The top players in the NBA all have areas that can be further solidified to aid their quest towards an MVP award. Last season, LeBron James silenced doubters and came away with his first NBA championship. Who will change the critics mind this year?
Will any players emerge as dark horse MVP candidates, or will it go to the favored James or Kevin Durant?
The MVP trophy doesn't always coincide with an NBA title, since it is decided by the media's vote before the NBA Playoffs have even run their course. It is regular season dominance that wins the MVP award, whereas there is no MVP for the postseason, save the Finals MVP award.
That said, it's an award very heavily weighted towards players on teams whose rosters are built for regular season greatness. Steve Nash was a prime example of the principle in practice in Phoenix, and all the guys that put up great numbers while winning a lot of games seem to take home the MVP title. Does that sound like an over simplification?
The award doesn't truly reward greatness always, and so often the players with the absolute best seasons receive no reward, save a first All-NBA selection.
Nonetheless, this slide show focuses on both the player's chances of winning the award and what he will need to do, or have happen, for the MVP award to fall into his lap.
For comparison's sake, I've included the Vegas odds on each player winning the award. Odds are taken from Covers.com