Although the news broke yesterday, Stephen Curry is the winner of the 2014-15 Most Valuable Player Award.
Curry totaled 1,198 points, including 100 of 130 first-place votes, from a panel of 129 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, as well as the Kia MVP fan vote on NBA.com. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.
Rounding out the top five in the voting were the Houston Rockets' James Harden (936 points, 25 first-place votes), the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James(552 points, five first-place votes), the Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook (352 points) and the New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis (203 points).
James Harden finishing second was not a surprise, but after that the race was considered wide open before the vote. LeBron James getting third isn't unusual considering how strongly the Cleveland Cavaliers played in the 2nd half of the season, but I'm just not a fan of Russell Westbrook placing ahead of either Anthony Davis or Chris Paul.
As I noted back in February, MVP winners almost always come from a team that finishes atop the conference standings. So, why then does that seem to differ when handing out 3rd, 4th or 5th place votes? The Thunder failed to make the playoffs, but the Pelicans got in thanks to one of the best statistical seasons ever recorded by Davis. Chris Paul played 82 games and it was his play that allowed the Clippers to finish third out West despite Blake Griffin missing a significant chunk of games. Sadly, it seems flash (multiple triple doubles) still can come out ahead of substance.
Who would have been in your top 5 for this season's MVP award?