Last season’s MVP race, which ended up being a two-man battle between Russell Westbrook and James Harden, was unlike anything we’ve seen before. This season’s MVP race hasn’t been quite as competitive, but there’s a chance it will heat up as we get closer to the playoffs depending on who steps up over the next couple of months and how individual performances impact the standings.
With that in mind, let’s cut to the chase and look at the leading MVP candidates at this point of the NBA season based on Basketball-Reference’s MVP Award Tracker �� a model built to predict which players are likely to receive the most votes based on previous voting results �� as of Feb. 26 to get a better understanding of who is in the running and what each player needs to do before April 11 to be crowned MVP of the 2017-18 season.
Trail Blazers (29-23) at Celtics (38-15) 12 p.m. ET �� The Celtics have been surprisingly good with Kyrie Irving out with an injury. Terry Rozier is averaging 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists in Irving’s absence. However, the young guard will have his hands full with one of the best backcourts in the NBA with CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard.
Bad stat time: The Lions haven’t had a player rush for 100 yards in a game since Reggie Bush in Week 13 of the 2013 season. That’s so bad that even the Browns have had 10 games where a player ran for at least 100 yards. Needless to say, the Lions need a feature back. Guice is a runner who always seems to be working forward and has a nice combination of power and balance.
If the Cardinals and Chargers both pass on a quarterback in the first round, that would greatly benefit Buffalo. Allen has plenty of warts as a quarterback prospect, but he has the size and athleticism combination teams fall in love with during the offseason process.
Kyle Williams will be 35 when next season starts, and the Bills need help up front on the defensive line. Hurst is a disruptive player up the middle and thrives when he can split gaps and create pressure.