The season has fewer than twenty games remaining, and the MVP race is closer than ever. At least eight players have a legitimate shot at making the ballot, and the number would be higher if it weren’t for some unfortunate injuries. Every single spot will be going down to the wire.
Week 21 NBA MVP Ladder: Honorable Mentions
LeBron James: The raw numbers continue to astound, and James’ latest masterpiece (a 56-point outing to come back against the Golden State Warriors) reminded the world that nobody wants to see this guy in a seven-game series. But the team’s lack of success guarantees that James will be on the outside looking in when the race comes to a close. (Rank last week: N/R)
Chris Paul: The hand injury torpedoed Paul’s chances, which is too bad. He would’ve been a shoo-in for the fourth or fifth spot on this ballot. He’ll be falling off this list entirely in the coming weeks, so let’s just take one last chance to celebrate Paul’s incredible accomplishments this season. (Rank last week: N/R)
Steph Curry: Curry’s played a bit better recently, but it hasn’t translated to team success, as Draymond Green’s absence and Klay Thompson’s struggles continue to torpedo the squad. You know Curry would have loved one more MVP, but getting himself and his team ready for the playoffs has taken precedence. (Rank last week: HM)
DeMar DeRozan: DeRozan has cooled off of late, but he continues to post substantial numbers while leading the Bull’s injury-ravaged squad. His odds of making the ballot depend heavily upon the Bulls’ final seeding. (Rank last week: HM)
Ja Morant: The toughest omission on this list, Morant continues to amaze on a nightly basis. A solid finish to the end of the season should get him back on the ballot by year’s end. It’s crazy to think that Morant is on the fringe of the MVP debate instead of front and center, but the competition has never been fiercer. (Rank last week: 4)