With the NBA season about to begin, who will be the stellar individuals in the 2013-14 campaign?
Most Valuable Player
LeBron James is 1.90 to retain his MVP crown and with his importance increasing as Dwyane Wade declines, he will remain as Miami’s cornerstone. It’s 1.82 that anyone else comes up trumps but there’s always a reluctance, even with Michael Jordan, to keep anointing the same player year after year which could allow Kevin Durant to take his turn.
Rookie of the Year
80% of NBA GMs expect Orlando Magic freshman Victor Oladipo to take this award, despite being only the fifth pick in the Draft, and he’s 2.50 favourite. He had a great summer league but he has been switched to a new position (point guard) where he’s never played before which adds a touch of uncertainty. Ben McLemore of Sacramento, at 8.50, could get some love if the Kings can make any progress while number one pick Anthony Bennett can do likewise if Cleveland advance. At 12.50, he’s great value although we’re still not really sure of his ability to defend.
Most Points per Game
With Russell Westbrook out, Kevin Durant figures to carry the load in Oklahoma City for the initial part of the season and, if he replicates his approach from last season’s playoffs, he’s a no-brainer at 2.05. For an outside tip however, consider Tony Parker at 75.00 as his colleagues in San Antonio age and reduce their offensive impact.
Chris Paul is the absolute key to moving the Clippers forward and in Doc Rivers revamped system, he’ll be compelled to think pass as much as score. He’s at 2.20 but best value of all is Mike Conley at 70.00, especially with Memphis likely to go more up-tempo this season.
Dwight Howard landing in Houston has him at 1.55 to again win the rebounding crown but if the Rockets keep Omer Asik around, then the boards could be shared. Consider Joakim Noah at 25.00 with the Bulls likely to present more chances for the Frenchman on the offensive glass.
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