I must be crazy right? How could I possibly imagine that choosing the correct player out of all of these guys would be easy? Well, it’s not exactly easy but I think we can find a way to narrow down the field to the point where you can make an educated and solid selection.
First we have to look at history. Four of the last five NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Players have been guards. They’ve also been four different guys (Kobe, Irving, D-Wade and Paul). The only guy to interrupt that series of guards was Kevin Durant in the 2012 game.
Let’s take this a step further into the history books though shall we?
If you go back 25 years to 1990 (one year there was no game due to the NBA Lockout) there have been a grand total of three centers chosen as the MVP. All three times that center was Shaquille O’Neal. Now to be fair, Tim Duncan did win the award once but he was listed as a forward/center so it’s up to you if you want to factor that in here.
So let’s do the math here in terms of guards and forwards. Guards have been selected the Most Valuable Player 15 times since 1990 so that means forwards have won the award nine times. Where the real work comes in is whether you think the 15-9 discrepancy is enough to put heavy odds on those guards.
Let’s go ahead and look at the odds on this year’s players.
Stephen Curry 13/4 –
LeBron James 4/1
Kevin Durant 11/2
James Harden 11/2
Carmelo Anthony 8/1
Ironically, three of the five guys listed above are actually forwards but all three are more than capable of handling the rock on the perimeter. Curry and Harden will both have excellent chances of winning the MVP award simply because they will get the ball a lot. Of this group, the sentimental pick is Anthony playing in front of the home crowd but will he play enough? Of this group I love Curry who is having an MVP season.
Kyrie Irving 14/1 –
John Wall 15/1 –
Russell Westbrook 9/1 –
Klay Thompson 16/1 –
Chris Paul 22/1 –
Damian Lillard 20/1 –
Ya, back to that whole “guard” thing… Any of the above guys are worthy threats to win the MVP award on Sunday. In this group however I have a feeling Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook have great chances to get some hardware because neither will be shy about chucking the ball.
Marc Gasol 50/1 –
LaMarcus Aldridge 50/1 –
DeMarcus Cousins 50/1 –
Chris Bosh 50/1 –
Remember what I said earlier about big men winning the MVP award in the All-Star Game? Move on….
Kyle Lowry 25/1 –
Paul Gasol 60/1 –
Jimmy Butler 60/1 –
Jeff Teague 30/1 –
Al Horford 60/1 –
Dirk Nowitzki 65/1 –
Don’t be surprised if Nowitzki wins the award. With his career winding down, Madison Square Garden would be a fitting place for him to get one more moment on the podium.
Paul Millsap 50/1 –
Tim Duncan 50/1 –
Kyle Korver 50/1 –
With these final three guys, it’s all about playing time. If Korver gets enough minutes and he gets hot from downtown, don’t be a bit surprised if walks away with the hardware.
My Top Three Picks: Dismissing LeBron is never a good idea but I’m going to in this situation. I like Curry and Harden as my favorites and I’ll take Korver as my long-shot.