The MVP race is heating up as the regular season winds down.
To win the MVP award in the NBA a player must excel in relevant statistical categories and lead his team to a great regular-season record.
No player has won the MVP trophy with his team having less than 50 regular season wins since Moses Malone of the Houston Rockets in the 1981-1982 season.
Malone played every game that year and averaged 31.1 points and 14.7 rebounds per game. An absurd 6.9 of those rebounds were offensive rebounds, which is the second best per game average since the stat started being recorded in 1973-1974.
Winning 50 games in a standard 82 game regular season equates to a winning percentage of nearly 61 percent. This season is shortened due to the lockout but to achieve an equivalent winning percentage a team would need to win over 40 games.
The Minnesota Timberwolves currently have a record of 26-28. There are only 13 games left in the season. In spite of the tremendous season that Kevin Love is having it seems highly unlikely that he can win the award. He will definitely get some votes, but he stands little chance of actually winning it.
That leaves three major contenders for the MVP Award: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. James and Durant play for teams with two of the top records in the league. Bryant's Lakers are not among the very best teams in the league, but they will likely finish with enough wins to garner Bryant quite a few votes.
Three great players and less than a month left to decide who wins the award. Head-to-head matchups will take on extra gravitas down the stretch. Here are the key games that could swing the MVP race in the season's final month.