It’s not yet official, but this really isn’t a surprise either.
LeBron James is going to be named the NBA MVP, a source has told the Associated Press.
A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that Miami’s LeBron James will be announced Saturday as the NBA’s MVP, the third time he’s won the award in the past four seasons.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the results have not been released. James is expected to be presented with the trophy Sunday by Commissioner David Stern before Miami hosts Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Indiana.
LeBron was the clear frontrunner for the award after a fantastic statistical season, averaging 27.1 points while shooting 53.1 percent on the year, and he had a league-best PER of 30.7. Simply, he stepped up and took on a larger role on offense and defense for the Heat and still had a more efficient season.
This would be LeBron’s third MVP award. It’s an elite group, the only others to do that are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone.
I can hear LeBron’s haters now — it doesn’t matter until he wins a title. All the other people on that list have a title. That’s true for the public perception of him in this moment. But if (really, when) he wins one or two, these MVPs will be a strong part of his legacy as one of the all time elite players.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.