The Battle of the MVP Hopefuls (Part Two)

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Sunday night we saw two MVP favourites, James Harden and Russell Westbrook go right at each other with the Rockets coming out with the win while Westbrook padded his way to another triple double. The night after the Thunder’s bout with the Rockets we were treated to another game with another set of MVP hopefuls going at each other. San Antonio Spurs hosted the defending champions, Cleveland Cavaliers. Kawhi Leonard vs LeBron James. The Klaw vs the King. These two players have had phenomenal seasons. Kawhi Leonard silenced (most of) the doubters that claimed he was the product of the Spurs system, becoming the clear alpha-dog. He’s averaging 26ppg and 6 rebounds a game. He’s shooting at a 49-37-89 clip while also having a Defensive Player of the Year campaign (although it’ll probably go to Draymond Green or Rudy Gobert). He’s the only person I know with more steals than fouls. His Spurs have won 57 games and will probably end the season with over 60 wins. LeBron is also averaging 26 ppg, but he’s also averaging 8.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists. He’s shooting over 50% from the field and 37% from the three point line. Everyone knows LeBron’s value to his team. He’s always going to be up there in the MVP discussions, and he deserves to be.

The MVP vote would not be decided by one game, but if it did, then Kawhi took it home. The Spurs obliterated the Cavaliers. The game blew open in the second quarter. The Cavs were down 24 at the half. I had to turn the game off in the third quarter. Blowouts are never fun to watch. Even LeBron checked out of the game early. But he sat because of an elbow right between the shoulder blades. No one on the Cavs had a good game. Kawhi didn’t have a spectacular game, he didn’t make a three pointer in 7 attempts, but he got the job done with 25 points,  6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Before Lebron sat, he had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.

The Cavs’ loss to the Spurs was just another in what has been a rough month for them. They lost the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference to the Celtics. Their defense has been horrendous since the All-Star break, almost the worst in the league. Their bench is still not the strongest, no matter what reinforcements they get. I mean no one on the bench scored against the Spurs till the third quarter. Watching them, they just look… off. However, no one is too worried about the Cavs. It’s LeBron. Playoff LeBron is a different monster entirely from Regular-Season LeBron. The Cavs will look differently when the playoffs start and the regular season doesn’t really matter much when you’ve safely qualified for the playoffs. And besides, we’ve learnt, you can never count out LeBron. Anyone remember 3-1? LeBron has made it to 6 straight NBA Finals. Forgive me if I don’t read too much into a few losses in March.