Each week, HoopsHype ranks the Top 10 candidates for this season’s Most Valuable Player award. This list shows which NBA stars are performing at an elite level and putting themselves in the MVP conversation.
One player has consistently climbed the list over the last month, and this week is no exception.
10. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
STATS: 20.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 10.0 apg, 2.5 spg, 43.3 FG%
By now, it’s no surprise to see Westbrook averaging a triple-double; he’s on pace to achieve the feat for a third-straight season. And these aren’t empty stats, as the Thunder are currently 19-10 (third-best in the Western Conference). They currently have the NBA’s best defense, allowing just 100.1 points per 100 possessions.
Paul George also deserves some love, as this is arguably the best year of George’s NBA career. He’s averaging career-highs in points (24.9), rebounds (7.8), assists (4.3), steals (2.2), blocks (0.7) and threes (3.3) while playing his fewest minutes per game since 2015-16.
Not only can OKC’s two superstars fill up a highlight reel with ease, they also make a ton of hustle plays. Westbrook is currently leading the NBA in deflections per game (3.7) while George is at No. 2 (3.5). Also, George is leading the league in loose balls recovered (2.4) while Westbrook is ranked third (1.9).
For the first time since Kevin Durant’s exit, Westbrook has a superstar running mate and that duo has the Thunder playing terrific basketball.
Awards, MVP Race, Top, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors