Most in the basketball world believe that Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward LeBron James will take home his fifth MVP Award of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant will take home his second in the 2014-2015 season.
Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders offers up a couple of dark horse MVP candidates in Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose and New Orleans Pelicans’ big man Anthony Davis.
Another total dark horse is Derrick Rose. I do not expect him back quite at that level, but if he gets close to his 2011 peak the Bulls could have a dominant season and get over 60 wins. The story there might also be too great to ignore. I think it’s almost impossible that Rose is actually MVP level of good though, or even that he gets into the top 3 again.
Anthony Davis is probably the last dark horse that appears to me. NOP should be a lot better this year. If they suddenly get into the top 10 in D, which they should with Davis, Asik, and Holiday starting, that’s a playoff team. If Davis is suddenly averaging 25 a game and that happens, maybe he gets close. But it seems like he’s still too far out of the national consciousness to be a real factor.
If healthy, Rose isn’t really a dark horse. He was named the MVP of the league in the 2010-2011 season, but has since played in just 49 total games, including only 10 last season. Rose averaged 15.9 points, 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game while shooting 35.4% from the field, 34.0% from beyond the arc and 84.4% from the free throw line this season. In his career, he has averaged 20.8 points, 6.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 46.0% from the field, 31.2% from three and 81.5% from the charity stripe
Davis averaged 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 51.9% from the field, 22.2% from three and 79.1% from the free throw line. He’s gone for 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 51.8% from the floor, 13.3% from three and 77.7% from the free throw line in his career.