NBA MVP Race 2012: Health and Consistency Will Help LeBron James Prevail

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IMay 8, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks to pass as he is defended by Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The 2012 NBA MVP will be announced as the second round of the playoffs begins in a little over a week. When it does, NBA fans can expect to hear the name of Miami Heat superstar LeBron James announced for the third time.

You can debate the likes of Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and others until you are blue in the face, but at the end of the day, the tremendous season of LeBron's will be rewarded.

It's not just the numbers for LeBron. As I always say, he's the one player in the NBA that can't be defined by any one particular statistic, however, his regular season numbers are outstanding. James averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.9 steals, shot 53 percent from the floor and 36 percent from behind the arc.

In addition to the numbers, James had a lot of things going for him, which led him to an MVP-type season.

For one, the criticism James received following last season’s NBA Finals has fueled LeBron pretty much since the opening of the season on Christmas Day when he torched the Dallas Mavericks for 37 points. For the most part, he had a chip on his shoulder all season long, and you can’t argue with the results.

In addition, James was blessed with good health throughout the season.

Sure, he had some bumps and bruises along the way, but LeBron was fortunate enough to remain healthy all season long.

Health is a big part of his season because it led to a consistent season start to finish.

He started the 2011-12 season determined to work more in the post and spend less time around the three-point line. Yet, James consistently stuck to that approach for pretty much the entire campaign as he shot a career high percentage from the floor and attempted a career low 2.4 three-point attempts.

Sure LeBron had some rough patches, including in March when he scored under 20 points in five of nine games, but his overall consistency throughout the 2012 season should win him the MVP.

Further examining the resume of James and the consistency he showed, just take a look at his worst statistical month in each major category.

Points: 24.6 (February)

Rebounds: 6.8 (April)

Assists: 4.9 (April)

Field Goal Percentage: .511 (March)

Three-Point Percentage: .273 (March)

Those were the worst months of LeBron’s season, and quite frankly, if he finished the season with those numbers in addition to leading the Miami Heat to a 46-20 regular season, that might be enough to win him the MVP anyway.

Take into account where his numbers really ended up and the consistency with which James showed his dominance around the NBA, and it should be clear that LeBron should win the MVP for a third time.