Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
In alphabetical order:
Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
Doubt Chandler's MVP credentials? Look no further than his 5.1 win shares in 2012-13, which rank fifth in the league, according to Basketball-Reference.
The Knicks defense isn't as stout in 2012-13 as it was the season before, but Chandler has still been a one-man wrecking ball in the middle for New York on both ends of the court.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
From Dec. 21-29, Curry exploded for 20.6 points, 7.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and one block per game for the Warriors, who went 4-1 in that stretch.
Curry is neck-and-neck with the player ranked No. 10 on this list in terms of MVP favorites. When he cuts down on his turnovers or improves slightly with his shooting efficiency, he'll move into the top 10 if the Warriors can stay hot.
Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers' recent struggles are no fault of Holiday's, who averaged 19.6 points, 8.8 assists and five rebounds in the team's five games between Dec. 21-29.
He's averaging a career-high 18.6 points, 8.9 dimes and 4.1 boards per game and shooting a career-high 45.1 percent from the field, doing his absolute best to keep the Sixers afloat through the ongoing Andrew Bynum debacle.
Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
Randolph falls out of the top 10 for the first time in weeks as the Grizzlies dropped three of their final five games in December.
Z-Bo posted three double-doubles in those five games, including a 21-point, 15-rebound performance in an 88-83 loss to the Indiana Pacers on New Year's Eve, but he hasn't taken over and dominated offensively, as the Grizzlies have sputtered on that end of the court.
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
Rondo continues to lead the league in assists with 11.6 dimes per game, but it's difficult to consider him a serious MVP candidate when you consider that he ranks 48th in the NBA in terms of PER.
When the Celtics go on their seemingly inevitable run this season, Rondo could shoot up this list. For now, given their struggles (14-16 through New Year's Day), he's in danger of falling off completely.
Dropped from rankings: O.J. Mayo, Dallas Mavericks; Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
Just missed the cut: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers