by Nick Colecchio
This NBA season has been one of the most exciting in recent history. From a record 30 trades, to super-teams, to teams tanking for that number one pick in the draft, to the surprising storylines of the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors having the best record in their conferences.
These last six weeks of the season will both determine playoff seeding and see who is in and who is out. But the MVP race will be the most interesting and tight race in the regular season.
There are four candidates right now, starting with the four-time MVP veteran LeBron James, then going to the newcomers: James Harden, Steph Curry, and Russell Westbrook. Harden’s running mate is supposed to be all-star center Dwight Howard, but for most of the season Howard has been out with an ailing knee and back.
Even without his big man, Harden has elevated his scoring and has involved his teammates. Harden has lifted the Rockets up into the fourth spot in the tough Western Conference.
Right on Harden’s heels is Steph Curry with his Western Conference-leading Warriors. With Klay Thompson, Curry has been the focal point of maybe the best-shooting backcourt in NBA history.
Russell Westbrook is a matured player who is figuring out a way to get his teammates involved, to create a winning formula without Kevin Durant.
Through Westbrook’s career, he has been asked to take a back seat behind Durant. Westbrook has led the Thunder back into the eighth spot in the West and has done it in convincing fashion.
Westbrook made history by becoming the third player in NBA history to have four triple-doubles in a row, the first player to accomplish this since Michael Jordan in 1989.
He topped it off by leading the Thunder to a come-from-behind overtime victory over the Sixers, scoring a career high 49 points.
The distant final candidate is LeBron James who captured the heart of the basketball world when he announced he was returning to the Cavaliers.
LeBron went on a two-week hiatus to heal some injuries, and the Cavaliers made some big moves, becoming 20 and 4.
LeBron has started to look like himself and has made his team a rising power in the league.
There are only six weeks left, and what a ride it will be.