NBA season review: Bandwagoners, most valuable player debate

April 20, 2015

Brandon Applehans
bappleha@uccs.edu

It has been a year of change in the National Basketball Association. The 2014-15 season has been nothing short of miraculous when it comes to game winners, marquee players being traded and certain teams emerging.

The biggest change this season came when Miami Heat forward LeBron James decided to take his talents (back) to Cleveland.

Immediately, bandwagoners jumped to the conclusion that, with the presence of guard Kyrie Irving and newly acquired power forward Kevin Love, the team was unbeatable. This was not the case.

Fans strayed away from the Cavaliers after the team started 19-20. The team was written off with doubters saying that LeBron would stay at just two NBA titles. People thought they might not even make the playoffs.

But after the all-star break, the Cavs got it together. Cleveland is now one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference entering the playoffs as the number two seed.

In the Western Conference, the defending champion San Antonio Spurs have been living up to their winning mentality as of late. At the beginning of the season, the Spurs were stuck at the number seven or eight seed.

Talk soon emerged that the defending champions could not do it again because of age, talent and lack of ability to run with younger teams. Much like the Cavs, fans retreated when the Spurs were down.

Those unloyal fans couldn’t look more foolish, as San Antonio looked to be the number two seed in the western conference. That was until the Spurs played the last game of the season on April 15, and seemed to lose the game on purpose.

San Antonio dropped from the number two seed to the number six seed as a result. The reason is simple. The Spurs now have an easier road to the championship.

The Spurs take on the number three seed Los Angeles Clippers in the first round, they would have had to play the Dallas Mavericks, a potential upset.

But aside from the Cavs and Spurs, the season has been action-packed with key players emerging as potential recipients of the NBA’s most valuable player award.

Currently three guards, a two-time NBA champion, and an emerging power-forward are in the race: Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Cleveland’s LeBron James and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis.

Each player possesses traits that get fans to say, “ooh” and “ahh.” The real question is what they have done individually for their team.

Houston’s James Harden should be crowned most valuable player for one simple reason: take him off the team, and where would they be?

Nowhere, and definitely not in the playoffs.

Harden averages 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists for his team. He is the number two scorer in the NBA, behind Russell Westbrook, but Westbrook’s Thunder are not in the playoffs.

The 2015 NBA playoffs started April 18. As for the MVP race, as the NBA goes deeper in the playoffs, the winner will be decided.