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NBA MVP Race: Post All-Star Break

Carly Fasciglione |
February 17, 2015 | 11:30 a.m. PST

Staff Writer

Stephen Curry won the 3-point contest at All-Star Weekend. Is the MVP trophy next? (Twitter/StephenCurry30)
Stephen Curry won the 3-point contest at All-Star Weekend. Is the MVP trophy next? (Twitter/StephenCurry30)
As per usual, once the, ahem, pathetic NBA All-Star Break is left in the rearview mirror, it’s time to evaluate the first half of the season and discuss what the rest of the season has in store. It’s been a year filled with underrated teams rising to the top of the standings and dominating performances by a few key players. Currently, most have Stephen Curry ranked first in the MVP race, with James Harden as a close second. It's difficult to completely rule out LeBron James considering the Cavaliers' poor performance without him in the lineup, but even the four-time MVP had to admit that Curry was the one to beat.

This year’s MVP is going to be an incredibly close one, and the winner will be indicative of what the voters truly believe the definition of the MVP award means. Is it just the best performing player, or the player who truly contributed the most to his team’s success? Obviously, these two notions can overlap in many cases, but this year has us wondering, are numbers all that matters?

That being said, here are the top three candidates for Most Valuable Player.

READ MORE: NBA Pretenders And Contenders

1. Stephen Curry- This one’s a no-brainer. Curry has been an unstoppable force this season. Although there’s no argument that the team is undeniably worse without him in the lineup, I don’t think that anyone can argue that the Warriors would have the best win percentage in the league without him. Not only has he stepped his overall game up, but his confidence as well. He’s gone from a sharp-shooting point guard to the most dominant overall player in the league in a year. It’s hard to argue that any other player deserves this award, considering the team’s success because of his output.

2. LeBron James- Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sigh all you want, but you just can’t count this man out. Since LeBron James and the Cavaliers were covered for, oh, only twenty four hours a day, seven days a week by ESPN this summer, there was bound to be some hype at the beginning of the season. After a slew of LeBron injuries and a lack of team chemistry, it’s safe to say they got off to a rocky start. However, since LeBron’s return in mid-January, the Cavs have put together a 14-2 record, with James averaging 27.0 points per game. And yes, the obvious statistic everyone is tired of hearing; Cleveland plays significantly worse without James. If Cleveland can manage to finish as at least the number two seed in the East, then James has a solid case to beat out Curry and capture his fifth MVP award.\

READ MORE: NBA Mid-Season Grades

3. James Harden- Harden has always been an impressive, yet very controversial player. Critics will continue to call him out on his less than exceptional defensive skills, even though he has improved a bit in that category this year. Regardless, Harden has pretty much dominated the stat sheet and the entire Houston offense has been dependent on him. Without any help from Dwight Howard, it’s impressive that Harden has almost single-handedly kept Houston in the playoff picture. As impressive as this all is, I’m still ranking James higher than Harden considering the state of the Rockets. Houston is struggling with a plethora of injuries and I don’t believe that Harden will be able to hold the pieces together alone, especially in the Western Conference.

Reach Staff Writer Carly Fasciglione here



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