Dark horse Most Valuable Player candidate: Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
The NBA Most Valuable Player, the Michael Jordan Trophy, is awarded to the player who had the best season. Usually, the player who wins the MVP has phenomenal regular and advanced statistics and their team also has a top-five record during the regular season.
For the last three seasons, the top three finalists have been Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who are among the favorites to win it again this year. One of the most talented players in the league is left out which is why Anthony Davis is a strong dark horse MVP candidate.
Anthony Davis put up MVP-caliber numbers last season where he averaged 25.9 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 2 blocks while shooting a career-high 56.3 percent from the field, and 78.4 percent from the free throw line.
Davis is going to have another year similar to what he had last year. There are two factors that may prevent him from winning the MVP. The first being is sometimes widely inconsistent with his performances where he often has 30 points and 15 rebounds one night and the next game he has 15 points and seven rebounds.
The second and main reason is that Davis is always hurt. The NBA put in a rule where a player has to play at least 65 games in order to be eligible for any of the awards and the All-NBA teams. Davis hasn't played in more than 65 games in an 82 game season since 2018.
Assuming Davis' health and consistency holds up, he is going to be without question in the middle of the MVP conversation. His numbers will be in direct correlation to the Lakers winning and if they have a top five record in the league, Davis' two-way ability will allow him to potentially win the MVP.