1. Lebron James
Reasoning: Lebron James has finally looked like the Lebron i was expecting to see with the bright lights of LA on him. I was hoping for more a scoring effort on a nightly basis while he allows Lonzo to direct the offense. It seems they finally caught onto this as Lebron goes off for 42 points, while Lonzo gets everyone else involved for their first win against the Spurs. The Spurs who aren’t in the playoff outlook as of now are on of many “weak” West teams the lakers have beaten to their 15-9 Record. But i believe the Lakers will win enough games going forward due to this being the best defense Lebron has had around him since his first season in Miami to help make Lebron James the MVP. The allure and Star Power That LA brings should also help nudge Lebron the award if it stays this close between him and Giannis. His numbers are actually down for the most part but everyone loves a scorer and Lebrons going to pick up his scoring on the season as it progresses.
Stats: 28.4 PTS 7.6 REBS 6.6 ASTS 1.3 STL 52.5% FG%
Marquee Wins: Blazers, Nuggets
Reasoning: The Bucks have one of the best records in the NBA and they have played one of the hardest schedules up to this point with high profile wins over multiple teams along the way. If Giannis and the bucks beat Golden State for the second this year tomorrow night than Giannis May be able to lock this mvp race depending on how Lebron and the lakers fair against Golden State. Giannis has eye popping stats on both sides of the ball and the Bucks may have the best team in their franchise history right now. Bucks win 55+ games and with sweeps over GS and Denver (if they stay at top of west) that would be huge in an MVP case for Giannis. With these numbers my Lebron pick may seem biased, and it may be. But the reason i have Giannis at number two is because of the talent he has surrounding him, his inability to make a 3, and how he will fair against Boston rest of season.
Stats: 27.0 PTS 13.0 REBS 6.0 ASTS 1.5 STL 1.3 BLK 57.5 FG%
Marquee Wins: Warriors, Nuggets X 2, Blazers, Pacers, 76ers, Pacers
3. Kawhi Leonard
Reasoning: Kawhi made a statement over Butler and Embiid last night with a huge game that keeps him right in the mix for Raptors and League MVP, the amount of time he will continue to miss this season will keep him from actually winning the MVP. The raptors record and his play though should make them legitimate threats to win the East and maybe even dethrone the Warriors. They have the defense 1-5 to possibly contend with Warriors much like the Bucks could. This years finals will be very interesting, that is if Lebron doesn’t prove us all wrong and go to a 9th straight finals. His biggest argument aside from missed time is his overall numbers, he does make up for that with defensive presence however.
Stats: 26.1 PTS 8.6 REBS 2.9 ASTS 1.8 STL 49.1% FG%
Marquee Wins: 76ers, Warrior, Bucks, Lakers
4. Russell Westbrook
Reasoning: He is averaging a triple double for his third straight season. Everyone keeps saying that’s its easier to do that, fine maybe that’s true but why is he the ONLY ONE doing it. And don’t look now but the Thunder are the 2 seed in the West and have turned around an 0-4 Start To now being 16-7 and having won 16 of their last 19 games, with two games against the Bulls, Jazz, and Mavericks before we turn the page into the new year. The thunder are primed to go into 2019 with Russel Westbrook leading the MVP race depending on how Lebron and the Lakers fair during a brutal stretch from 12/13/18 – 1/2/2019.
Stats: 22.7 PTS 10.1 REBS 10.0 ASTS 1.9 STL 46.2% FG%
Marquee Wins: Warriors, Rockets, Clippers
5. Nikola Jokic
Reasoning: His scoring isn’t as high on the other players on the list but the Nuggets currently lead the western conference and Jokic May be the best passing center of all-time. He is also playing the least amount of minutes on any player we have on this list, not sure if that is conditioning or because they have been winning or even just game-plan. But those extra 4-5 minutes on the court give these other stars more stats, but this also makes a case for Jokic as his numbers are amazing across the board. If they keep winning like this all season long it may get very hard to keep the award from Jokic as well, especially if they end with the West’s best record.
Stats: 16.5 PTS 9.3 REBS 7.8 ASTS 1.3 STL 47.5% FG% Min 29.9
Marquee Wins: Raptors, Blazers, Thunder, Lakers, Celtics, Warriors, Clippers
HM: Embiid, Durant, Tobias Harris, Griffin, Curry