Four of OTG 's greatest give you their pick for MVP!!!
The 2017-18 season is going to be the year of the ‘Klaw’. No that isn’t a Chinese New Year Symbol (happy year of the Rooster everyone), instead a very cool and apt nickname for the defensive magician, Kawhi Leonard. Some will be skeptical of this pick due to his lack of preseason with a quad injury; an injury which was troubled him in the past, however, it is on the lighter side in terms of seriousness. The main reason Kawhi is going to win the MVP this year is by process of elimination: Westbrook and Harden’s numbers will go down with the addition of their new teammates, KD was close last year but I expect him to take a minor step back. and finally, the case of voter fatigue has been a consistent factor for The King over the past few years despite his historic numbers. Kawhi Leonard will be your 2017-18 MVP, if you don’t like it have a ‘kawhi’ about it (I’ll see myself out).
To be quite honest, when I started writing this I had no idea who to choose for MVP. My decision is one that is either going to make me look like a genius or a complete idiot, but I am going to go for it. Blake Griffin is my choice. Hear me out. The majority of voters are going to put a “superteam” penalty on guys like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and now Russell Westbrook. I do not see Kyrie Irving getting that kind of love either. In the wake of losing Chris Paul, I think that Blake Griffin is going to have a big year and the Clippers are going to be much better than people think. They have some problems, but they are going to win games. If Griffin can put up some good numbers like 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists per game coupled with leading the Clippers to a good record after losing Chris Paul and you have a recipe for MVP Blake Griffin. Watching the Clippers in preseason, they just look like a different team. They look like they are playing with a weight off of their shoulders. Griffin is going to benefit from Paul’s absence. Although the Clippers will not be in the top 4 of the Western Conference, that did not hurt last year’s MVP so Griffin should be fine.
The NBA MVP has become a bit of a mockery these days. LeBron James probably should have won the last 7 MVPs, but politics have kept him out of winning the award. For the reason and that reason alone it is Giannis Antetokounmpo’s year to win the award. In the age of the super team, top players statistics are not where they would be if they were on teams without stars. For instance, Russell Westbrook would have been the front-runner for the award until Oklahoma City acquired more mouths to feed on their offense. Meaning, Westbrook will probably not be able to average a triple-double again this season.
When looking around the league, where is the superstar on a good team that has MVP potential? That is where Antetokounmpo comes into play. The Greek Freak has been on a steady incline to becoming one of the best players in the league. He proved last season that he is a top player and is only getting better. While averaging 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists last season, the Greek Freak pushed his team to a playoff berth. What helps Giannis the most for his MVP case is the fact that he is really a one man wrecking crew. That is how Westbrook one last year and how Antetokounmpo will win this year.
I’m not going to sit here and bore you with why Kwahi is so great since any NBA fan should already know but what the hell? A solid two way player who does his talking with him game not with his mouth, partially molded but mostly natural basketball player that simultaneously is both the present and future of the aging, depth questionable Spurs. Yes, Rudy Gay is on board to come off the bench and Aldridge’s heart issues seem to be behind him but the glaring lack of consistent viable offense and the two aging (aged?) holdovers from the Duncan years, leaves a lot on Leonard’s shoulders. The success of this year’s Spurs will have a hell of a lot to do with him. While they should finish no worse than a 5 seed, Kawhi's quiet leadership and swiss army knife skill set should push them to a 3 or 4 if the team stays healthy. If not, Kawhi is the kind of player who can still lead a limping squad towards a playoff berth because he can be that good. With runner up finishes in over that last two years, why not this year? Curry is part of a committee now, Westbrook and Harden have loads of help, and guys like The Greek Freak and Anthony Davis, are stuck on teams that don’t attract these kind of conversations. Leonard deserves it if he delivers another stellar season this year.