Kawhi for MVP?

By SiddharthChandran
Mar. 12, 2017

There have been a lot of name thrown around as to who deserves the MVP trophy, is it James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Lebron James, Stephen Curry, John Wall or Isaiah Thomas?

For me, my mind has been made up. It has to go to Kawhi Leonard and I'm going to state my reasons why the others should not get it first.

James Harden - He has been posting up insane numbers this season, from double doubles to triple doubles and he certainly has improved a lot as a player, well, not so much because James Harden as many of you don't know just created history by breaking his own record last year for the most turnovers in a single season by an NBA player. He had 324 turnovers last season and he's at 326 this year, the most by any player in NBA history. If I were an MVP voter I wouldn't give it to him just for that simple reason alone. 

Russell Westbrook - I so badly want him to get the award this season but I know he won't get it and it's all because of his supporting cast and the fact that they haven't performed well enough to put the team in to the top 4 or 5. The Thunder are currently sitting at the no. 6th spot and by my estimation that's what they will finish the season with. If you go by NBA history, all MVP winners have at least led their teams to the top 3 in the conference while Westbrook will qualify for the playoffs largely because of his hard work his teammates on the other hand have let him down in pushing the team further to the top.

Lebron James - I think we can acknowledge that Lebron is the best player in the league but even though the cavaliers are in the no. 1 spot in their conference their overall NBA record is the 4th best behind the Houston Rockets. Also, it doesn't help his candidacy when Lebron goes public about his intentions to add more playmakers to his team as it paints a picture that he's looking for help when rest of the other teams are doing better with very less.

Stephen Curry - Steph hasn't been the MVP we know him to be and he isn't performing even close to what he was in his first MVP season. Having said that, his ability to close games is also now in question. But, the real question is can he close this season by maintaining the no. 1 seed in the west without Kevin Durant? We know the spurs are creeping close.

John Wall- He is by far added a different level to his game which we all knew he had in him but it still remains to be seen as to whether or not he can add another level to the one created for himself at the start of this season by putting bigger numbers than the other star players. He hasn't really had a game where he has put up a monstrous total individually so because of that he most likely will not get it.

Isaiah Thomas - Big things come in small packages, the little guy from Boston is proving everybody wrong this season as to why he truly is the king of 4th but what he contributes in the offensive end he lacks defensively. He's generally a liability to the team at the defense end and for that reason he most likely will not get the MVP nod.

Now, we come to the man who really deserves the MVP award and I'm going to state my reason why,

Kawhi Leonard, a man of few words has shown the league that he's by far the best two way player in the game right now, a mantle that stood with Lebron for almost a decade plus. Kawhi has played against all the best teams in the league so far now and he's cemented himself as the best closer and go-to-guy at the winding down stretches of the game. He's also the most consistent player in the league and the most efficient of all the superstars with an only 8.7% turnover ratio compared to others which have +10% turnover ratio's. He also has the fewest Personal Fouls which is 92 while all the others have +100 personal fouls. Kawhi has better steal % and block % ratios than the rest. In scoring, out of the total 7 MVP candidates he ranks no. 3rd in scoring behind Harden and Westbrook all of this while averaging fewer minutes than all the superstars. He is truly the most efficient player in the league right now. I feel just like how Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Karl Malone have all won the MVP due to their efficient way of playing,  the MVP voters should award him that honor too.