The Top 10 NBA MVP Candidates: Vol. 3

By: 12.17.12
David Lee

David Lee

What’s interesting about the NBA is you never know what can happen. Any team can lose on any given night. That’s what makes it so exciting to watch. Each and every team will inevitably get caught with their guard down at some point. We saw an example of that this week on Wednesday when the Warriors went down to Miami. It takes games like that for people to really recognize that there are some great teams and great players in the league that too often go unnoticed. You probably didn’t’ know that David Lee is on a streak of consecutive 20-10 performances until you were watching Wednesday night’s game. And you also probably didn’t know that the Atlanta Hawks are only a game behind Miami for the lead in the Southeast Division.

Guys like David Lee and Josh Smith know you don’t know those things, and they appreciate being slept on. They know they aren’t your typical MVP candidates, but they love to creep up on us and leave us no choice but to acknowledge them.

All week long I couldn’t stop hearing about how Carmelo Anthony is the far and away frontrunner for MVP. Being that I live in New York, I don’t take head to what the average Knick fan says. They tend to get a bit irrational when their team is flying high. Although ‘Melo is playing great basketball and is definitely one of the frontrunners for the award right now, there’s another guy out West who’s playing just as good, and his team is doing even better than the flavor of the week Knicks, who find themselves in the spotlight every night they step on the hardwood.

It’s not often that LeBron gives up his top spot on the ladder. He’s usually accustomed to enjoying the view from the top, but the first couple weeks of December haven’t exactly brought Miami holiday cheer. LeBron’s got some work to do if he wants to get his seat back. Hopefully soon his Heat can get hot again because right now the cold weather of December has them at .500 on the month.

The three honorable mentions (in order) are Tony Parker, who recorded his first career triple-double last Monday, Al Jefferson, who’s quietly averaging 17 and 10 on the season, and Blake Griffin who has four double-doubles this month for the win-streaking Clippers.

*** *** ***

10. DAVID LEE
Last week: 22.7 ppg/12.5 rpg/2.7 apg
Vol. 2 Rank: UR

The Golden State Warriors caught the eye of basketball fans across the nation with their win at Miami on Wednesday. Currently at 16-8, they’ve been a surprise team this year and a lot of it has to do with the solid play of David Lee. Lee is very quietly averaging about 19 and 12 on the season. He’s currently on a seven-game streak of 20-10 games, and has only scored in single digits once all year: an impressive resume for a player who usually flies a bit under the radar. The Warriors (who are a game and a half behind the Clippers for first place in the Pacific Division) have leaned on Lee’s consistency all season. On a team full of gun-jacking guards, Lee’s rebounding has been a staple of the Warriors success. If he keeps up his dominance in the post, the Warriors will continue to win games. They have a great chance to lead the division going into next year; something many people didn’t expect to see in a division that’s home to the new-look Lakers, who were the preseason favorite.

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