After a slow start to the season, the Los Angeles Lakers are rolling.
The Lakers started the season with an 8-7 record, but have since turned things around and have won 14 of their last 17 games. The purple and gold have also won 6 of their last 7 outings – to improve to 17-10 on the season – placing them at 5th in the Western Conference, just 1.5 games back from the first place Oklahoma City Thunder (17-8).
This turnaround isn’t uncommon for LeBron James-led teams in their first year.
The Miami Heat started 8-7 when James took his talents to South Beach in 2010, as did the Cleveland Cavaliers on his return home in 2014. The Heat wound up with 58 wins that season, while the Cavs finished with 53, and both teams made it to the NBA Finals, according to HoopsHype.
So, for those betting on the NBA, it may be worth taking a chance on LeBron’s MVP odds, especially if The King can help lead the Lakers to a high-ranking playoff berth.
At the time of writing this article, James is 6/1 to win this season’s MVP award. Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently the favorite at 2/1, and rightly so – the 24-year-old is averaging 26.5 points, 13.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 34.0 minutes per game and his Milwaukee Bucks are 18-8.
Meanwhile, James is averaging 28.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.9 minutes per game.
As it is in most seasons when it comes to the MVP award, it’ll likely be a close race until the end.
You shouldn’t count out Anthony Davis either, who’s currently the second place favorite to win the award. The 25-year-old – and possible future Laker – is putting up 27.4 points, 12.2 rebounds, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.7 steals in 36.8 minutes per game, though his New Orleans Pelicans are currently just under .500 at 14-15.
However, if LeBron can continue to help pull the Lakers higher in the rankings in a tough Western Conference, his chances of bringing home his fifth MVP award at the age of 34 could very easily become a reality.
Watch this space.