The Thunder and Heat have to win 50+ games this season, and LeBron and Durant have to stick with the numbers they're putting up right now.
Based on that stat, I'd give it to James right now. However, I don't like to base basketball awards solely on statistics, but the other things the players do on the court to make their team better. This'll be interesting.
Everything else in the MVP race is getting irrelevant when you're battling these two. If Chris Paul wants it, he's going to have to put up more points, or the Clippers need to finish with the best record in the NBA. LeBron and Durant may have more help (although the Clippers are a deep team, LeBron has two all-star teammates and I'd say that the Westbrook/Ibaka/Martin trio is better than any trio of CP3's teammates), but the only player that has soaked in votes using that argument was Derrick Rose, on a 62-win Bulls team (the 62 wins is what really caught voters' eyes, and the fact that Rose was basically the offense).
Who's at the top? What's the rest of your top 5 look like and who has the best chance to stop what you stated from happening?
1) Kevin Durant
2) LeBron James
3) Carmelo Anthony
4) Chris Paul
5) Kobe Bryant
It's very hard to stick Kobe in there, but the truth is, with the improved efficiency and the scoring load at 34 years old, he would be considered despite the record. Not top three, not above the four I named, but right now, they would consider it.
Melo gets it over CP3 just because Carmelo is without Amare, with a group containing what were considered out-of-shape, dysfunctional, and old players (from Felton and Kidd to JR Smith and, well, Melo himself) after losing a player (Jeremy Lin) who nearly stole the spotlight from everyone in the city of New York.
And because while both have beaten quality teams, the Clippers' current 12-game winning streak has featured quite a few of the NBA's bottom-feeders.
Honestly, Kobe has the best chance at stopping it from happening (from Durant or LBJ getting the award), but it won't go down that way, because the Lakers aren't going to end up with the best record in the NBA. Quite frankly, he would need to make that happen, and I doubt any of the players above could turn it around THAT fast.
But Melo still doesn't play defense, and drop the hammer if the guy would ever decide to pass the ball. At least Kevin Durant is making an effort to be more of a facilitator. The Knicks' offense is running straight through Carmelo Anthony when they expect him to score, and through whatever PG is on the floor when Melo isn't involved.
Yea thats because the MVP is also a popularity race at times. Melo right now deserves it hands down. Has put the knicks on his back and is balling his ass off. He is avg 28 points with 48% from the field and 46% from three. Knicks are the best team in the east because of him.
I have a gut feeling things won't be so shiny in New York once Amare returns, because both are almost identical in style. Of course, Melo stretches the floor out FAR better (we know that) and Amare is better in a pick and roll (we'll see how fun that gets with Kidd), both will need the ball to play up to their potential, and simply put, both will need to learn how to defer a little more...maybe even help each other out.
LeBron is more of a helper, and that's where his reputation will always rest. It's the same with Kobe, although Bryant is an outstanding on-ball defender when assigned such a role, but that's rare given that most of our guys can't defend on the ball AND require a roaming defender.
That's if we're looking at the offensive end.
However how do the defensive numbers stack up? In terms of all around complete game?
Durant seems to be the better on-ball defender, and while people criticize him for his defense, he can actually lock a lot of guys down late in games. The role he is written in for, offensively, doesn't allow much of that, though...and when you have a guy like Thabo Sefolosha, then defensive players in Westbrook and Ibaka, you really don't have to grind that hard and waste offensive energy.
Because James is the better defender, hands down...Durant has to be the more lethal scorer...and he is.
Complete game? LeBron and Kobe are the only two in the NBA with it. Maybe Chris Paul, although he struggles rebounding (and his height and knees are a reason for that, but we can't consider someone like Kareem to have a complete game since his ball-handling was never elite AND he was never a threat from outside...that's just how life goes). Durant has a few steps to go...has to improve defensively (and show it consistently), but more importantly (and this is HUGE), he has to develop a post game.
Over the years, that's the one thing that kept me from calling LeBron the best player in the NBA...he didn't have a post game. I mentioned this so many times, I laugh when I type it (no joke). Last season, when he developed the most effective post game in the NBA, it won Miami their championship. I don't care what shots Mike Miller made down the stretch, or how much Mario Chalmers stepped up in a few games...LeBron's post game changed it all for Miami once the 2011-12 season took off.
In a way, Kevin Durant reminds me of a taller Tracy McGrady (but definitely not the passer, because T-Mac was nasty passing the ball). Only difference is, Durant is starting to work on filling those holes. McGrady declined to, and wanted to bulk up instead.
Right now, Durant is the only guy who can dethrone LeBron James.