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NBA MVP Award: Top 4 Candidates (LeBron, Curry and Kawhi excluded)

Russell Westbrook MVP

Week 1 is just about in the books, and there has been some historic performances already. It is way too early to be talking about the MVP race but we are going to do it anyways.

Here are the players who have made MVP cases thus far:

Russell Westbrook

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This guy is a triple-double waiting to happen every night. The Thunder have played three games so far and Westbrook has already put up two triple-doubles, scoring 51 points in one of them against the Suns.

If people were concerned about how the Thunder would do without Durant in the mix, this team still looks scary good, and you can thank number 0 for that. Look for Westbrook to continue proving his worth and leading this team to wins, there is no doubt he will be in the MVP conversation come season’s end.

James Harden

Check: 2016-2017 All-NBA Team Predictions

Another player who is capable of putting up big numbers in multiple categories and wasted no time showcasing that with a 34-point, 17-assist season opener against the Lakers. Unfortunately it was in a loss, but still impressive numbers.

Everyone knows James Harden is a more than capable offensive weapon in many categories, the question that still lingers is his defensive effort and ability. He also turns the ball over rather frequently. This could derail his chances at an MVP, no matter how good he plays offense. He looks like a shoe-in for the MVP race but may fall just short when it’s all said and done.

Anthony Davis

What a way to open your season! 50 points and 15 rebounds! Then he followed it up with a 45-point, 17-point rebound performance against the mighty Warriors. This guy is out to prove something this year. He has been a great player thus far in his career, but his inability to stay healthy and the horrible cast around him has taken a bit of attention away from how great of a player he is.

Make no mistake, though, Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the league. His team is sure to have a subpar record this year even if they all stay healthy, they just aren’t a great roster. Wins do matter sometimes when it comes to the MVP race, but if he continues to put up the numbers he is right now I’m sure they will overlook the team’s record.

Damian Lillard

A bit of a surprise here is Damian Lillard. Before the season started, Jalen Rose chose Damian Lillard as a dark horse to win the MVP trophy this season. People were surprised by this, but Lillard is giving them a reason to believe. We are only three games in, but he is averaging 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.

He has been extremely consistent throughout the preseason and these first three games. Lillard also wants to prove his worth, as he has been overlooked for the All-Star game year after year and has put up some of the greatest numbers in the league. I’m not saying that Lillard is going to win the MVP, but he deserves the credit where it is due, and it won't be a surprise if he is in the race when the time comes.

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