Russell Westbrook, point guard, Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook has played this year as if the league is a video game. Westbrook notched his 21st triple-double of the season against the Utah Jazz. He was left off the All-Star game’s starting lineup, but Westbrook couldn’t care less. He stated the only goal on mind was to win a championship. Westbrook is on pace to become the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double throughout the entire season, with an average of 30.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game.
James Harden, point guard, Houston Rockets
James Harden is looking to bring the MVP award back to Houston and become the second Rocket to win the award since Hakeem Olajuwon during the 1993-94 season. Harden continues to impress at point guard and averaged 29.2 points, 10 assists and 8.6 rebounds in the past five games. Harden has the Rockets at third in the Western Conference with an impressive 34-14 record.
Kawhi Leonard, small forward, San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard has scored 30 or more points in each of his past six games, including a career-high 41 points in a victory against the Cavaliers on Saturday. Leonard and the Spurs have won eight out of their past 11 games. Leonard has averaged 25.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists, which are all career-bests this season. The Spurs have done what they do best: win games quietly. They are 1.5 games behind top-seeded Golden State, who the Spurs beat by 30 on opening night. Since Tim Duncan’s retirement, Leonard has taken over this ship and is sailing it toward to what would be San Antonio’s sixth NBA title.
Kevin Durant, small forward, Golden State Warriors
All the talk this season has been about Kevin Durant departing from the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the super team that already was in Golden State. Durant has averaged 26.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game since joining the Warriors. All of Durant’s stats are better than the year he won his first MVP award. With Durant surrounded by superstar players such as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warriors have one of the greatest frontcourts in the league, if not of all time. Durant put up 39 points on his former team earlier this season and 40 points last week against them as well. Although Durant and the Warriors are trying to find their chemistry together, once they do, this team might be unstoppable.