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The MVP award is notoriously associated with being on the best team in the regular season. Having the best record provides a huge edge to any candidate.
Just consider Nowitzki in 2007 or Rose in 2011. Would either of those two guys strike you as MVP candidates based on individual stats alone?
Rose's award was largely given to him for the tremendous turnaround the Bulls had to claim the league's best record. Nowitzki's award came to him as a result of two driving narratives. First, he had led the Mavericks to their first ever NBA Finals the prior year.
Second, Steve Nash—who had the best season of his career in 2006-2007—did not seem historically worthy of receiving a third consecutive MVP award.
Last year, LeBron evaded the best-record problem because the Thunder fell to the No. 2 seed in the West at the end of the year. At the same time, the Bulls and Spurs played team ball and didn't have huge (healthy) stars. Without a doubt, if the Thunder had kept the league's best record, Durant would have won the award.
Like the last two years and many others before, the Heat will most likely not have the league's overall best record. They might have the best record in the East, though even that is far from guaranteed. Teams like the Nets, 76ers" target="_blank">76ers and Pacers will play whole-heartedly in the regular season in a way that top title contenders often do not.
More likely than not the top record will come out of the Western Conference, either from the Spurs, Thunder or Lakers.
Whoever is the star player for the league's top regular-season team—whether that is Durant, Howard, Parker, Westbrook, Rondo, Paul or a miraculously healthy Rose—will be a stronger target for MVP votes than LeBron.