Kevin Durant (2-1): Despite all the Durant has no heart memes and hate Durant slurs, guess what? He is still Kevin Durant. He is still a former MVP. He didn’t just forget how to hit threes, rebound and drive to the rim because he left OKC like his house was on fire. Three games. Back to back 30 points. Back to back 90%+ free throw shooting. Back to back double digit free throw attempts. 60%+ field goal percentage in two out of three games. Against the average forward crew of the Blazers, he should get mad buckets on Tuesday night. Then comes OKC on Thursday and no longer friend Russell Westbrook. 31.3 points. 10.3 rebounds. 4.6 assists. 93.9% free throws. 30% three point field goals. 56.6% field goals.
Damian Lillard (2-1): A game winner in Denver. On opening night, Lillard dropped 39 points against the Jazz. Three games. 35 points per game. 5.3 assists. 8.0 rebounds. 90.4% free throws. 44.4% three point field goals. 54.9% field goals.
LeBron James (3-0): LeBron’s numbers are not screaming out loud crazy but he’s LeBron James, the best player in the NBA. He is always in the conversation. Three wins. Don’t hold your breath waiting for D’Antoni’s defense to stop him on Tuesday. We’ll see how he schemes against Al Horford when the media favorites come to the Q on Thursday. 21.0 points. 10.0 assists. 8.3 rebounds. 50% field goals. His three point shooting is anemic: 26.7% and his free throw shooting is 65%.
Russell Westbrook (3-0) Probably the most no-brainer MVP candidate. Westbrook channeling his inner Kobe is shooting the rock like all of the time. He has put up 86 shots. But he’s also a walking triple double in two of three games (one assist shy of three triple doubles). Tough week coming up. At the Clippers and at the Warriors. But so far, so good. 38.6 points. 11.6 assists. 12.3 rebounds. 44.4% three point bombs. 45.3% field goals.
Kawhi Leonard (4-0): The quietest MVP of them all is off to a huge start. Without Duncan, all the big time shots are coming Leonard’s way. Add to that, his extraordinary defense. Leonard makes the difficult appear simple. Four games. Four wins.On Saturday night another round with the Clippers. 28 points. His 3.5 rebounds are weak though given his athleticism and size. 4.25 assists. 95.0% free throws. His 44.3% from three last year has tumbled to 26.6% early in the season. 50% field goals.
James Harden (2-1): 17 assists opening night. Two game winning free throws last night. He’s already attempted 54 free throws. Mike D’Antoni’s system is giving Harden even more freedom. Of course his defense is garbage but the rest of his game will get him back on an All-NBA team, if not MVP voting. He plays the NBA champion Cavs on Tuesday. Good luck with Kyrie. 29.3 points. 10.6 assists. 7.3 rebounds. His three point shooting is an unimpressive 32%. But his made field goals come in at 43.3%.
Steph Curry (2-1): Overshadowed by Kevin Durant. Both may cancel each other out in the MVP voting. But Curry has a drama free year on tap with Durant taking all the criticism and a lot of the shots. Curry can pick and choose his spots. 25.6 points. 4.6 assists. 1.6 rebounds, a laughable number. 42.8% from three. 48.1% field goals.
photo via llananba