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NBA MVP 2013: Odds, Candidates, Predictions and More

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIJuly 20, 2016

NBA MVP 2013: Odds, Candidates, Predictions and More

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    With the 2012-13 NBA regular season officially at its end, the race for the Most Valuable Player award appears to have followed suit. The candidates are in place, their resumes are set and the evaluation period has reached its most critical point.

    The question is: Who will win the 2012-13 NBA regular season MVP award?

    For some, this is an answer that can be found with minimal thought or effort. For others, there is a debate to be had about who is in the running.

    One way or another, we're going to get down to the bottom of this.

Candidate: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

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    Position: Center

    Age: 36

    Experience: 16th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.49 PER, 17.8 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.7 BPG

     

    Tim Duncan is a two-time NBA MVP, four-time NBA champion, three-time NBA Finals MVP and a 14-time All-Star. He's been named to 13 All-NBA teams, including nine first-team appearances, and 13 All-Defensive Team teams, with eight first-team selections.

    At the age of 36 years young, Duncan looks like he'll be adding to the latter honors.

    Timmy has been superb in season 16, averaging 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 blocks per game. Most impressively, he's posted those numbers in just 30.2 minutes of action per game.

    To say that Duncan remains elite would be a drastic understatement of just how efficiently dominant he's been in 2012-13.

     

    Odds: 0.5 percent

Candidate: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 34

    Experience: 17th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    23.09 PER, 27.3 PPG, 6.0 APG, 5.6 RPG, 1.4 SPG

     

    In his 17th year in the league, Kobe Bryant played as if it were his seventh season. Bryant solidified his status as one of the greatest players in NBA history by averaging 27.3 points, 6.0 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals at the age of 34.

    Most importantly, Bryant willed the Lakers through dismal times, kept his head on and transformed his game into that of a facilitator to lead L.A. back into postseason contention.

    Since the All-Star Break, Bryant has averaged 28.5 points, 7.0 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals. Not only is that a sign of Kobe overcoming fatigue, but it's a testament to his conditioning—in his 17th season.

    At season's end, Bryant led all shooting guards in points, assists and rebounds per game.

    Bryant was also fifth in steals and second to Dwyane Wade in terms of field-goal percentage amongst players with at least 10 attempts per game. If that's not enough, Kobe shot 83.9 percent from the free-throw line and led the league in clutch scoring.

    As fate would have it, Kobe's season ended with a torn Achilles tendon. On one foot, however, Kobe didn't get carried off of the court.

    Bryant stepped up to the free-throw line, made both free throws on a torn Achilles tendon and tied the game at 109-109 with just over three minutes remaining—the story of a warrior.

     

    Odds: 0.5 percent

Candidate: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 27

    Experience: Eighth Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    26.43 PER, 16.9 PPG, 9.7 APG, 3.7 RPG, 2.4 SPG

     

    Is it possible that we're so jaded by Chris Paul's perennial brilliance that we sell his value short in the MVP talks? That's a genuine possibility for the player who has brought the Los Angeles Clippers their best season in franchise history.

    Not only did CP3 lead the Clippers to their first 50-win season ever, but he's also guided them to their first Pacific Division title since their inception—another ever.

    Paul has been marvelous on both ends of the floor, specifically on defense. CP3 led the league in steals for the fifth time in his eight-year career, all the while leading the NBA's fourth-ranked scoring defense.

    On offense, Paul is averaging 16.9 points and 9.7 assists on 48.1 percent shooting from the field—as I said, brilliance. 

    Even with the Clippers' unheralded team success and CP3's individual glory, however, there is a strong majority that overlooks him as an MVP candidate. Perhaps the fact that Paul facilitates Lob City instead of throwing down the dunks hurts.

    Regardless of why it is this way, it's wrong—CP3 is providing statistical evidence to back his claim as the best point guard in the NBA yet again.

     

    Odds: 1.0 percent

Candidate: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 28

    Experience: 10th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.83 PER, 28.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.6 APG, 37.9% 3PT

     

    Prior to the 2012-13 NBA regular season, the basketball world had trouble defining Carmelo Anthony's legacy. 'Melo had always been one of the better players in the NBA, but what he put on the court wasn't always indicative of his superstar reputation.

    In 2012-13, Anthony has done everything possible to silence the skeptics.

    Anthony did the unthinkable, dethroning Kevin Durant as the NBA's scoring champion. At 28.7 points per game, Anthony takes home his first scoring title, which is nearly as sweet of a reward as leading the New York Knicks to a 50-plus win season.

    This marks the Knicks' first 50-win season since 2000 and their first Atlantic Division title since 1994.

    With this in mind, it's fair to say that Anthony has done everything possible to improve his reputation during the regular season. While there are postseason questions to answer, Anthony is having the most MVP-worthy season of his career.

    With the No. 2 Knicks, it's now time to see if Anthony can quiet the postseason critics.

     

    Odds: 1.0 percent

Runner-Up: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 24

    Experience: Sixth Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    28.35 PER, 28.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG

     

    Some will look at Kevin Durant's inability to win the scoring title and label him as a player unworthy of the MVP award. The fact of the matter is, Durant won three consecutive scoring titles entering this season, and even in failing to win it a fourth time, put on his best season yet.

    Durant posted career-best marks in assists, blocks, steals, field-goal percentage and free-throw percentage—still mad about the scoring title?

    Not only did Durant put on a better all-around season than ever before, but he joined the ranks of legends. Durant became a member of the exclusive 50-40-90 club in 2012-13.

    For those unfamiliar, Durant posted a slash line of .510/.416/.905—50, 40, 90.

    KD joins Larry Bird and Dirk Nowitzki as the only players in NBA history to post those numbers while averaging at least 20.0 points per game. Durant and Bird are the only players to achieve the feat while averaging at least 25.0 points.

    Paired with boasting the best record in the Western Conference, what more could you ask for?

     

    Odds: 2.0 percent

MVP: LeBron James, Miami Heat

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 28

    Experience: Ninth Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    31.67 PER, 26.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 7.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 40.6% 3PT

     

    Is there really any doubt about this?

    Not only is LeBron James the reigning league and NBA Finals MVP, but he's just completed the best regular season of his career. If you don't believe that to be true, simply check the numbers.

    James has posted career-best marks in rebounds, field-goal percentage, three-point field-goal percentage, turnovers and fouls committed per game.

    While all of those stats are impressive, the most significant development in LeBron's game is his jump shooting. James entered this season as a career 33.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc.

    In 2012-13, James shot 40.6 percent from three-point range on 3.3 attempts per game.

    If that's not enough for you, note that the Miami Heat stake claim to owning the best record in the NBA. They reached that plateau with a legendary 27-game winning streak for which LeBron took a majority of the praise.

    Life is good for The King.

     

    Odds: 95.0 percent

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