The NBA has struck gold by having the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors face off in a play-in game. The two storied franchises had rough seasons due to injury but we’re able to pick things up towards the end of the year. Fans will now get the chance to watch Steph Curry and LeBron James battle it out.
Though the Warriors are the eighth seed in the Western Conference right now, there’s been talk about Curry winning the MVP this year. LeBron even went out and campaigned for the star guard to win the award and called him the “MVP of our league this year.”
Curry heard the Lakers star loud and clear and offered his response to the comments.
“Obviously I’m appreciative that he knows when he says something, people pay attention,” Curry said Tuesday. “So for him to speak on my MVP candidacy is definitely, I respect him for it and I appreciate it.”
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Curry Won’t Give LeBron ‘a Pass’
LeBron and Curry formed a bit of a rivalry in recent years. The two men faced each other in the NBA Finals for four straight years between 2015 and 2018. Now that they both reside in the Western Conference, the rivalry isn’t as intense as it once was. However, the intensity will ramp back up for the play-in game. Curry made it clear that he appreciates LeBron’s words but isn’t letting them get to his head.
“We all know as competitors, though, when the lights are on, I can talk about how great he is until I’m blue in the face and he can do the same, it doesn’t change how we approach that competition when we’re out there,” Curry said. “I won’t be giving him a pass because he likes the way I play this year and vice versa.”
Curry and LeBron are ultimate competitors, which should make for a very competitive play-in game. There’s no question the Lakers have the better team but Curry is capable of leading the Warriors to a win against anybody. Whether or not Golden State actually has a chance will be decided based on how the guard plays.
Does Curry Have a Real Shot at MVP?
Curry has put together an excellent season. He led the league in scoring by averaging 32 points a game. He also led a weak Warriors team to a possible playoffs berth. When Klay Thompson went down for the season, it appeared as if Golden State was in for another bad year.
While they had some serious lows, Curry has willed them to a winning record with his strong play. He certainly deserves to be in the MVP conversation but it’s a bit much to say he should win the award. The best player on an eighth seed isn’t usually up for consideration for MVP. Also, Nikola Jokic has put together an excellent season and the Denver Nuggets finished the season as the third seed in the Western Conference despite losing Jamal Murray for the year. Curry has been amazing but his team simply didn’t win enough games.
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