Who will win the MVP race, LeBron James or Kevin Durant
Well right now at the break I put Kevin Durant as the clear frontrunner and up until the least few weeks LeBron James in my opinion wasn’t even one of my top 2 candidates ( I had Lamarcus Aldridge second in the running). But LeBron has surged in February and closed the gap with Durant. KD right now is playing at an extremely high level which is astounding considering while Russell Westbrook has missed most of the season with injuries, the Oklahoma City Thunder still have the best record in the league.
Ultimately for LeBron to have any shot at winning the award for a 5th time he would need Durant to slow down first and foremost (which seems more and more doubtful at this point) and James to go ballistic the rest of the season. It may even require Miami moving past Indiana in the standings and OKC to struggle down the stretch to garner more votes.
I do think Durant ultimately wins the award if for anything, just solely on the boredom factor. You can look at it this way, Michael Jordan could’ve won MVP for nearly every season of his career but didn’t. LeBron is in that category now. People want someone new.
Any blockbuster moves brewing before February 20th trade deadline?
That seems to be the million dollar question as we are now days away from that. Obviously the biggest headliners this season for the trade deadline seem to be Carmelo Anthony and multiple trade block nominee Pau Gasol. I do not suspect Carmelo Anthony getting dealt this week and I am still confident Melo ultimately stays in New York for the long term.
Now as for Pau Gasol, the Lakers have millions of reason to deal his expiring contract out of Lakerland. For one if they are able to deal the Spaniard to a contender before February 20th, they get out of that death defying repeater tax violation that Jim Buss has made no secret that he wants to avoid at all cost. I would put the odds of Gasol getting dealt this week at 60% solely on Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak being able to pull off the impossible.
Here are a few names that our good friend and credentialed NBA media personality Jamieson Welsh said that we have to keep our eyes on.
How will the ultra competitive Western Conference shake out?
The West has been absolutely a joy to watch this season and has been the opposite spectrum of the pathetic Eastern Conference. While teams like Portland and Phoenix have surprised a lot of folks through the half way point of the season, ultimately I’m still a believer in the cream rising to the top. With that said I still have San Antonio and OKC has the immediately favorites with the LA Clippers and Golden St Warriors not far behind.
Is there another team in the Eastern Conference outside of Miami and Indiana that can challenge?
The Brooklyn Nets while starting slow out the gate have played really inspired basketball in the last 6 weeks and can take credit for beating the Miami Heat twice. I’d give the Nets a much better shot at entering the conversation if Brook Lopez was healthy but we are on a crash course for an Indiana-Miami East Final.
Will the Miami Heat 3-Peat?
The odds are stacked against them whether the Heat fanbase wants to admit this or not. Not only is Miami attempting to win 3 straight titles but lost in the argument is a 4th straight Finals berth. This alone hasn’t been accomplished since the Boston Celtics made the Finals from 1984-87. To state the obvious, this hasn’t been done in a VERY long time.
I’ll say this much, I’d put Miami as a slight favorite solely cause they have LeBron James but this will be a difficult task to attain. But if they do get past Indy I feel better about their chances on winning it all.
Which teams are the most intriguing moving forward?
There are surprisingly quite a few teams in the East that do have my attention. As bad as that conference has been the first 3 and a half months of the season there is alot of basketball to played.