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NBA MVP Race 2017 Updates: James Harden And Russell Westbrook Remain As Top Contenders; Steph Curry Not In The Forecasts

By Donna Marie Lapena Padua , Mar 03, 2017 03:10 AM EST
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After seeing the NBA teams make a move during the February trade deadline, basketball enthusiasts are now all eyes on the forecasts for the NBA MVP Race 2017. James Harden and Russell Westbrook continue to dominate the MVP bets as well as online polls and predictions. Unfortunately, the current lists are not in favor with the back-to-back MVP winner of 2015-2016, Stephen Curry.

There are only a few more weeks left in the NBA 2016-17 season, and basketball fans are already excited to find out whom the league will name as the best player. In the previous season, Stephen Curry has recorded a rare MVP win via unanimous decision. Unfortunately, this year, the two-time MVP is losing to several other players who are hitting their career highs.

Since Kevin Durant has joined the Golden State Warriors, the limelight has been divided between him and Steph. For this reason, many believe that the NBA MVP board is somehow turning their attention on other players who hold fully the spotlight in their respective teams. Curry is also reportedly not performing at his best this season where a previous game of the GSW shocked the league when the MVP title holder failed to shoot his three pointers.

Durant is another factor reportedly keeping Curry to win his third MVP title. However, Durant's recent injury will keep him off the court for at least a month, according to numerous reports. Previous bets included Kyle Lowry - who is now out of the list because of his wrist injury - and Isiah Thomas who is deemed as the arguably worst defensive player of the league. With these four falling behind the NBA MVP Race 2017, the title is left with only a few more players to compete for.

John Wall of the Washington Wizards is reportedly second to James Harden in assist this season. With the Wizards cemented on the third spot of the Eastern Conference, it comes with no doubt why his play has become noticeable. A flaw in his game though is reportedly on his defense strategy which analysts say is not as reliable as it was in the past.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers should not be ruled out of the MVP race as his team is once again at the top of the Eastern Conference. Fans know that the MVP title is very likely to be given to a player from the best team in the league. With the record that the Cavaliers have to date, nabbing the MVP again will not be a problem for James. Besides, LeBron is still named as the best player of the league.

Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs is recording more points than both Curry and James. He is also reportedly second to Russell Westbrook in player efficiency rating (PER), and he has led his team to the second spot in the Western Conference behind the GSW. Without KD in the Warriors, some fans expect the Spurs to level with the former, where Leonard's star caliber talents will be more noticed by the MVP board.

The top spot is then a battle between James Harden and Russell Westbrook. These two players have been filling up the first and second places since the season started, and they still are holding their seats as of late. Westbrook is not with the best team, but the OKC is still in the top eight of the Western Conference, making him a qualified contender in the MVP Race 2017. Also, Westbrook consistently records triple doubles with averages 31.0 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.3 assists.

Finally, James Harden remains to be the top bet in the NBA MVP Race 2017. Harden has become one of the best scorers in the league this season as well as the leader in assists per game. Although he records lesser points than Westbrook at 28.8 points, but his three point and free throw percentage outstrips the king of OKC. The fact that the Houston Rockets are also at the third spot - which is far from the OKC's standing - makes Harden take the upper seat in the MVP Race 2017.

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