Yes, I know It’s early but the NBA season is well underway and It’s time we start to acknowledge some of the performances we’ve seen from the leagues best and brightest stars. This list is in no particular order as even with a list such as this It’s still a little early to rank these guys in an order that takes into account team success, injuries, and etc. It’s very early into the season so It’s likely this list will look completely different by Christmas but nonetheless here are the top MVP candidates in the young 2017-2018 NBA season.
Stats so far: 22.0 PPG 5.7 AST 44.6 FG%
Listen. It takes a lot for a man to admit he’s wrong but Kyrie Irving is slowly but surely putting me in that position. Last July I wrote an article calling Kyrie “The Clueless Superstar” basically giving my thoughts on why I believed him to be unfit to be the best player on a championship team, and honestly with his play and the Celtics impressive winning streak even in the absence of Gordon Hayward, has had me eating my words. I criticized his defense but so far this season Kyrie has shown the ability to be solid on that end of the floor when he’s actively engaged and willing to put forth the effort. The Celtics are 10-2 with the BEST record in the league with the number one defensive rating in the NBA as well, led by their superstar point guard. And with the way the Celtics look WITHOUT Hayward and looking at the Cavs struggles.. don’t be surprised if it’s Kyrie going up against Steph and Lebron in June.
Stats so far: 29.5 PPG 9.6 AST 46.4 FG%
The rockets have been hooping even in the absence of star point guard and that primarily has to do with superstar James Harden. We still have yet to truly see how He and CP3 will adjust to playing with one another but as of right now.. It’s looking like the Rockets don’t even need Chris Paul so long as they have Harden running the show for them.
Now that’s not to say that Paul wont obviously make them a better and more formidable team because he will, but with the way James is currently playing it wouldn’t be a bad idea for CP3 to sit out a little while longer than originally planned and just rest for late season where the games start to have playoff implications and truly matter. Currently the Rockets are 8-3 with the 2nd seed in the west and it seems as if they’re going to have an intense battle with Golden State for that number one seed in the western conference.
Stats so far: 30.0 PPG 7.5 REB 2.3 BLK 51.2 FG%
KP has been playing like a man POSSESSED this season. He’s been an intimidating interior defender this season seemingly blocking everything that comes into his paint. Many have tried comparing Porzingis to Dirk but I honestly believe that’s selling him too short (No disrespect to Dirk) I believe KP’s game is more comparable to that of Hakeem The Dream Olajuwon. Go watch a highlight reel of Hakeem and then watch a few Knicks games and you’ll see the comparison more clearly than ever. Kristaps has grown into an excellent inside and out player who can bang down low just as well as anybody in the league and he can also play stretch big just as well if not better than any other big man in the league. Assuming he’s healthy, Porzingis has arrived and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Stats so far: 31.9 PPG 9.8 REB 60.1 FG%
And last but certainly not least is none other than Giannis Antetokounmpo. I think the most impressive stat about Giannis is he’s shooting an unbelievable 60 percent from the field and the guy doesn’t even have a formidable jump shot yet. With his play this season, Anteokounmpo has shown he might be first in line to dethrone Lebron when his reign of terror is officially over.