Michael Furtado, Journalist and NBA Enthusiast. Love to follow the NBA and Hip-hop culture and provide honest opinion/analysis. @michaeljfurtado, email@example.com.
For the majority of the NBA season James Harden has been the unanimous favorite to win the MVP award and rightfully so. James Harden has been having one of the greatest seasons we have seen in a long time, all while leading his team to the best record in the league.
Most of the other front runners for the award are the usual suspects.
LeBron James is always in the conversation, but considering the rollercoaster that is the Cleveland Cavaliers, it's safe to say Harden has a comfortable lead.
Steph Curry is also a name that gets thrown around and despite having inferior stats to that of LeBron and Harden, his team has the second-best record in the league and Curry has still been a dominate force on the court.
The name people tend to forget about is Anthony Davis. Given Davis' recent stretch of ridiculous stat lines and historical performances, I'm going to present the case for Anthony Davis as a serious MVP candidate.
Historical Stat Lines
A recent stretch of 10 games for Anthony Davis has produced some of the most memorable stat lines in recent NBA history. Over these 10 games Davis has averaged 35.9pts 12.8reb 2.4stls and 2.5blks, all while carrying his team to a 7-3 record over that span.
Davis' most recent outburst against the Phoenix Suns saw the superstar center put up 53 points, to go along with 18 boards and 5 blocks. He is only the second player to have 50 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks in a game since blocks became a tracked statistic during the 1973-74 season. The only other player who has accomplished this, is all-time great Bob McAdoo, putting Davis in elite company.
This wasn't the only dominant outburst by "The Brow" over the past month. A February matchup against the Miami Heat saw Davis record a stat line that hasn't been produced by any other player in NBA history. Davis dropped 45 points, 17 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 blocks against the heat, making him the only NBA player to record at least 40 points, 15 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 blocks in a game.
No Cousins No Problem
To say that Demarcus Cousins injury was a huge blow to the Pelicans would be an understatement. Cousins was in the midst of a career season and the Pelicans were looking like a team that had a chance to go deep in the playoffs. Before Cousins went down with the injury, the All-star Centre was averaging 25pts 13reb and 5ast per game, making Cousins and Davis one of the most fears duos in the league.
While this was a low point for the Pelicans, it seems that Anthony Davis has taken the challenge head on and decided to put the team on his back. People gave the Pelicans no chance to be successful without Cousins, but over three weeks later, the Pelicans are in a close battle for the third seed in the western conference.
These circumstances have to add to the case for Davis as an MVP. I'm not saying the supporting cast for New Orleans is terrible, but Davis has been the predominant reason for the Pelicans success without Demarcus Cousins.
Thriving in the West
Everybody knows that the Western Conference is much more competitive than the East. The level of competition displayed in the West is the reason why there are only four games separating the 9th seed and the 3rd seed. There is little room for error for teams fighting for a playoff spot in the West and that's exactly what makes what Anthony Davis and the Pelicans are doing that much more difficult than meets the eye.
Davis is going up against the best teams in the league, night in and night out. Whether that be teams like the Spurs, Thunder, Warriors, Rockets or Timberwolves, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans have been able to prove they can at least hang with the league’s best.
While I still believe James Harden is leading the race, Anthony Davis is second on the list. What he has been able to do in February is nothing short of spectacular. The type of dominance he has been displaying with the lack of a elite supporting cast is something to be marveled. It has been a while since the league has seen such dominance at the center position on both sides of the floor. The versatility that Davis brings to the game is something fans should not take for granted because it doesn't come around that often
Ultimately, if Davis continues on this torrid pace, don't be surprised if he sneaks into serious consideration for the MVP award at the end of the season.