The Oklahoma City Thunder have been having a rough season so far. Reigning MVP Kevin Durant has missed his 29th game this season due to his foot injury. so the real question is, will OKC be able to make the playoffs in the wild wild west? Russell Westbrook‘s game lately is saying that it shouldn’t be an issue.
Westbrook is having a phenomenal season, he’s coming off of winning the 2015 All-Star game MVP and hasn’t shown any sign of stopping. Last night against the Nuggets, Westbrook dropped 21 points, a career-high 17 assists, and 8 rebounds. He’s currently averaging 26.2 points per game, 7.7 assists per game, and 6.3 rebounds per game. Also, Westbrook’s 2.1 assists per game is right behind the league leader in steals Stephen Curry (2.2 steals per game). He’s also No.2 in the league in points per game, right behind James Harden (27.2 points per game).
It will not be an easy road for Westbrook to win MVP. He has several candidates that are going to give him a run for his money. Names like Steph Curry, James Harden and LeBron James are also having MVP seasons. Anthony Davis is having an amazing season as well but due to injuries and his teams chances of making the playoffs, I don’t think Davis can win the MVP this year.
And then there’s Stephen Curry, who has really been having an MVP season as his team is currently sitting at No.1 in the NBA with a record of 43-10. The Warriors lost to the Pacers last night while Steph Curry was sitting out due to injury, but he’s an impactful player who leads the league in steals per game while ranking 5th in assists and 7th in points per game. In my opinion he’s the best point guard in the league, and it’s hard to say he’s not having a stellar year.
James Harden is another player having an incredible season. “The beard” is leading the NBA in points with an impressive 27.2 per game, and his team is currently the 3rd seed in the west, surprisingly without star center Dwight Howard. Harden had back-to-back 40-plus point games including a game-winner versus the Suns earlier in the season– he’s a clear cut candidate for MVP this year.
Last but not least, LeBron James. LeBron and the Cavs were struggling in the beginning of the season, but it appears that they’re finally getting it together. LeBron has lead his team to a No.4 seed in the east, he’s 3rd in the league in scoring (26.0 ppg), and 9th in the league in assists ( 7.3 apg). LeBron is contributing at all ends of the floor. He’s not leading the MVP race, but you certainly can’t count him out.
But lets get back to Russell Westbrook as he’s one of the most explosive players in the game right now. If you don’t guard him efficiently, he will make you suffer with the massive amount of points he can rack up in a short period of time. OKC is in a rough situation with Durant missing more games this season than he has in his entire career as a professional basketball player, but Westbrook is determined to make sure his team advance into the playoffs. He’s proving to the NBA that he’s the most valuable player, but will he be able to shine bright enough to beat out Steph Curry, James Harden, and LeBron James for MVP? If OKC manages to maintain their place in the playoffs for the rest of the season, we could see the most dangerous 8th seed in NBA history if Durant is healthy.