5 reasons why LeBron James is the 2017-18 NBA MVP
On Nov. 9th, the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a hard-fought loss in Houston to the Rockets, which forced their record to fall to 5-7 ( including six losses in their last eight games). However, since then, the defending East champions have been on a hot streak, winning 19 of their next 21 games including a 14-game win streak.
Also read: Ranking the Greatest MVP Seasons ever
The last month and a half have been happy times for the Cavaliers. They've brushed aside their initial struggles, thus silencing the critics and haters. More importantly, there have been plenty of positives during this time span - injured players making their return (Tristan Thompson, Isaiah Thomas practising in the G-League) and the team being able to not only handle themselves but make runs when LeBron James is on the bench.
However, just like any other year of his career, the biggest reason for his team's success is James. His stellar play in the 15th season of his career has changed the narrative and forced everybody to consider him a serious MVP candidate.
But that's putting it too easily. Here are five reasons why James is the 2017-18 MVP so far:
#5 Recording career-highs
How many legends, future Hall of Famers of the game have recorded a career-high in a meaningful stat in their 15th year in the league?
Through 33 games of the current season, James is averaging career-highs in assists (9.2), blocks (1.1), FG% (57.0%), 3-PT FG% (41.1%) and FT% (78.5%). That's five categories that have a positive impact on the team's chances of winning each night.
The numbers in each of these categories are insane and not to be taken for granted. Here's why - he is a shooting a career-best percentage despite the attempted field goals (including 3's) not seeing a dip. In fact, his attempted field goals have marginally increased.
And about the dimes and swats, it's amazing that James is recording those in a league that loves to play an up-tempo style of basketball. The vertical leap and physical athleticism of players in the 15th season usually takes a step back. But we all know that James isn't human so it shouldn't be too surprising.