John Rohde's top five NBA MVP candidates
1. Kevin Durant, Thunder (27.9 points; 8.4 rebounds; 4.2 assists; 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks): His repertoire continues to grow. Good as he was last year, he's noticeably better this year. Scary how good he could become.
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2. Carmelo Anthony, New York (28.0 ppg; 6.1 rpg; 1.9 apg): Was unconscious before being slowed by an ankle injury. The Knicks are better than expected thanks to Anthony, who is the league's toughest scorer to stop.
3. LeBron James, Miami (25.2 ppg; 8.5 rpg; 6.8 apg): Comfortable, confident and incredibly consistent. Has scored 20-plus points in every game this season, the longest such streak since Karl Malone in 1989-90.
4. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers (16.0 ppg; 9.4 apg; 3.7 rpg; 2.6 spg): The best point guard in the game has the Clippers rolling. Has a sparkling 4.3-to-1 assist-turnover ratio, which is ridiculously efficient.
5. Zach Randolph, Memphis (17.1 ppg; 12.9 rpg; 1.2 apg): An absolute beast who has the Grizzlies in the upper-echelon. When healthy, he can seem to be unstoppable. Hurts you with every point, every rebound.
The next five: Tim Duncan, San Antonio (17.5 ppg; 10.4 rpg; 2.6 apg; 2.6 bpg); Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (29.5 ppg; 5.2 rpg; 5.0 apg); Russell Westbrook, Thunder (21.4 ppg; 8.8 apg; 4.9 rpg; 2.1 spg); James Harden, Houston (25.4 ppg; 5.3 apg; 4.5 rpg; 1.8 spg); Stephen Curry, Golden State (20.2 ppg; 6.4 apg; 4.1 rpg; 1.5 spg).
Note: Statistics through Friday