NBA MVP 2013: Breaking Down Top Candidates for Prestigious Award

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NBA MVP 2013: Breaking Down Top Candidates for Prestigious Award
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who has remotely followed the NBA during the 2012-13 season knows that—barring what would be one of the biggest surprises in league history—LeBron James will be crowned MVP this spring.

However, it’s still worth recognizing some of the top players in the game, as there would be a tight race for the award if it weren’t for King James’ sheer dominance.

Let’s take a look at our two runner-ups and then highlight the magnificent campaign James put together to capture the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. 

 

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Melo finally put it all together in the Big Apple this season, helping lead the Knickerbockers to a 54-28 record (second in the Eastern Conference) and captured the league scoring title to boot.

Over the course of 67 games, the superstar swingman averaged a whopping 28.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He shot 44.9 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc, all while successfully leading a ragtag group of aging veterans, unknown journeymen and injury-laden teammates through a tough schedule.

One area that he greatly improved upon that will not show up in the box score is on defense. Anthony was motivated on that end of the court for most of the campaign, finally showing some effort and being able to contribute to his team in that department.

While he’s not a top-tier defender by any means, his ability to at least aid in keeping his man in check helped the Knicks win games. If ‘Melo is ever able to make the leap to an elite defender, whilst keep his scoring up, he could one day win this award.

 

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Believe it or not, because Durant is approximately four years younger than LBJ, he could wind up being just as good of an overall player as the Miami Heat star. It’s not a wild thought to foresee KD legitimately challenging James for the MVP award as early as next season.

The OKC star finished his 2012-13 campaign by averaging 28.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 steals in 38.5 minutes of play.

He competed in 81 games and shot 51 percent from the arc, 41.6 percent from deep and 90.5 percent from the charity stripe, joining the exclusive 50/40/90 fraternity for the first time in his career.

While he has to become a better passer and more capable defender for his 6’9”, 235-pound frame, Durant clearly has the offensive prowess to earn Most Valuable Player honors.

As long as KD continues to make drastic improvements to his game in each upcoming offseason, as he has in the past, there is no doubting he will be able to start snagging votes away from LeBron in the near future.

 

LeBron James, Miami Heat

It would be an absolute travesty if James weren’t named the 2013 NBA MVP.

The Heat stud just completed one of the best regular seasons in the history of the league and possibly ever, having averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.9 blocks in 76 contests.

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He shot a ridiculous 56.5 percent from the field, 40.6 percent from beyond the arc and a career-consistent 75.3 percent from the foul line. LBJ also led his team on an epic, 27-game winning streak.

Now factor in that King James is a legitimate contender for the Defensive Player of the Year Award and led Miami to the best overall record in the league—by a six-game margin—and you are looking at what should be a unanimous vote for MVP.

There was simply no better basketball player alive this past year and James should be honored for his epic campaign in a few weeks.

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