Clutch Kawhi Catching up in MVP Race


Last night, the 2x Defensive Player of The Year, Kawhi Leonard had an eye opening performance against the Houston Rockets. Houston has an MVP candidate of their own with James Harden averaging 28.8 points, 8 rebounds and a league high of 11.3 assists per game. This would be a battle of 2 of the top 3 teams in the West and a look at who’s the better MVP candidate.

Leonard and Harden wouldn’t disappoint, James Harden would end the game with 39 points (65% FG) and 12 assists to add to his already impressive campaign; While Kawhi Leonard went on to add in his own 39 points (67% FG) and would shoot 4-5 from the 3-point line, along with 2 blocks. Leonard took over the game with 2 back-to-back clutch plays to seal the deal against Houston. MVPs make big plays on both sides of the floor, and that’s exactly what Leonard did to move one game away from the Spurs’ 18th straight 50 win season.

Check them out here:

In most of the media and fans’ eyes (outside of Mark Cuban), the MVP race is between Russell Westbrook, James Harden and LeBron James. After Leonard singlehandedly took over the end of this battle between these two Texas teams, he’s easily solidified himself as a top MVP candidate this season; not to mention his team has the second best record in the NBA, all while clinching a playoff berth for the 20th season in a row.

Kawhi Leonard has had a career high of 23 games this season scoring 30+ points, his previous high was just 4 last season. Leonard’s development has made him one of the biggest threats in the NBA. Being the best overall defender in the NBA and to still be able to average over 25 points per game, it’s ridiculous to think that he’s only 25 years old. If Leonard can continue to lead this Spurs team to wins like he has lately (13-3 in last 16 games) and steal the number one seed from the Golden State Warriors, he could become the first player since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994 to win the MVP and the Defensive Player of The Year award all in the same season.

Kawhi Leonard has 20 games left in San Antonio’s season to try and get ahead of Harden, Westbrook and LeBron for the number 1 spot in the MVP race. Leonard finished second in MVP voting last season behind the unanimous MVP Stephen Curry, Leonard has easily had a better season than Curry thus far, can the Spurs’ former Finals MVP finally add a regular season MVP to his list of accolades?

About Juwan M. Davis

Editor/Writer for NBALEAD. Born and raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Living in Los Angeles. Minnesota Timberwolves fan. Twitter: @JuwanMalikDavis

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