Over the final two Mondays of the regular season, I will review, comment and grade the performances of players considered the top five MVP candidates.
The formula will include only the games of the previous week (Monday though Sunday), considering individual statistics and overall team record. We zing players who miss games due to suspension but we have mercy on the injured.
The MVP award winner will be announced in May.
The players are listed in alphabetical order and statistics reflect that week's average.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry
THE STATS – Scoring: 22.5 points per game on 47.0 percent shooting, 51.6 percent beyond the arc. Rebounding: 4.3. Assists: 4.5. Steals: 0.75. Blocks: 0.0.
THE TEAM – The Warriors went 3-1.
COMMENT – Curry averaged nearly 32 minutes but mostly average numbers. One viral highlight, via Chris Paul, and 18 assists don't offset 14 turnovers. He gets a B.
Pelicans forward Anthony Davis
THE STATS – Scoring: 19.7 ppg on 44.2 percent shooting, zero 3-point attempts. Rebounding: 8.7. Assists: 3.7. Steals: 1.3. Blocks: 3.3.
THE TEAM – New Orleans went 2-1.
COMMENT: The Unibrow usually has at least one awesome game. Not this week. He was good, of course, but remains on the outside of the race. He gets a B.
Rockets guard James Harden
THE STATS – Scoring: 36.8 ppg on 51.2 percent shooting, 55.9 percent beyond the arc. Rebounding: 5.8. Assists: 5.8. Steals: 2.0. Blocks: 0.0.
THE TEAM – Houston went 3-1.
COMMENT – A monster week for the bearded wonder, with fantastic shooting. It's as if he's making his final arguments for his candidacy. He gets a solid A.
Cavaliers forward LeBron James
THE STATS – Scoring; 21.5 ppg on 51.6 percent shooting, 40.0 percent beyond the arc. Rebounding: 9.0. Assists: 9.5. Steals: 2.0. Blocks: 2.0
THE TEAM – Cleveland went 2-0.
COMMENT – LeBron shot it well and played a pair of really nice all-around games, including a triple-double in a big victory over the Bulls. He gets an A.
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook
THE STATS – Scoring: 29.7 ppg on 33.3 percent shooting, 24 percent beyond the arc. Rebounding: 9.7. Assists: 10.3. Steals: 0.67. Blocks: 0.33.
THE TEAM – Oklahoma City went 0-3.
COMMENT – Two triple-doubles aside, Westbrook had a tough week. No wins, poor shooting and 15 turnovers. A lot is asked, yes, but he did not deliver. He gets a C.