defensively for the most part. He is set to win his first scoring title, which is a huge accomplishment, and he seems on the path to win his first MVP award. The only thing in the way of Harden winning the MVP is a possible late season collapse by the Rockets (which is unlikely, but possible considering how tough their schedule is), or either Steph, LeBron, KD, or Anthony Davis closing out the season with huge performances and efficiency alongside a massive win streak. So, pretty much, as long as Harden can remain efficient enough, this is his year.

*Kyrie Irving
(24.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 49% FG, 41% 3PT, 89% FT)




-I am of the belief that Kyrie has a much bigger claim to MVP than anyone else on this list besides Anthony Davis. Let's be clear: Kyrie was going to the Celtics to be the man, but also to build a formidable three man lineup with Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. Well, unfortunately, Hayward got injured for the entire season and Kyrie was forced to carry the team on his back. While his stats haven't been eye popping, it's the contributions that he makes on the court (if you actually watch the games) that has led the Celtics to a 42-19 record and fighting for the no. 1 seed in the East. Without Kyrie, this Celtics team wouldn't be anywhere near as good as they have been and that's just the facts. You could take Harden off Houston and they would be a damn good team, you could take Steph off GS or KD off GS and they would be a great team still, but if you take Kyrie out of the picture for the Celtics, they might be scratching for the 6th or 7th seed instead of the first. Brad Stevens is a genius coach, but with Kyrie as their no. 1 option, they have a real shot at being a contender in the East, something they didn't have last season despite their record.

*Anthony Davis
(27.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 2.2 BPG, 54% FG, 35% 3PT, 82% FT)




-I'll be real.... This might be my MVP pick. It all depends on the success of the Pelicans heading into the playoffs, but with the momentum they have right now, and a schedule that is fairly decent, could we see them take the 3rd or 4th seed in the West? If so, Anthony Davis is your MVP. Even now, after losing Demarcus Cousins, the Pelicans are grinding out tough wins against solid teams. If they can keep this up, the reason for it is AD. He has been excellent this season, with some amazing performances and he's managed to stay healthy for the most part this year. His minutes are higher and that likely doesn't help the team heading into the playoffs, but AD is still impossible to guard and one of the best players in the game (he's top 5 IMO). Could AD sneak up and steal the MVP award? Time will tell.

*Kevin Durant
(26.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.9 BPG, 52% FG, 43% 3PT, 89% FT)




-At one point, KD was definitely one of the frontrunners for Defensive Player Of The Year, but as the Warriors try to fight off mental fatigue, there have been some mental lapses in defense for them and KD has slightly lost his case for the award. However, overall, I think KD has turned into the best two way player in the game, as he is offensively unstoppable and more defensively aware than he has been in his career. Durant stepped up huge for the Warriors when Steph missed 11 straight games and has been consistent this season, having one of his better years efficiently, better than last year actually. We could see both Steph and KD finish the season out with 50/40/90, which would be an amazing feat in itself.

-True

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