NBA Round-Up; Projecting the NBA Leader in Scoring
Last week I took a look at potential favorites for the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player Award and this week I’ll be focusing on the very statistic that usually goes further in terms of determining that award which is scoring title. Not every scoring title will win you an MVP award however just ask Kevin Durant who has won three straight scoring titles but has yet to claim the Most Valuable Player trophy. Amazingly, you have to go back to the 2000-2001 season when a guy last won the scoring title and MVP in the same year and that was Allen Iverson.
If you are looking to do some wagering of this variety, it may not be in your best interest to pick the guy you think will be the MVP and instead simply go with the guy you believe will average the most points in the 2012-2013 NBA season. Here are the favorites and their odds.
1. Kevin Durant, OKC 1/1 – Why wouldn’t this guy be the odds-on-favorite to win the scoring title? I mean, it would only be his fourth in a row for crying out loud. Durant’s biggest hindrance of course will be right on his own team as Russell Westbrook is not shy about hoisting up some shots of his own. With that said, Durant is clearly the main scorer of the Thunder and he will need to be once again as the team is heavily favored out west. Being in the Western Conference clearly favors Durant as well because less defense is played out there and scoring is what these guys do best. He is certainly the guy to lay smart money on.
2. LeBron James, MIA 2/1 – Another no-brainer here right? James is going to score points but he’ll do it a little differently than Durant will. He’ll get out on the break a bit more and will probably not knock down as many three’s choosing to drive the ball instead. What could possibly get in the way of a scoring title is actually a couple of things. First, a healthy Dwayne Wade would obviously pick up some of the scoring if he is putting in big minutes. Secondly, Chris Bosh seemed to really start to come into his own in terms of understanding his role offensively which might mean higher percentage shots more often for him. Lastly, is Ray Allen who could certainly take some scoring opportunities from James simply because of his ability to shoot the basketball. Of all the favorites, James is the one I would stay away from. Not that he’ll have a bad season, just that he might have to share a bit.
3. Carmelo Anthony, NYK, 6/1 – My biggest concern with Carmelo Anthony’s chances of winning the scoring title is his ability to stay on the court. He has played in all 82 regular season games one time in his career and that was his rookie season. He hasn’t even made the 80 game mark since ’05-’06. While injuries are a part of the game, they are also a deterrent to winning scoring titles and awards. Carmelo can certainly win this title with the way he can pour in buckets, but his health will keep him from it.
4. Kobe Bryant, LAL 13/2 – Kobe runs into much the same problem as LeBron does in that there might not be enough basketballs to go around. With Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in LA, there will be great demand for the rock. I think the one way Nash can actually help Bryant is by creating and dishing to him for more open looks than he has seen in recent years. You must also factor in Howard’s health as well which means more touches for Bryant. I also think that the way Kobe is talking in terms of his time left in the game, he seems ready to do something big. While his health can also be an issue, I like Bryant as my guy to pull this off if you actually want to win a few bucks.
Dwayne Wade, MIA 20/1 – See LeBron
Kevin Love, MIN 20/1 – Broken hand will not help his chances
Andrew Bynum, PHI 30/1 – No way, no how
Dirk Nowitzki, DAL 30/1 – His health an issue as well but at 30/1 why the hell not?