NBA MVP 2013: Top Candidates to Steal Award Away from LeBron James

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NBA MVP 2013: Top Candidates to Steal Award Away from LeBron James
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

LeBron James is widely considered to be the favorite to take home the NBA MVP this year. 

The three-time MVP and nine-time All-Star averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.7 steals during the regular season and shot 57 percent from the floor and 41 percent from beyond the arc.

He also registered the highest PER in the NBA, via Basketball-Reference.com.

But a few contenders are aiming to steal the award away from James this season, including Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who met him in the NBA Finals last year.

Here are the top three candidates threatening James for the 2013 NBA MVP.

 

3. Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers

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No matter where Chris Paul plays, he always makes the franchise better. In his second season with the Clippers, he averaged 16.9 points, 9.7 assists and 2.4 steals while shooting 48 percent from the field and 89 percent from the charity stripe.

He also registered the third-best PER and third-best win shares in the NBA, via Basketball-Reference.com.

In turn, the Clippers went 56-26, capturing the Pacific Division and No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. 

 

2. Carmelo Anthony, F, New York Knicks

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony was the NBA's scoring champion this season, averaging 28.7 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting 46 percent from the floor, 38 percent from downtown and 83 percent from the free-throw line.

While Anthony has primarily been a scorer throughout his career, he was also a leader this season, helping the Knicks overcome various injuries, including the loss of power forward Amar'e Stoudemire. In fact, he filled in at power forward with Stoudemire out, displaying his versatility.

Anthony registered the fourth-best PER in the NBA.

 

1. Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Kevin Durant turned out one of the greatest shooting performances in NBA history this season. He shot 51 percent from the floor, 42 percent from downtown and 91 percent from the free-throw line, averaging 28.1 points per game in the process (second best in the league).

Durant also averaged 7.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks. He registered the second-best PER and second-best win shares in the NBA, too.

The Thunder went on to capture the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a 60-22 record.

 

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