2010-11 NBA Preview: The Top 5 MVP Candidates
If LeBron James had stayed in Cleveland, I wouldn't be listing candidates. He would've averaged another amazing stat line yet again and won his third straight MVP.
He might even have kept winning it until he turned 30 the way he was doing everything for the Cavaliers.
But winning the regular season MVP has gone down in his priorities, which is why he's left for Miami where an even better trophy, the Finals MVP, might be in his hands.
In this slideshow, I will list the top candidates to win the regular season MVP for the 2010-2011 season, and will give a prediction on who I think will win it.
First up on the list is undoubted MVP frontrunner Kevin Durant.
The anti-LeBron, as the media is calling him nowadays, is 22 and will be in the running to win MVP in the regular season.
He will have to do a couple of things to win the regular season MVP this season.
First off, he will have to win another scoring title. Scoring is a huge thing in the NBA, otherwise Dwight Howard would've had multiple MVP trophies to go alongside his Defensive Player of the Year trophies.
Another thing that's vital to him winning the MVP is team success. Obviously no one from the Minnesota Timberwolves will be getting an MVP this season, and that's because for an award like this, you also have to have team success.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will have to win more than 50 games in the regular season. They will have to have home-court advantage in the first round.
Otherwise he would have to be putting up Wilt Chamberlain numbers to get the MVP trophy. A lot of him winning the MVP will be determined on the OKC Thunder's success.
Dwight Howard, easily the best center playing in the NBA, is another man trying to get his hands on an MVP trophy now that LeBron is in Miami.
His defense is already the best in the league, which has netted him two Defensive Player of the Year awards, but his offense can certainly do some catching up.
To win the MVP award, he will have to increase his shots and improve on offense.
Last season, Dwight Howard only averaged 10 shots a game. That is terribly low even if you put in the FTs that he takes. Being such a physical force down low, he should definitely be taking a lot more shots. Probably somewhere around 16 a game.
That is something his teammates have to help him with. The Orlando Magic are a terrific three-point shooting team, but even though they are, they should feed Howard in the post more often. He should average around 23-26 points to get a shot at the MVP award.
His offense won't develop unless his teammates start feeding him in the post more.
Overall, I would say he has as good a chance as anyone to win the MVP award as long as he takes more shots and averages more than 20 points a game.
The Black Mamba just has to be in the discussion if we're talking about winning something.
This man is the ultimate competitor. He is aging, but has not been slowed down by that. Him and the Lakers are the ultimate reason that the Miami Heat are not being called favorites to win the NBA Championship this year.
However, even if his age hasn't caught up to him yet, his injuries might force Phil Jackson to keep him out of some easy games this year. That might affect him winning the MVP.
He probably won't win the regular season MVP because of all the help he has on his team. He is definitely the frontrunner to win his third straight Finals MVP though.
After so famously taking his talents to South Beach, LeBron James' chances of winning an MVP have gone down as well. LeBron James has gone from being a hometown hero to a villain in just a few months.
A few things have to happen in order for him to win yet another MVP trophy. First off, the Miami Heat will have to have the best record in the league. That doesn't sound too hard now does it?
Well, he will also have to do something no one has ever done in the NBA besides Oscar Robertson. He will have to average a triple-double. If not that, very close to a triple-double.
A lot of people say that this is very possible for him to accomplish, but a lot of that will depend on how Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh score their points. If it's off isolation plays, then obviously LeBron isn't getting an assist to passing the ball into the post.
His rebounds will probably not suffer as much, as Bosh is really the only guy in the starting lineup who will take rebounds away from him.
Joel Anthony is certainly not a 10 rebounds a night guy so he won't be getting any trouble from there.
To round off my list, I went with a biased pick.
Brandon Roy is one of the lesser known franchise players in the NBA. He is the face of the Portland Trail Blazers, and recently said that he wants the ball in his hands more this season.
What I take that to mean is that he wants more shots, which is definitely a good thing if you're someone who wants to win MVP.
For the past couple of seasons, he's quietly been the third-best shooting guard in the NBA, while averaging around 22 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists.
Those don't seem like MVP-caliber numbers, but they can definitely increase if he is more assertive on the offensive end.
A lot of times, he doesn't feel the need to carry the offensive load because of all the help he's got on the team. That will have to change if he wants to become the MVP of the NBA.
Overall, three things have to happen if he is to become MVP.
His defense has to improve. Right now, his defense is about average and that doesn't seem too good for someone trying to win MVP.
The Trail Blazers have to stay healthy and win the second seed in the West. Unlike the Thunder, Roy will have to help his team win the second seed in the West behind the Lakers. This is because they have already got 54 and 50 wins the past two seasons. There has to be an improvement if he's considered.
Lastly, he and the team have to stay healthy. He isn't a player who misses long periods of time every season, but he does get injuries here and there, which force him to sit out games.
MVP Winner Prediction
My prediction for MVP winner in the upcoming season.
None other than Mr. Kevin Durant!
I definitely went with the safe pick on this one, as he has a high chance of winning the scoring title this season with other superstars sharing scoring loads with their teams.
It also seems like the OKC Thunder will win north of 50 games this season, so team accomplishments probably won't get in the way for him.
Ideally, I'd love to say that Dwight Howard will win the MVP award as he's one of my favorite players in the league, but there's just too many question marks with his offense. Luckily he'll probably get another Defensive Player of the Year trophy to cheer him up!