It could be bias (that I was told by Durant's Wingspan I had little of, lol), but I think LeBron James looks like a pretty clear cut choice. He may have pissed people off with a few things I will even admit were ridiculous ("The Decision", the day after, so on and so forth). He plays with another player who may be one of the 5 best players in the world in Dwyane Wade and a perennial All-Star 4 man in Chris Bosh. Also, his team is set to finish 2nd to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference. With all things considered, I still say LeBron has easily stood out as MVP this season.
For those that point to the supporting cast of the Heat, the easiest thing to point back is that Dwyane Wade has missed 15 games this season. With LeBron missing one contest (a nice OT win over the Atlanta Hawks in which Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers stepped up), he led the team to a 13-1 record without the player many point to as a reason he should not take home the MVP. You might think that playing with Dwyane Wade would put them over the top, but I still believe they are making minor adjustments but nonetheless look to be at a better place as a unit than last year.
LeBron may have a more experience 2nd and 3rd option, but keep in mind that the Thunder's three players have an extra year of experience playing together. Russell Westbrook and James Harden are not slouches, with Serge Ibaka being an absolute value steal at 24th in the 2008 draft. Many have Serge as the favorite for Defensive Player of the Year with his out of this world shot blocking numbers, but I feel that they may be sleeping on LeBron here as well. LeBron does not have the standout stat of crushing the league in blocks per game, but he plays 10 more minutes per game than Serge and has been playing what I believe is the best defense of his career. Ibaka's blocks have made him the favorite, but the All-Around defense of LeBron I believe should put him in consideration for DPOY, not to mention strengthening his MVP resume.
Many will point to the fact that LeBron has won the award before. Their have been weaker cases for someone else to win an MVP and this could be taken into consideration. The media expectations were for the Heat to be unstoppable with the 3 signings of the summer of 2010 and they have not exactly been that. It is kind of comical to me that ESPN's Marc Stein was saying that he would base his MVP voting on whether LeBron could bring the Heat's record past that of the Bulls, who obviously have been without Derrick Rose for a large portion of the season. Why was it funny? Because I believe he assumed that the Oklahoma City Thunder were destined to capture the Western Conference's best record. Now, with one more Spurs victory, OKC will be in the same spot as Miami in their conference. To me, record at this point looks like a complete wash and a pretty poor reason to give one MVP over the other.
There is still time left in the season, but by now I think the process is pretty much over. There may be some still waiting to see if Chris Paul can give the Clippers the Pacific Division title over the Lakers, but a majority seems to think that it is between LeBron James and Kevin Durant. LeBron is my favorite player, so I indeed may be biased, but I think he deserves the award. He is playing the best basketball of his career and I truly believe that. He will not have the best "PER" of all-time or even of his career, but he is shooting an unreal 53% from the field and putting up his usual All-Around performance on both ends of the floor.
In what may not be statistically the best season of eithers career, it still appears that LeBron James and Kevin Durant are playing the best basketball of their career in 2012. Many felt that Kevin Durant had this award near sewn up as the Heat were struggling mightily just a few weeks ago. Still, they battled back to have matching records at this point. ESPN held a 5-on-5 discussion to ask who was having the better season and they were all unanimously in support of LeBron. That may not be the same as asking who is the MVP and the Western Conference still might be deeper than the East, but I feel LeBron's overall play has put the overall odds on his side.
The MVP is not the most important award for LeBron James to win. Kevin Durant is indeed a worthy candidate and has yet to win a trophy. The biggest thing to me is, it should go to the most deserving player, which I feel this season is LeBron James. If the Thunder had a vastly better record and Kevin Durant was putting up scoring numbers far greater than LeBron, it would be hard to argue against his candidacy. As is, LeBron is less than a point behind him in scoring and still putting up his stronger All-Around numbers. It is still safe to say he effects the game in more ways. Many feel the gap is closing between LeBron and Durant, but it still seems that most point to LeBron being the better player at this point. With the way things have gone for both Miami and OKC, this gives LeBron a definite edge in the MVP vote for 2012.
So, just wondering who everyone else feels is deserving of the 2012 MVP? I realize that LeBron's focus should be past this and some feel winning the award is unnecessary as winning a championship is much more vital. I agree that his winning a title is much more pressing as far as career legacy. The fact is, it looks to me like LeBron deserves the MVP this season and to vote for someone else out of superstition of LeBron not winning a championship seems like a poor reason.
Just would like to get an idea of where the forum sits on this topic. Do you feel LeBron should win his 3rd MVP or Durant his 1st and why? If you feel another player is more deserving? If you do, that is fine. Feel that the vote has definitely come down to these two players, though. For as valuable as Chris Paul has been to the Clippers, I think LeBron and Kevin Durant have played at a higher level overall and this is a two man race. You have a vote on this forum, you voting for LeBron or Durant?
Two of my favorite players in the league provided a great MVP race until recently. Before the last couple of weeks, I was flip flopping between LeBron and Durant and felt no matter who got it, I would be happy with the winner. They were both setting the tone through-out the season and even in their head-to-head matchups, they both brought the best out of each other. However, because of the recent struggles by OKC, mixed with some very poor shooting performances by KD, I'd be shocked if LeBron doesn't win his 3rd MVP.
You basically mentioned some great reasons why LeBron should win MikeyV but I'm just giving LeBron the edge based off his defensive impact for his team. Durant has improved his all around game this season and made some improvements on becoming a better defender but LeBron does this nightly. His defense is relaly something to watch. It's not even the chase down blocks that make the highlights that impress me. It's his willingness to go guard the other teams best player down the stretch. Does he get lit up sometimes? Sure, but most times that make will be one of the toughest shots of the game. Just on the defensive side, I give LeBron the edge and make him the MVP of this season.
The haters can hate on LeBron all they want, make 1,000 memes online, or talk about why he's such an &$#%#&@! but LeBron has been one step ahead of everyone this season.
You have to go with LeBron James.
IF the Thunder could've kept the best record in the West, then maybe I would've gone with Durant. Not that Durant has played awful or anything, but I feel he lost the award during this month. And that's tough to say since he had two 40 point games this month... A stinker vs the Grizzlies and twice versus the Clippers. And then a stinker last night vs the Lakers. I mean, when is the last time LeBron went 11-34?
well now that they both have the same record, i think lebiw brings it home.
1. defense; lebiw james should be in the conversation for defensive player of the year, he is the biggest two way player in the nba. not only can he cover his position, he is arguably the most versatile defender in the world. he can switch between lou williams, igoudala, to elton brand with no difficulty whatsoever.
2. wade vs westbrook; while im not gonna say westbrook is having a better season than wade because that might be far fetched, there have definitely been more times where westbrook outplays durant in games as opposed to wade outplaying lebron. even when wade was having huge games, lebron was the better ball handler, passer, rebounder, defender.
3. stats overall "per 36 mins": kd's 26p-7.5r-3.3a-1.3s-1.1b on 50%-86%-38% vs lebiw's 26p-7.6r-6a-1.8s-.8b on 53%-77%-36%. Some people argue how kd is the better offensive player but when you're putting the same ppg on a 53% to 50% advantage, and double the assist you can make an argument for yourself.
NOTE: that the difference between 53% and 50% is the same as 45% and 42% which could be the difference between an efficient season or not
4. injuries; wade and bosh have missed more games than westbrook/harden
5. harden's performance can almost be evened-out with bosh's
Lebron's been the MVP all along. Both guys have slumped here or there but Lebron not only has the numerical superiority, but he's a far superior defensive player. Giving it to Durant, a good defender nowhere near Lebron's level, is ignoring half of the game.
KD shooting 50% FG is more impressive than LeBron's 53%, considering KD attempts over 5 three-pointers per game... Durant is almost 50-40 and 90, which is impressive.
LeBron has a huge edge passing the ball, but I think KD is a better offensive player.
i know im saying tho, per 36 mins they put the same ppg and double the assist as the primary ball handler for his team, he can make an argument for himself.
taking a look at their effective fg% (takes into account that the 3pt shot is worth more points)
lebiw 554% ---- kd 547%
It may be close, but LeBron still wins the "no trey" debate. LeBron without triples is 55.2% FG, Durant is 54.2%. So, still rolling with LeBron on that one. Durant may be more versatile as an offensive player, but I think LeBron is not shooting a much worse percentage from 3 (37.9% to 36.2% Durant) and that I find his shooting 53% compared to Durant's 50 more impressive.
But can I say one thing? I hate how everybody is like "well now that they have the same record" I can go with Lebron.
Or, "if the Thunder had more wins than the Heat, then I could go with Durant". What is the difference if the Thunder have 1 or 2 or even 5 more wins than the Heat? Numbers speak for themselves Lebron is better in pretty much every category, even defensively. So what if the Thunder had a measley 2 or 3 more wins, is that enough to overlook everything else?
Please think about this. If that's the case then they just need to define the MVP as the best player on the team with the best record (which that player's team normally doesn't win the Finals). If the Spurs had the best record in the league is Tony Parker the MVP over Lebron or Durant if they had 2 or 3 less wins?
Think about it...
Either way, I hope Tony Parker at least gets some top 5 votes
""What is the difference if the Thunder have 1 or 2 or even 5 more wins than the Heat?""
-ask david stern, look what happened last year. lebiw put up better numbers than rose but rose got 1st and mvp. that's the way the league is set-up, i woulda bet money that if kd got 1st seed, he would be mvp
""If that's the case then they just need to define the MVP as the best player on the team with the best record (which that player's team normally doesn't win the Finals)""
you didn't just think of this, this idea has been around
I pretty much agree with you. It is also not all about numbers, but complete team impact. I thought it was ridiculous that Marc Stein was going to give his vote to whomever had the most wins between LeBron/Durant. Winning is a pretty important factor for MVP, but it is a basically an award around who is having the best season as well. In my mind, LeBron has been the MVP all along. It may be because of bias, but I flat out feel he is having the better season and is the better player. If Durant was indeed having a better season, I am pretty sure I could confess that he is, but I do not think that is the case (do not think I am alone).
The argument for MVP does tend to be based on a few things, though and sometimes one will be diminished because of the strength of the supporting cast. That has been ESPN's main argument for LeBron not being the MVP, "his team should have the best record bar none, if not than someone else deserves it" (paraphrasing, but that is pretty much what it boils down too). I have a list of whom I feel has deserved the MVP and I try to take the usual media hype behind it out and focus on the most deserving player due to his performance for his team and amongst the league that year.
The list was made after LeBron's first MVP, but these are the players I felt deserved the award in each season. I believe that LeBron deserved both his MVP awards, while I think I would have given it to Derrick Rose last season (though LeBron made a strong case as well I believe). This year, LeBron would have my vote.
Imo it's been LeBron since day one.
LeBron shoots 36% from three-point, but on what? Like 2 attempts per game? Durant has probably more than tripled his three-point attempts.
And even if you take out three-point attempts, I'm sure Durant still shoots more in between jump shots than LeBron.
Considering the type of game Durant plays, I think him shooting 50% from the floor is more impressive than LeBron shooting 53% with minimum three-point attempts and most of his baskets coming from around the rim. That's just my opinion though. Not really a right or wrong answer.
I know he's missed a few games and his team is in third but my vote goes to Kobe Bryant. Has no one else noticed his multiple game winners, huge fourth quarters, and tied for the lead in PPG? Yes, I know he chucks up shots but would you rather have anyone other than Bynum, Gasol, and maybe Sessions taking a shot than Kobe taking his 25th of the game?
As much as I hate to admit it, it just isn't Durant's time yet, Lebron will take home his third, but this one was really close. Had the Thunder won that second head-to-head I think Durant would have won it regardless of the games since, unfortunately not, but KD's just gotta look at the playoffs and hope Harden heals quickly.
I still think it's very impressive that KD is even in contention against Lebron despite being 5 years his junior. It's scary to think how good KD is going to be when he's Lebron's age. In about two years, when Lebron is getting a little older and Durant is starting to hit is prime the real contest is going to begin, should be fun to watch.
I can't deny Lebron his MVP this season, but I can still hope he's denied that ring.
I agree that Durant is the better jump shooter, but to me a basket is a basket. I find LeBron taking and making more shots closer to the hoop is just smart basketball. Kevin Durant takes 5.2 attempts per game to LeBron's 2.4, so not exactly as huge a gap as one might think (Durant makes 2 per game, LeBron 0.9). I agree that Durant may have a more complete offensive game, but LeBron and Durant's production is not as different as I believe you lay it out to be.
Kevin Durant: http://www.82games.com/1112/11OKC10.HTM
LeBron James: http://www.82games.com/1112/11MIA8.HTM
LeBron is in his prime right now and we're starting to see his ceiling.
The scary thing about Durant is that I think he can top this. He still has so much room to improve.
LeBron is the MVP of this season, but I think Durant is in the same league as him. The gap isn't that wide in my opinion.
very agreed ^
for me. it was durant until 2 weeks ago. now lebron is. followed by tony parker, and chris paul.
if he does win the mvp, might as well give him the dpoy. i dont feel ibaka is the better defender, yeah he block shots but doesnt shut down his man or change the offensive flow of their opponent. love,nowitzki,aldridge,gasol even blake all of them feast on scoring everytime they match up lol. with howard down, only lebron and chandler comes to my mind. other candidates maybe josh smith,kevin garnet,tony allen but not ibaka. he gets you 3,4,5 blocks still his man will drop 30 on him
Honestly, you have to give it to Lebron for the body of work he has put in this season.
Lebron has a chance to be League MVP, DPOY, All NBA 1st team, All Defensive 1st team. If thats not MVP of the League then I dont know what is??