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By his own admission, LeBron James is in one of the best offensive zones of his life. Tuesday was the latest example as he poured in 33 points on 14-21 shooting from the field in a road win over the short-handed Brooklyn Nets.
James currently sits in second in scoring in the league, trailing only Kevin Durant who is out for the foreseeable future with injury. The 29.1 points per game he’s averaging is the most since his first stint in Cleveland. He’s done it all while keeping the Lakers afloat in Anthony Davis’ absence, shouldering a hefty burden on both ends of the floor.
And yet, that isn’t enough for fans to consider James one of the favorites to win the MVP this season. Our latest SB Nation Reacts survey asked for the current MVP favorites and James was not among the top-four listed.
Certainly, each of Nikola Jokic, Steph Curry, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo are having stellar seasons. The biggest difference between them and James, though, comes down to team record. All four of those respective teams are safely in the playoffs while the Lakers are fledgling around .500 and in contention for a play-in game.
If Thursday’s return of Anthony Davis sparks the Lakers on a run and James continues his torrid run, perhaps then he will elevate into the conversation for the MVP. But as long as the Lakers are a mediocre team, it’s hard to imagine James can vault any of the four above him into contention.
Justice for Caruso
Late last week, Alex Caruso was taken out with a hard foul by Grayson Allen, resulting in Caruso fracturing his wrist and leaving him sidelined for the foreseeable future. Naturally, the Bulls — and many general NBA fans — were expecting a hefty punishment for Allen given the result of his foul.
The NBA, though, ultimately only suspended Allen for a single game, which only caused more anger. NBA fans, in general, are in agreement that Allen deserved more than the single game he was suspended.
Allen’s history of dirty plays dating back to his time at Duke likely played into frustration fans who have felt like he has not been suitably punished for his actions in the past. In a vacuum, Allen’s foul alone likely would have only warranted a one-game suspension and, ultimately, it seems that is what the NBA decided on the matter.
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