Connect with us
Home » news » Nba Mvp Watch 111414

NBA

NBA MVP Watch 11/14/14

Jabari Davis continues his season-long discussion about the league’s top Most Valuable Player candidates.

Updated

on

We continue our weekly NBA MVP discussion with an updated list that includes some familiar names, but some surprising inclusions as well. As a reminder, this is a season-long, fluid discussion that is not based upon which players we believe are the league’s “best players” or “biggest stars,” but rather which players are producing at the highest level and having the greatest impact on their individual team’s overall success.

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

24.9 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 4.4 BPG

The only thing not working in Davis’ favor this season is the fact that leading a team through such a tough Western Conference field is extremely difficult, perhaps even more so this season than in recent years. Beyond that, Davis has officially established himself as the league’s next great player. Some would tell you he’s already there, but the scariest thing about this 21-year-old hybrid power forward/center is that he’s only going to get better… and better. Matchups against LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMarcus Cousins highlight his upcoming week.

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

24.9 PPG, 6.6 APG, 5.8 RPG

Curry is one of the few guys in the league who could legitimately challenge to join the ranks of players that have put up a vaunted “50-40-90” (at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc and 90 percent from the free throw line) for the year. He’s hovering around those figures right now, and while it is still early, there is no reason to think this half of the “Splash Brothers” will slow down anytime soon.

James Harden, Houston Rockets

25.1 PPG, 7.5 APG, 6.4 RPG

Harden and Dwight Howard have certainly answered the call for the Rockets in the early going. Both have been phenomenal for Houston, but Harden continues to set himself apart from a majority of the league’s shooting guards (not named Klay Thompson). His overall field goal percentage (38.7 percent) leaves much to be desired, but Harden is above average in just about every other statistical category on the offensive end.

Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

18.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.6 BPG

Gasol’s numbers may not leap off the page, but you must watch all of the ways he impacts throughout the course of the game in order to fully appreciate all that he brings to the table. Like the Spurs, the Grizzlies are a team that tends to rely upon a group effort rather than focusing on an individual or “star” players, but that doesn’t stop Gasol’s all-around efforts from resonating with opposing players, coaches and analysts. Next Monday’s matchup with Dwight Howard and the Rockets should be phenomenal.

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

18.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, 5.0 RPG

Lowry picked up right where he left off after a very successful 2013-14 for the Toronto Raptors. This early season has already featured a 35-point outburst in a win over the Celtics, and a triple-double (13 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) in a win over the Wizards. Next Wednesday’s showdown with Mike Conley and the visiting Grizzlies should be more than worth the price of admission.

John Wall, Washington Wizards

20.0 PPG, 9.0 APG, 3.8 RPG

Consider this a testament to Wall’s continued improvement over the first four years (and change) of his career, because there were actually plenty of pundits and analysts that initially questioned whether he would ever possess the maturity, leadership and well-rounded skill set to lead a successful franchise. Not only has Wall proven many of his doubters wrong, he’s actually developed into one of the league’s better point guards and already has his Wizards looking like potential contenders in the Eastern Conference once again.

Next Up

LeBron James is still the league’s best player and – contrary to what social media will have you believe –  is still putting up great numbers. That said, his Cavs have gotten off to (what was expected to be) a slow start, and are clearly still working things out. We fully expect him to be a part of this discussion and perhaps even return to being the leader of the pack when all is said and done.

Chris Bosh has truly embraced a return into a lead position and (alongside a resurgent Dwyane Wade) has his HEAT in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference. If they can stay healthy and remain in the playoff picture, don’t be surprised to see Bosh garner some actual MVP votes at the end of the year.

DeMarcus Cousins continues to impress with both his play and maturity, but his Kings are now enduring the “learn how to win together” phase that most young teams have to go through. Time will tell whether they can maintain the positive start, but this type of productivity has now become an expectation for Cousins.

 

 

Jabari Davis is a senior NBA Writer and Columnist for Basketball Insiders, covering the Pacific Division and NBA Social Media activity.

Trending Now