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NBA MVP Odds: Can Chris Paul Challenge LeBron James and Kevin Durant?

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NBA MVP Odds: Can Chris Paul Challenge LeBron James and Kevin Durant?
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers became the third team in NBA history to go 16-0 in a month in December 2012, and it all started with point guard Chris Paul.

After the Clips dropped four straight games in late November, Paul's teammates implored him to be more aggressive from the get-go and start taking over games earlier.

Seventeen straight wins later, consider that mission accomplished. Heading in 2013, Paul leads the NBA's hottest team despite playing a career-low 32.9 minutes per game.

As a result, Paul has begun garnering serious consideration for league MVP, even while the usual MVP suspects like LeBron James and Kevin Durant remain dominant.

Has the Clippers' collective excellence earned Paul the top spot in this week's MVP rankings? Or can one of the forwards maintain their hold on the throne?

Let's walk through the top 10 NBA MVP candidates as we head into 2013.

 

Note: Statistics and records current through games played on Dec. 31. Games in the new year are not included. Last week's rankings here.

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