LeBron Has a Case for MVP
*Photo via AP
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and James Harden of the Houston Rockets are the top two MVP candidates in the league this season, at least for most people. But there is a man who is making a strong case to be MVP and he is none other than LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now the Rockets and Warriors have a better record than the Cavs, and Curry and Harden are playing MVP caliber basketball, but there is no one that means more to their team than LeBron does to the Cavs, and that's what an MVP truly is.
During the early part of the season, LeBron suffered an injury that forced him to miss 8 games. LeBron’s last game played, before his injury ruled him out, was on December 28th, and he returned against the Phoenix Suns on January 13th. Before that game, the Cavs went 1-7 without him and were starting to lose their identity, which shows just how important LeBron is.
After that game the Cavs were 19-20 for the season. However, in James' second game back, he scored 36 points in a 109-102 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers to begin a 12 game winning streak that would give the Cavs some momentum. According to Cleveland.com, in 10 out of those 12 games, the Cavs held their opponents under 100 points, which was not the case during LeBron’s absence. So he's had a positive impact for them on the defensive end as well. After those 12 games, the Cavs were 31-20 and moved up several spots in the Eastern Conference.
The Cavs' winning streak was eventually snapped by the Indiana Pacers, but they continued to win, and are now 2nd in the Eastern Conference, behind the Atlanta Hawks. They are currently on a 15 game winning streak at home and are on pace to win 50 games, which many people couldn't imagine when they were 19-20.
As of March 21, the Cavs are 45-26, which means they are 26-6 since LeBron has returned from injury and have clinched a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. If that doesn't say most valuable player, I don't know what does.
LeBron is averaging 25.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 7.3 apg, and is the unquestioned leader of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not to mention, the Cavs clinched a playoff berth for the first time in 5 years, which was when he last played for the team.
Now, Stephen Curry and James Harden haven't missed many games this season, so we don't know how their teams would perform if they didn’t play, but it's safe to say that if LeBron doesn't play the Cavs don't win and that's why he's the MVP.