Welcome to The Rundown! With a little over a month passed in the NBA season, we take a look at the early front runners in the MVP race, Rookie of the Year race and make predictions for tonight’s action.
MVP Top 3
Nick Billion: 3. LeBron James- It seems like LeBron is always up there in the discussion for MVP, and this year is no different. He’s been the most consistent part of the Cavs season so far as they got off to a slow start. Averaging 28.9 PTS, he continues to be a dominate force in the NBA.
2. James Harden- Number two on the list is Harden, who is currently averaging 31.6 PTS and 9.9 REB. Harden was up on the list last season and hasn’t slowed down so far this season. He is also leading the league in scoring at this point in the season.
1.Giannis Antetokounmpo- Topping my list at this point in the season is The Greek Freak. Averaging just about a point less than Harden, Giannis is second in the league in scoring. He’s also averaging about 10.5 rebounds a game. Giannis can do it all and has had a strong start to the season. If he keeps it up, I like his chances to be a candidate for MVP>
Craig Brallier: 3. Joel Embiid- I know this could be a bit of a stretch, but Embiid has came out from limited minutes, to being the most dominate big man in the game. Averaging 22.8 PTS, 10.9 REB and just under 2 BLK per game. And let’s not forget how dominate he looked when he dropped 46 PTS on the Lakers last week. He’s like a quicker Shaq and I think he belongs in the MVP conversation, as he and Ben Simmons have turned the 76ers into playoff contenders.
2. Kyrie Irving- Averaging 20.9 PTS, 3.3 REB and 5.3 AST, Irving’s numbers don’t really shout MVP, but the Celtics haven’t lost a game since the first two of the season, and Irving is a huge reason for this streak. In Boston’s comeback win against Golden State Irving scored 11 of the Celtics’ final 15 points of the game, and as he proved in Cleveland, he is one of the best closers in the game today. His leadership, will to win and his ability to close out games and lead his team to victory put him at number two in my book.
1.James Harden- I don’t need to go over the stats, as Nick has already done that for me, but it has become extremely obvious that Harden is without a shadow of a doubt the reason that the Rockets keep on trucking along. At this point, he’s the best scorer in the league, and when you’re able to drop 33 in the first half like he did on the Suns Thursday night there’s no questioning his ability. And this season, adding Chris Paul, he doesn’t have to carry the load like he has in the bast so I don’t expect him to slow down any time soon. Harden and the Rockets are a legit threat in the West and it’s all because of Harden.
ROY Top 3
NB: 3. Kyle Kuzma- Easily one of the biggest steals in the draft, the Lakers have found some young talent in Kuzma who is helping the scoring load for the team. Not knowing much about him before the season, Kuzma has been a surprise to me.
2. Jayson Tatum- Tatum has been very good to start the season after having to step up in wake of Gordon Hayward’s season ending injury on opening night. He is providing good minutes for the Celtics and has been a major part of their current 15 game in strea.
1.Ben Simmons- Simmons has been everything and then some for this Sixers team. Simmons has the potential to take over this league, and I believe we are just scratching the surface of what he can really do.
CB: 3. Kyle Kuzma- My three is the exact same as Nick’s. Starting with Kuzma, he has been awesome for the Lakers, especially since Lonzo Ball has been basically nothing that the organization expected with his horrible shooting. Kuzma has come in taken on a huge scoring load and surprised a ton of people with his abilities. To anyone who watched the Lakers in the summer, you might not be surprised but even I didn’t think it would translate to the regular season, so he sits at the three spot for me.
2. Jayson Tatum- Like Nick said, Tatum has stepped up in a big way for Boston, making his way to the starting lineup after Hayward’s injury, and averaging 13.9 PTS and just over 5 REB, the rookie out of Duke is proving day by day that he has what it takes to succeed as starter in this league. He’s not a guy who’s going to come out and rack up a ton of assists and scare teams with his ability to make plays for other guys, but his scoring and rebounding have been a huge asset to the Celtics this season.
1.Ben Simmons- I don’t think it’s a question how much I love Ben Simmons’ game. Nearly averaging a triple-double, Simmons has begun his takeover of the league, and he’s done it without a consistent jumper. So far, he hasn’t came out and killed a team with one big scoring night, but he’s scoring consistently and still being able to make plays for others as well as rebounding the ball using his size and athleticism.
That’ll wrap things up for today’s Rundown! Come back tomorrow, where we’ll talk about the league’s top stories, pick our Player of the Night and make our picks for tomorrow’s games.