All the usual suspects aside from the best player on the planet will duke it out for the NBA MVP award.
|Statistic||Kawhi Leonard||James Harden||Russell Westbrook|
Westbrook will most likely take home his first MVP trophy, according to preliminary polls. All the narratives are in his favor: Westbrook kept OKC afloat as a playoff team in the wake of Kevin Durant's departure, and he did so while averaging the first triple-double in nearly five decades.
Harden's case is similar to Westbrook's, only without the irresistible allure of round numbers. The Beard led the Rockets on a furious redemption campaign, one in which they finished with the third-most wins in the league after improving their win total by 14 games. Harden was the main engine behind the NBA's No. 2 offense as he finished second in scoring and first in assists.
Finally, there was the two-way excellence of Leonard as he continued the Spurs' tradition of excellence in the post-Tim Duncan era. Leonard was dominant on both sides of the ball as he helped an otherwise shorthanded Spurs team to 61 wins on the season.