Picking the NBA MVP race before Christmas — in reality, before the All-Star break — is a lot like judging a horse race on the backstretch: Some players have put themselves in good positions to make a run at the award, but there is far too much race left to declare a winner.
However, if the vote were held today, Russell Westbrook would almost certainly win — he’s averaging 31.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 11 assists a game. A nightly triple-double. James Harden would be second. Which is exactly the results we got in a Twitter poll asking that question, 62 percent picked Westbrook, 23 percent chose Harden. And that’s what I discuss in the latest PBT Extra.
After that the race opens up a bit. I had Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard in the other spots on that poll, and I got plenty of people telling me LeBron James should have been in that mix instead (KD came in last, but he’s been so effective and efficient this year I’d have him third). Frankly, Anthony Davis and Chris Paul deserve some consideration, too.
Any of them could still win the award, there is still more than two-thirds of the season left to play. However, if Westbrook can keep up this pace he’s going to be hard to catch.