http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/1/13/7536729/damian-lillard-mvp-stephen-curryStephen Curry and James Harden remain neck-and-neck for the top spot after Curry regained it in last week's NBA MVP Power Rankings. But another Western Conference guard is hot on their heels. Read on to find out who.
1. Stephen Curry (Last week: 1)
Curry posted two double-doubles in a light week for the juggernaut that is the Warriors. Golden State throttled both Indiana and Cleveland, and Curry totaled 44 points and 25 assists in the two wins.
Looking at the bigger picture, Curry's on/off splits are absurd. The Warriors have been a whopping 22.2 points per 100 possessions better with the point guard on the court this season, per NBA.com. That's how you become a front-runner for MVP.
2. James Harden (Last week: 2)
After a couple poor shooting performances, Harden has bounced back in his last three games with superb efforts. He averaged over 28 points and nearly seven assists while shooting nearly 57 percent in three Rockets victories.
While Harden currently sits at No. 2 in these rankings, you wouldn't get an argument from me if you wanted to put him at the top. It's neck-and-neck between Curry and Harden at this point and should be the rest of the season. Other players could butt in, but those two have the inside track on the award.
3. Anthony Davis (Last week: 3)
It continues to be impossible to move Davis down despite the Pelicans' mediocrity. New Orleans went 1-2 over the last week, but Davis averaged 33 points and nearly 11 rebounds in the two losses. It's tough to blame losses on a guy who does that. He was also solid in an impressive victory over Memphis.
In addition to being awesome in general, Davis has excelled in the clutch this season. The big man is 19-of-25 when the game is within five points with under five minutes to play, per NBA.com. The question is why Davis has only taken 25 shots in the clutch and Tyreke Evans has taken 35 while only making eight.
4. Damian Lillard (Last week: 7)
Don't look now, but the Blazers are 30-8, which is tied for the second-best record in the NBA. Lillard was already a star in the making in his first two seasons, but now he's making the leap to superstardom.
Lillard's PER has gone up over four points in his third year, as he has become a more efficient scorer despite upping his usage. His true shooting percentage is a shade under 60 percent, nearly three points above last year. In addition to the more efficient scoring, the 24-year-old has improved as a rebounder and is at nearly five boards per game, which would be a career-high.