Despite having many contenders, the race for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2015-16 is New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis’ to lose.
The NBA is back and many things remain the same. In the Eastern Conference, many teams will likely struggle and the Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites to get back to the Finals. The Western Conference will be a dogfight again from Day 1 with at least 10 teams trying to find their way into the playoffs.
One major difference is the favorite to the win the MVP award. Like the upcoming presidential election, you might have trouble deciding who your favorite is for the MVP. For basketball fans, there are many choices.
LeBron James has won four of them and could do it again. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry also have claimed the award. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and possibly a few others will make their case this season, too. No one would be shocked if one of those guys were to win it.
However, the favorite and probable winner will be Davis.
What sets Davis apart is his ability to block shots and guard almost anyone on the floor defensively. “The Brow” stands at 6 feet 10 inches and weighs in at 253 pounds, but is also athletic and agile. His length and 7.5-foot wing- span allow him to do all of the incredible things that make him one of the top players in the game.
Davis can also score at a high level and pull down rebounds with anyone in the league. The Pelicans star averaged 24.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game last season and carried New Orleans to a spot in the playoffs.
Believe it or not, the fact that Davis does not play on the best team could help his case. LeBron James plays with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, two superstars who need their touches. If Durant and Westbrook are both healthy, they could cancel each other out. Curry plays on the best team in the NBA and has plenty of help. Meanwhile, Harden’s Houston Rockets were the last team standing in Golden State’s way of the Western Conference crown. The Rockets still have superstar center Dwight Howard, too.
The supporting cast for Davis consists of an injury-prone Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and a bunch of other players who could have been confused with the lineup at the last Republican Presidential Debate. Remember, the award is for the “Most Valuable Player,” and no one means more to their team than Davis does to the Pelicans.
In his first game of the regular season on Tuesday, Oct. 27, Davis shot 4-of-20 from the field and had five turnovers.
To no one’s surprise, New Orleans lost to Curry and the Warriors. Davis was able to get to the free-throw line and still had 18 points, six rebounds and three blocks despite playing one of his worst games ever.
Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry knows that Davis needs to have the ball in his hands in order for the team to be successful.
Going forward, expect Davis’ numbers to rival, if not best, his statistics from last year.
With many games—or primaries, if you will—to go, it is still up in the air, but right now supporting Davis is the best choice. With his coach by his side, Davis should win it.
Vote Davis-Gentry 2016.
Sean Saint Jacques is a journalism major from Bloomingdale, N.J. He can be reached at sean.saintjacques@ student.shu.edu.