This time a week ago, there was much discussion on Steph Curry vs Russell Westbrook as the MVP of the NBA. Both were point guards, both all-stars and leaders on their teams.
Curry was the presumed MVP nearly the entire season, after accomplishing feat after feat, hitting dagger after dagger to win games. But Westbrook quietly recorded over 30 triple-doubles, an incredible stat, and has led his team to the Western Conference Finals, upsetting the Spurs in 6 games.
This led to quite the discussion on who should win MVP this season. Steph Curry was unanimously picked last week as the league MVP, leading to a lot of backlash from fans.
However, Westbrook didn’t even finish second in the MVP voting. According to PalmBeachPost.com, Westbrook finished 3rd behind Kawhi Leonard.
So was Curry deservedly the MVP? Or did Westbrook get swindled from his MVP bid due to the success of the Golden State Warriors? Let’s take a look.
Curry played in 79 out of 82 games and averaged 32 minutes per game. He shot 50% from the field, and 45% from 3 point range. Pretty good for a point guard.
Curry was basically money from the foul line, hitting 90% of his free throws, which averages 1 miss every other game. That is ridiculous.
Ultimately he averaged out to 30.1 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, and 6.7 assists per game. Very good numbers, but even more impressive when looking at the season totals.
Curry accounted for 2375 points this season, and hit an insane 402 three point shots, demolishing his previous NBA record of 286. It is likely this record will never be broken.
Westbrook didn’t have a score-a-thon like Curry, but his all around game has proven better. He played 80 out of 82 games, and averaged 34 minutes a game.
He shot 45% from the field and 30% from 3 point range, solid but somewhat average compared to Curry.
Westbrook shot 80% from the free throw line, which is about 3 misses in every 2 games. Still very good, but not as impressive as Curry.
However, here is where the stat line gets impressive, Westbrook put up 23.5 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game, and 10.4 assists per game. That’s right, he averaged a double-double.
A lot of players don’t average 10.4 POINTS in a game, let alone assists. Westbrook hasn’t needed to be the one to score all the points, he has teammates that he can distribute to, who can make clutch shots.
The verdict: While Westbrook had an impressive overall stat line, Curry still had solid numbers all around, but in addition, he shot lights out all season long. While a very convincing case can be made for Westbrook, Steph Curry’s value to his team is very tangible. When he went down to injury, his team lost 2 games in 2 weeks, after losing 9 for the entire season.
Westbrook’s team, the Thunder, have players like Kevin Durant who can take over when Westbrook is out, while the Warriors seem to have lost a leader on the court. Whatever the case may be, these are both great players who play on great teams.
Fortunately for us, we get to watch these two battle it out in the Western Conference Finals. This should be fun.