LeBron James is the only reason the Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t plummeted out of the playoff standings and tumbled in the Eastern Conference. He knows it, and he believes that merits the MVP.
“I would vote for me,” he told Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.
“The body of work, how I’m doing it, what’s been happening with our team all year long, how we’ve got so many injuries and things of that nature, guys in and out, to be able to still keep this thing afloat, I definitely would vote me.”
So, is he right? The answer is yes and no.
The Cavaliers have dealt with a ridiculous number of injuries and “games lost” by players not healthy enough to suit up. Despite the routine absences from key players such as Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Isaiah Thomas and Kyle Korver, Rodney Hood, Cleveland is 44-30 and easily in the playoff picture.
James has amassed 27.4 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds per contest while appearing in every game this season. Without question, those are MVP-caliber numbers and he will appear on nearly every ballot.
But he probably won’t receive as many first-place votes as Houston Rockets star James Harden. The left-hander is likely to run away with the award for 2017-18.
James is deserving of every vote he gets. His performance is absolutely at an MVP level. He simply isn’t the favorite to win.