NBA MVP Watch: December 8

Story posted December 10, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Daniel Mader

As the holiday season approaches, the NBA’s MVP race is taking shape, with early favorites continuing their hot starts, and other stars making their way into the conversation.

Let’s take an updated look at the MVP frontrunners.

Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors

The Warriors are currently 21-4, the best record in the league, and Steph Curry is at the forefront of it. His incredible shooting, scoring and playmaking has been MVP material.

As he approaches Ray Allen’s all-time three-point record (which he is going to destroy by the end of his career), Curry is the second in the league in points per game, first in threes made per game and is inside the top-20 in assists and steals per game.

If Golden State maintains its 68-win pace, it will be hard for voters to not hand Curry his third MVP award.

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant seems to have forgotten that he is 33 years old, coming off an Achillies tear just over two years ago. Some players don’t even return to the league after an injury like that, let alone get back to their peak game.

Durant is the exception, never missing a beat since his injury with the Warriors. He currently leads the league in scoring, which would be his fifth scoring title, and he and James Harden have led the Nets to a 17-8 record, which leads the Eastern Conference.

Already one greatest to ever grace the court, Durant shockingly only has one MVP award to his name, from the 2013-14 season. A player of his caliber deserves more than one MVP award throughout their career. Don’t be surprised if he takes it home this season. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

It is just too hard to keep Antetokounmpo out of the MVP conversation, despite some possible voter fatigue after his back-to-back MVP awards in 2018-19 and 2019-20, then his Finals MVP last season.

The Greek Freak just continues to get better somehow, ranking third in points per game (behind Curry and Durant) while also being a strong contributor with his playmaking, rebounding and defending.

Antetokounmpo has led the Bucks to a 8-2 record over their last ten games, and they are quickly soaring back to the top of the East.

If he were to take home the MVP award this season, he would have quite the trophy room already at age 27. 

Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns

Chris Paul just doesn’t age. His game has developed beautifully as he’s gotten older, and he is still the same mid-range threat and pinpoint passer he was a decade ago.

The Suns look motivated for another Finals trip as well, right behind Golden State for the second-best record in the league.

Paul’s 10.1 assists per game leads the league, and he is the only player averaging double digit assists. That merits some MVP consideration, despite a career-low in PPG.

He has clearly differed as a scorer to the younger players around him like Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges. He probably won’t win, but CP3 could finish toward the top of the MVP voting by the end of the season because of his elite playmaking and the Suns’ success. 

 

Daniel Mader is a second-year majoring in digital/print journalism. To contact him, email dbm5725@psu.edu.