Russell Westbrook: Paul George Is MVP Front-Runner Because of His Consistency

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 11: Paul George #13 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder look on after the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on February 11, 2019 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
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If it was up to Russell WestbrookOklahoma City Thunder star Paul George would be the 2018-19 NBA MVP.

Westbrook believes George's consistency should give him the edge over the rest of the field, per ESPN's Royce Young:

"I mean we are tied, maybe third seed, whatever, but the way he's playing consistent. The one thing I always continue to pride myself on is being consistent. And this year, in my opinion, P has been very consistent. To be able to do the same thing every night is not easy to do. It's something that I don't take for granted. I think a lot of people around the world that don't play basketball, that don't play sports, don't understand what it takes to be consistent and get your mind right every night to be able to do something, so for him to do that and stay on the path to do that, he's definitely the front runner for my MVP."

That's high praise coming from a former MVP.

George has been on another level this season and earned his sixth career All-Star selection. After re-signing with OKC this past offseason, he is averaging career-highs in scoring (28.7 points per game), assists (4.1, which matches his career high), rebounds (8.0) and steals (2.3).

The 28-year-old's strong campaign has been highlighted by six 40-point games, including a 47-point performance in December that saw him drop 25 in the fourth quarter while helping his team rally from a 23-point deficit for a come-from-behind victory over the Brooklyn Nets

And he has only gotten better since that unbelievable game.

George has averaged 39.7 points per game so far in the month of February while being held to fewer than 37 points in a game just once this month. Meanwhile, he has eclipsed the 30-point mark in 10 of his past 12 appearances. That includes a 43-point performance in which he set a franchise record with 10 three-pointers against the Miami Heat on Feb. 1.

With George leading the way, Oklahoma City (37-19) currently sits in third place in the Western Conference, just one game behind the Denver Nuggets (38-18) for the No. 2 seed.  

Westbrook may be biased in the matter given George is his teammate. However, he's not alone. After George recorded a 47-point triple-double in a 120-111 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, both Damian Lillard and Evan Turner endorsed the Thunder star, according to Young:

Of course, George is not the only candidate with a compelling case. Reigning NBA MVP James Harden has elevated his game even further this season while leading the league in scoring at 36.5 points per game, reaching 30-plus points in each of the past 30 games. Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo (27.1 points, 12.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists) is also in the mix.

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