3. The Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans cannot exceed expectations
Much like the Los Angeles Lakers finishing in the top three in the Western Conference, LeBron James is going to need both the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans to, at the very best, meet the expectations placed on them this season.
And that should be the easiest part of James winning the MVP and why he is the favorite to begin with.
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I think it is safe to say that the common consensus is that the Bucks are destined to be the fourth seed this season with the third seed being the ceiling if Kawhi Leonard does not play. If the Bucks go out and finish in the top two in the Eastern Conference, it changes everything.
That placement will undoubtedly be because of Giannis Antetokounmpo and will only solidify his MVP case.
The same can be said for Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. The ceiling there is a bit harder to find in the tough Western Conference. But if Davis can lead his troops into finishing in the top half of the Western Conference than I like this chances.
The Pelicans are a lottery team without Davis and would be in the bottom seven or eight teams in the league. If he can carry them into the fourth seed or better it is going to look very good on his MVP resume.
As for James Harden, well, I do not really see a path to him winning the MVP two seasons in a row. He will have the same voter burnout as Russell Westbrook.
Two of the things are in LeBron James’ control, one isn’t. Either way, you have to like the chances of the Los Angeles Lakers producing another Most Valuable Player.