NBA MVP Race 2011: Five MVP Caliber Players, Who Won't Be Considered.
Every year the NBA MVP race boils down to individual scoring and team wins. The MVP is the best player on a dominant team, who is tops in the league in scoring.
And every year there are far too many players who have stellar seasons, but are not considered as candidates for MVP.
The 2011 front runners for MVP are Derrick Rose, LeBron James, and Amare Stoudemire. But here are my top five players who are having MVP-like seasons, but have no chance of hoisting up the MVP award.
5. Monta Ellis: G Golden State Warriors
Statistics – 24.7 PPG 5.4 APG 3.4 RPG
Team Record 27-33
Monta Ellis is currently eighth in the NBA in scoring. His points per game would be significantly higher if he wasn't sharing the backcourt with the young talented Stephen Curry’s 18.5 PPG.
Monta is the Warriors go-to guy, and is one of the NBA’s top pure scorers.The issue with Monta is that he and the Warriors do not play defense, which is why they are hurting in the wins column.
Though the Warriors have struggled, Monta has been one of the league’s Most Valuable Players.
4. LaMarcus Aldridge: F Portland Trailblazers
Statistics – 22.3 PPG 9.0 RPG 1.23 BPG
Team Record 33-27
Aldridge is on the cusp between star player and a league All-Star and MVP. He is averaging career highs in points and rebounds, and is quietly leading the banged up Trailblazers into the playoffs.
The Blazers have been plagued by injuries all year, but LaMarcus has held them together and kept them in playoff contention.
Brandon Roy returning from injury will help LaMarcus on offense. And with Carmelo Anthony playing in New York, and Rudy Gay, of the Memphis Grizzlies, out for the year I expect LaMarcus Aldridge and the Trailblazers to make a splash in the playoffs.
3. Zack Randolph: F Memphis Grizzlies
Statistics – 20.2 PPG 13.10 RPG 1.8 APG
Team Record – 34-28
Randolph has been a 20-10 man for over five seasons now, and does not get nearly enough recognition for his skills. He is fourth in the league in double doubles with 44, third in rebounds per game and first in offensive rebounds.
Randolph simply gets overlooked because he plays for the small market Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies hold the eighth seed in the Western Conference, but Rudy Gay getting injured will likely end their playoff hopes.
Zach Randolph has a chance to truly showcase his talents if he can keep the Grizzlies in the playoff race.
2. Kevin Love: F Minnesota Timberwolves
Statistics 20.9 PPG 15.50 RPG 2.5 APG
Team Record – 14-47
If Kevin Love was not on one of the worst teams in the NBA he would be a top contender for the MVP trophy. Love is first in the league in rebounding with his astounding 15.5 RPG.
Kevin Love is a one of the most versatile players in the NBA. He can score at will, and rebound over anybody. A double-double is expected out of Love every night. He is currently on a 48 game double-double streak, which is three shy of the NBA all-time record.
Love is also an incredible three point shooter at 42.6 percnet, especially for his size (6'10"). Kevin Love can do it all, but the Timberwolves will have to build talent around him, or this future MVP will be out the door.
1. Russell Westbrook: G Oklahoma City Thunder
Statistics 22.0 PPG 4.9 RPG 8.4 APG
Team Record – 36-22
Westbrook is one of the best point guards in the NBA. He has been more valuable to the Thunder than Kevin Durant, even though Durant scores a league high 28.5 PPG.
Westbrook is tenth in the NBA in double-doubles with 27 (15 more than Durant), and ninth in the league in assists. Russell is a complete player. He can pass, shoot, and rebound; all from the point guard position.
Westbrook has also improved his points per game by six points from last season, to create the most talented backcourt in the NBA with Durant. Russell Westbrook is the epitome of a MVP, but it will be hard to win the award with Kevin Durant as a running mate.