With the All Star weekend behind us, the second half of the campaign will see the race for the NBA’s MVP really take shape between now and the end of the season.
The likes of Stephen Curry, LeBron James and James Harden are all among the favourites, with betfair and other online sportsbooks to be named the league’s MVP in 2015, but there are plenty of other players who are still very much in the mix for the MVP award come the end of the current campaign.
Here are our top 10 contenders for this season’s MVP.
10. Jeff Teague
Not many gave the Atlanta Hawks much chance this season but their starting five have been one of the most consistent in the NBA. A remarkable run of 17-0 throughout January was the best in NBA history, and it’s been Jeff Teague who has been the man behind much of the Hawks’ success this season.
9. DeMarcus Cousins
The Sacramento star has been racking up some serious numbers this season, averaging 23.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 blocks a game. Currently third in the league for rebounds averaged per game, seventh in points per game and ninth in average blocks per game, Cousins is just one of two players in the NBA sitting in the top 10 of each category.
8. Damian Lillard
The Portland Trail Blazers have been thankful to Damien Lillard on a number of occasions this season. In what has been an outstanding campaign for the 24-year-old, Lillard is averaging 21.5 points and 6.3 assists per game, with an impressive 21.PER in his third season in the NBA.
7. John Wall
The fact the Washington Wizards are heading towards a place in the playoffs is down to just how sensational John Wall has been this season. The point guard’s 2.9 defensive win share is 11th in the league, behind only Stephen Curry and James Harden in the NBA.
6. Kevin Durant
Despite missing a large chunk of this season with injury, the reigning MVP is still in the mix for this year’s award due to his sensational performances for the Thunder when fit. Averaging 25.4 points a game, Durant also boasts a 51% field goal percentage to go with a very productive 19.4 PIE. While there are players ahead of him in the MVP pecking order, Durant could still have a chance if he stays fit until the end of the season.
5. Russell Westbrook
Durant might be gaining most of the headlines in recent weeks but it was Russell Westbrook who ensured the Thunder stayed in play-off contention while last season’s MVP was injured. Tied with LeBron James with 26 points per game, the second best in the league, Westbrook could be much higher up the MVP rankings if he hadn’t suffered a facial injury that will keep him out of action.
4. Anthony Davis
While New Orleans fans might not want to admit it, the Pelicans have been a one-man team this year. It might not have been a hugely successful first half of the season but Anthony Davis has been head and shoulders above his team-mates, averaging 24.3 points a game and putting himself in MVP contention despite playing in such a limited team.
3. LeBron James
Things might not have gone immediately to plan for King James following his return to Cleveland this season but the four-time MVP is beginning to show just what he is capable of and the Cavaliers will be one of the teams to watch. Averaging 26 points a game, James will be crucial to any hope his team have of competing for honours come the end of the season.
2. James Harden
There is little doubt the fact that the Houston Rockets sit fourth in the West is down to the incredible form of James Harden. The guard leads the league in scoring, with an 11.2 win share and a 27.2 PER. While there is a view Harden isn’t as interested in defense as he is offense, his two steals a game and 3.0 win shares show just how much he has improved that side of his game.
1. Stephen Curry
It’s not hard to see just why Curry is almost everyone’s favourite to win this year’s MVP. The Warriors find themselves in a strong position at this point of the season and the form of Curry has been crucial to everything that has gone right for Golden State this year. Leading the league in three-point shooting and in the top 10 for points scored and passes, Curry has also been a colossus in defense this season, leading the league in steals.