Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
In alphabetical order:
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry almost deserves to stand alone on the Honorable Mentions list due to how dominant he was in late March for the Golden State Warriors. Between the 25 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists that he dropped in a 109-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on March 25 and the 39 points, six assists and five rebounds that he had in a 125-98 win against the Portland Trail Blazers just five days later, Curry has been virtually unstoppable.
Believe it or not, Curry's three-point field-goal percentage (.455) is higher than his overall field-goal percentage (.449) on the season. With Curry averaging 7.4 three-point attempts per game, he has emerged as the most lethal high-volume sharpshooter in the league.
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
Marc Gasol returns to the MVP Honorable Mentions this week after returning sooner than expected from an abdominal strain and looking no worse for the wear. In his first three games since his return on March 27, Gasol averaged 18.3 points, six rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 blocks per game for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Gasol is far more likely to merit serious consideration for the Defensive Player of the Year award than for MVP, but he's only taken upon a more central role for the Grizzlies since the team traded away Rudy Gay. There's no question who's been the better Gasol brother in 2012-13, and suffice it to say, it's not Pau.
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
With Danny Granger now officially out for the rest of the season, Paul George needs to continue playing like a superstar for the Indiana Pacers to make serious noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs. George has marvelously weathered the storm without Granger thus far, averaging per-game career highs in points (17.9), rebounds (7.7), assists (4.1), steals (1.8) and minutes (37.6) in his third season as a pro.
George's barely above league average PER of 17.4 doesn't do him any favors in the MVP race, but the fact that he ranks 12th in the league in win shares (9.2, according to Basketball Reference) merits the slightest bit of fringe MVP consideration.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Of anyone here on the Honorable Mentions list, Blake Griffin is in danger of completely falling completely next week. Griffin shot only 40.4 percent from the floor over the Los Angeles Clippers' five-game span from March 23-30, three of which were losses.
It's difficult to fully disqualify Griffin for an MVP Honorable Mention, however, given that he ranks seventh in the league in win shares (10.0) and is 11th in PER (22.85), according to Basketball Reference. Griffin may be hitting a late-season slump, but he's been one of the most valuable players in the league this season by those two measures of efficiency.
Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
Deron Williams' post-All-Star break surge hasn't slowed any as we head into April. After averaging only 16.7 points per game on 41.3 percent shooting overall and 34.7 percent from three-point range before the break, Williams has jumped to averaging 22.2 points per game on 46.5 percent shooting from the field and 42.4 percent from deep since mid-February.
Just missed the cut: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks; Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
Dropped from rankings: Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets (injury)