NBA playoffs

LeBron hails Curry as NBA MVP before Lakers-Warriors play-in clash

Delfin Dioquino
LeBron hails Curry as NBA MVP before Lakers-Warriors play-in clash

PLAYOFF PICTURE. Steph Curry and the Warriors conclude the regular season as the No. 8 team in the Western Conference.

Golden State Warriors' Twitter page

Lakers star LeBron James says Steph Curry has proven his doubters wrong as he carried the Warriors back into playoff contention

Is Steph Curry deserving of a third NBA MVP award?

LeBron James definitely thinks so as he and the Los Angeles Lakers are set to lock horns with Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference play-in tournament.

The No. 7 Lakers will go up against the No. 8 Warriors, with the winner clinching the 7th seed in the playoffs.

“We’re playing, in my opinion, the MVP of our league this year in Steph. We got to prepare for everything they have,” James said.

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“They got championship DNA as well. They’ve been there and they know what it takes and what it feels like to be in pressure games. We got to be ready for the opportunity and the pressure.”

Finishing the regular season with a 46-point outburst against the Memphis Grizzlies, Curry hiked his average to a league-best 32 points to capture his second NBA scoring crown.

Curry joined NBA legend Michael Jordan as the only players in history to lead the league in scoring at age 33 or older.

With Curry torching NBA defenses, the Warriors – who finished the previous season dead last in the West – have found themselves in playoff contention even with star guard Klay Thompson still injured.

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“Just look at what he has done this year. Everybody counted him out this year,” said James, a four-time NBA MVP.

“Everybody is saying now that Klay is hurt, can Steph lead the team on his own? Can he carry a team on his own? Can he carry a team into the postseason? Can he keep a team afloat? He has done that and more.”

But James acknowledged there is only a slim chance that Curry bags the highest individual honor, with other NBA superstars more favored to win the MVP award.

Nikola Jokic is at the top of that list after leading the Denver Nuggets to the No. 3 seed in the West with career-high numbers of 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists.

Philadephia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic are also top contenders for the plum.

“Obviously, I do not think Steph is going to get it because – that is another conversation – but in my eyes, he has played the best basketball all year round,” James said. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.