Kawhi Leonard has been quietly putting up MVP numbers all season for a top-seeded team but hasn't had much MVP consideration.
The LA Clippers have the second-best record in the NBA, and Kawhi Leonard is averaging 26.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.6 steals, on 51/39/88 shooting. By all accounts, this performance is worth being a top-three MVP candidate. Instead, Leonard is currently ranked 6th on NBA's MVP Ladder list. Ahead of him is: Joel Embiid, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Steph Curry, and Damian Lillard.
The Clippers have a better record than every single team on that list, and Kawhi Leonard is shooting more efficiently than nearly every player on that list. Paul George believes that Leonard might not be getting the respect he deserves because Leonard isn't flashy.
The MVP shouldn't be primarily about stats, it should be about winning and a player's impact towards winning. Kawhi Leonard has done a tremendous job impacting the Clippers' potential to win, and the Clippers have done a tremendous job of winning. For one reason or another, the narratives just aren't on his side. Either he hasn't played enough games, despite playing back-to-backs, or his team is "too good without him."
Kawhi Leonard quietly put up 30 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block, on 8/13 FGs against the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. There likely won't be any highlight reels, but it's an MVP performance that resulted in a win. That should be all that matters.
"I don't know if roster is the reason why he's not getting votes or recognition," George said. "There's a lot of guys ahead of him with pretty good rosters as well."