Westbrook, Harden & Leonard vie for MVP award: LeBron James snubbed

by May 19th, 2017

Russell Westbrook James Harden and Kawhi Leonard have been shortlisted by the NBA as the three players in contention to win the 2017 Most Valuable Player award.

Westbrook, who plays for Oklahoma City, led the NBA in total points and was second in total assists, averaging a league best 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game. A feat that saw him becoming just the second player after Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for an entire season.

Harden (Houston Rockets) finished first in total assists and second in total points, averaging 29.1 points, 11.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He also became the first player to score 2,000 points and assist on 2,000 points in a season in NBA history, creating the most points per game (scored or assisted) in the NBA this season with 56.2.

Leonard, who has won the last two Defensive Player of the Year awards, led the Spurs to 60 wins for the second straight year for the first time in franchise history. He averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals as the Spurs’ leader on offense and defense.

LeBron James finished outside the top three for the first time since 2008 after a campaign during which he set career highs in assists (8.7) and rebounds per game (8.6) this season.

James during the season became only the third NBA player to average at least 25 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor in a single season.

Most Valuable Player: Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), James Harden (Houston Rockets, Kawhi Leonard (San Antionio).

Sixth Man of the Year: Andre Iguodala (Golden State), Eric Gordon (Houston), Lou Williams (Houston).

Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Nikola Jokic (Denver), Rudy Gobert (Utah).

Rookie of the Year: Joel Embiid (Philadelphia), Dario Saric (Philadelphia), Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee).

Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green (Golden State) Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Rudy Gobert (Utah).

Coach of the Year: Mike D’Antoni (Houston), Erik Spoelstra (Miami), Gregg Popovich (San Antonio).