As we step closer to the end of the 16-17 NBA season, let's take a look at the biggest candidates for this season's MVP finals. Is Lebron going to win his 4th Finals MVP? Is Steph going to get his first? Or will there be a surprise recipient?
1. King Lebron James
Possibly the best player since MJ (Michael Jordan), King Lebron James.
At the age of 32, Lebron is still dominating the league with his presence, skill and knowledge of the game. Whether it's game management or needing to score for the win, when Cleveland have Lebron on the floor, they know miracles can happen.
2. Steph Curry
This may come as no surprise. Steph is one of the best three-point shooters the league has ever seen, compared to the likes of Paul Pierce, Reggie Miller and even Ray Allen. Over the past two seasons, Steph has made this shot his own, increasing his three-point attempts from 8.1 per game to 11.2. Once of the biggest changes in Steph from last season has to be his attitude. He looks like a player that could take Golden State all the way and partnered with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, it could happen.
3. James Harden
If the Houston Rockets proceed to the conference finals, which as I am writing this, the San Antonio Spurs have a 3-2 series lead over them, we can't forget about James Harden as an outsider for the NBA Finals MVP. Since leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 and stepping out the shadow of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, Harden has been unleashed, increasing his points per game, assists per game and three points scored per game.
4. Kawhi Leonard
With an ageing squad, the San Antonio Spurs still managed to finish second in the Western Conference, just behind Golden State. Leading in both points per game and assists per game, we cannot forget to recognise the pure skill that Kawhi Leonard has demonstrated. Since joining the professional league aged 20, Leonard has increased his stats year upon year, with 2017 being a level above the rest. The only thing standing in the way of Leonard is the Mighty Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry.
5. Isaiah Thomas
A complete outsider to receive the NBA Finals MVP. Isaiah Thomas has to be recognised for the work he has put in since becoming the Boston Celtic point guard in 2015. Boston finished above Cleveland in the Conference standings, largely down to the work Thomas is putting into the league this year. He’s scoring more points per game, improving his assists per game, and increasing his free throw percentage to a career high. If Boston can get past the Washington Wizard, Thomas is in with more chance of getting this year's MVP.
Will we have a repeat of last year, Golden State vs Cleveland? With both having a 4-0 record in both their playoff series, it looks likely. Even if this does happen, maybe Kyrie Irving (Uncle Drew) or Klay Thompson are in with a shout this year? I suppose we’ll just have to wait and find out.
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