The NBA is loaded with superstars this season, and there are over 10 athletes that could take home one of the league’s highest honors- the MVP Award.
These players are talented centers, dynamic combo guards and physically gifted forwards.
However, there is only one clear-cut pick for MVP this season.
It’s not Giannis Antetokounmpo (the defending award winner). It’s not LeBron James (the potential G.O.A.T). It’s not Joel Embiid (the gifted center for the 76ers who’s crushing his career averages).
Instead, the MVP this year should be the 6-foot-3-inch point guard from Davidson, Steph Curry.
Curry is the sole reason why the Golden State Warriors are relevant in the West, and he is keeping this team afloat.
Curry is averaging 30 points per game (PPG), which is 13.4 PPG higher than his next closest teammate (Andrew Wiggins- 17.6 PPG).
The talented shooter Curry is obliterating opposing defenses because of his ability to knock down outside shots.
Curry is averaging five 3-pointers made per game. He is forcing defenders to guard him incredibly far out from the basket.
Curry is shooting 93% from the free-throw line (a career-high aside from his five-game season last year).
Curry’s averages this season in points, rebounds and assists per game are all higher than his career averages.
However, just recognizing Curry’s incredible offensive play isn’t enough to give him the award. After all, Embiid, James and plenty of others are enjoying great offensive seasons.
The main reason why Curry deserves this award is that he has little help around him.
Embiid has Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. LeBron James has Anthony Davis. Nikola Jokic has Jamal Murray.
Steph Curry has Kelly Oubre and Wiggins, neither of whom are anywhere near as dominant this season as the other players.
Curry is playing without his best teammate, Klay Thompson, and he is missing Thompson’s firepower.
Wiggins has been an impactful piece on this roster, but he has struggled during some games this season, and he isn’t a good enough second option.
Oubre has shown flashes of excellence (one example is his 40-point game against the Dallas Mavericks). However, Oubre also has eight games with eight or fewer points.
James Wiseman has looked like an impressive selection in the minutes he’s played. However, Wiseman has missed significant time this year with a wrist injury.
When you think about the award, you need to pick the most valuable player. The award doesn’t say “best current player” or even “most talented player.”
If you strip LeBron away from the Lakers, that team could still compete in the West. If you take away Embiid, the 76ers would be a playoff team in the East. If you take Kevin Durant or James Harden off the Nets, Brooklyn will still make the playoffs.
However, if you take Curry off the Warriors, this team may be the worst team in the West. Curry accounts for 26% of the Warriors’ average points per game.
Additionally, according to ESPN, Curry ranks behind only LeBron James in real plus-minus (RPM) with 8.14 (James is 8.97).
Curry is the most valuable player in the NBA. He has the most significant impact on his team. If you remove any player from his team, you would see the greatest drop in the Warriors without their future hall-of-fame guard.