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NBA Friday; The MVP Race


LeBron James is far and away the odds-on-favorite to win the MVP in the coming season.

Is this really a race? Should we not just hand the trophy over LeBron James right now, let him play a few majestic games and then wait till the playoffs start? The ‘King’ is coming off of his first NBA championship after all and also picked up Olympic gold along the way so why would anyone doubt that he is going to be the 2012-2013 NBA Most Valuable Player? The answer is, they shouldn’t. This is James’ award to win and while he will certainly receive challenges from the Kevin Durant’s and Kobe Bryant’s of the world, James’ overall game is at the top. Barring injury, LBJ is without question the odds-on-favorite for the prize.

Of course if you’re looking for a little action and perhaps thinking of going with someone else for this prestigious trophy then let me lay out a few guys and the odds as well as some long-shots I like as well.

LeBron James, Miami 7/4See Above

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City 15/4 – Last we saw Durant he was leaving the court after his Thunder went down to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. As sad as that may have been for the young man, he had to know that besides LeBron, he was clearly the best player on that court and will only be better again this year. Although some of the teams like the Lakers are improved, this is still the team to beat in the West and they happen to have the best player in the West with all due apologies to Kobe. If you’re looking for a favorite to throw money at, here’s your guy.

Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers 12/1 – Frankly, I’m a little surprised Kobe is projected this high. Here’s a guy that is still a phenomenal player, but there are now obstacles to his chances. First, he is going to have to share the ball with Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Secondly, will nagging injuries continue to bother him? And lastly, he’s been talking about retirement in the last few days so I’m not real sure where his head is. Personally, I’m not touching Kobe in the MVP race.

Russell Westbrook

Westbrook needs discipline in order to be an MVP candidate

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City 16/1 – Westbrook is an outstanding basketball talent but he will find himself in a situation similar to that of Kobe. He is going to have to share the ball with Durant and also needs to learn stop shooting when they aren’t falling. No one wants to be referred to as a ‘chucker’ any more than Seinfeld’s George Costanza did and Westbrook needs to learn that discipline. With that said, he’s going to score and score often and is obviously the gas that makes the Thunder’s machine go offensively. I just don’t see him being able to do enough garner MVP honors with the exception of injuries to others.

Dwight Howard, LA Lakers 16/1 – You’d think Howard would be suffereing from the same fate as Bryant here wouldn’t you in terms of his MVP chances? Too many guys wanting the ball and only one ball to play with but there is a difference here. While Kobe is an excellent defender, Howard is the type of defender and rebounder that can single-handedly take over a game. If Howard can stay healthy and that’s a tremendous ‘if’ considering his back problems then I believe he will be in the discussion. If health is a concern, it won’t even be brought up.

Long-Shots I Like

Kevin Love, Minnesota 25/1

Danny Granger, Indiana 60/1

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland 60/1

Andre Iguodala, Denver 150/1

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