The NBA just wrapped up a terrific regular season, and it’s anyone’s guess who will be crowned as the league’s MVP.
While Russell Westbrook and James Harden appear to be the front-runners for the honor, we also saw tremendous campaigns from LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, who most likely will finish in the top five in voting.
But arguably the most unexpected standout season came from Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas. Thomas took his game to the next level this season, finishing third in the NBA in points per game at 28.9, only behind Westbrook and Harden.
Aside from his eye-popping statistics, the 5-foot-9 guard led the Celtics to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, narrowly edging out James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
As part of an interview with CSNNE, Thomas was asked to rank his top five candidates for league MVP, and the All-Star point guard wasn’t afraid to put himself on the list.
He opted for Westbrook to take home the award this season, with Harden finishing in second place. But after those two elite playmakers, Thomas put himself at No. 3, with James and Leonard rounding out the top five, respectively.
Thomas likely is dead on with his claim of Westbrook and Harden leading the pack. The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard made history this season as he averaged a triple-double for the entire campaign and broke Oscar Robertson’s single-season triple-double record with 42.
Harden’s numbers aren’t too far behind Westbrook, though. He averaged 29.1 points per game, to go along with 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds. Not to mention, the Houston Rockets were eight games ahead of Oklahoma City in the Western Conference standings and will host the Thunder for their first-round series beginning Sunday night.
While the MVP award likely will be decided by a very slim margin, basketball fans have the luxury of watching all of the aforementioned players in the NBA playoffs, which are sure to be exciting.
Thumbnail photo via Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Images