LeBron James has three MVP awards. Did he earn a fourth? Check out our final ranking of the top 10 MVP candidates for the 2012-13 season. – FOXSports.com NBA editor John Galinsky.
Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder
Stats: 23.4 ppg, 7.5 apg, 5.3 rpg Last week: 10th. Westbrook helped OKC survive James Harden's absence by improving his assist-turnover ratio while remaining a prolific scorer. His shot selection remains suspect -- only Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant jacked it up more this season -- but Westbrook's aggressive approach does a lot more good than harm for the Thunder.
Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
Stats: 17.8 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.7 bpg Last week: 9th. In his 16th NBA season, Duncan was arguably the best big man in the league. Not only was he an offensive weapon with his usual array of post moves, he averaged his most blocks in nine years and made over 80 percent of his free throws for the first time. The Spurs simply won't fade away because Duncan simply won't get old.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Stats: 23.0 ppg, 6.9 apg, 45.5 3PT% Last week: Eighth. Curry broke the NBA record for most 3-pointers in a season, but he's more than just the best shooter in the league. He also established himself as a true franchise player by leading the Warriors to just their second playoff berth in 19 years.
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Stats: 25.9 ppg, 5.9 apg, 4.8 rpg Last week: Seventh. Harden didn't necessarily become a much better player this season. But he did play more minutes and take on a much larger role with the Rockets than he had with the Thunder. As a result, he's on a worse team, but he's making a lot more money and becoming a superstar in his own right. It's a tradeoff almost any player would make.
Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers
Stats: 27.3 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.6 rpg Last week: Sixth. Things were supposed to be easier for Kobe this season with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash around to help him out. Instead, his 17th NBA season may have been his hardest yet. He carried the underachieving Lakers on his back all season and even had one of his most efficient offensive seasons, tying his career high in assists, before tearing an Achilles tendon last week. It wasn't an MVP season, but it was an admirable one.
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Stats: 20.4 ppg, 7.6 apg, 52.4 FG% Last week: Fifth. Parker was playing the best basketball of his life when he sprained his left ankle March 1. He hasn't been the same player since then and, not coincidentally, the Spurs haven't been the same team. Parker still deserves top-five MVP recognition for his ultra-efficient first four months of the season, but San Antonio is going to have another disappointing postseason unless he quickly returns to form.
Chris Paul, LA Clippers
Stats: 16.8 ppg, 9.7 apg, 2.4 spg Last week: Fourth. Paul reclaimed his status as the NBA's best point guard this season. He finished first in the league in steals and second in assists, but stats don't measure his true value to the Clippers, who were 52-20 with him and 3-6 without him. Now he'll try to lead LA on the kind of deep playoff run the franchise has never experienced.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Stats: 28.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg Last week: Third. You can knock Anthony for winning his first scoring title as an inefficient volume shooter -- his 44.9 shooting percentage was below his career average -- and for averaging a career low in assists. But on this offensively-challenged Knicks team, 'Melo had to look for his own shot. Besides, what really matters is winning, and New York far surpassed expectations by finishing second in the East. Anthony deserves most of the credit for that.
Kevin Durant, OKC Thunder
Stats: 28.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 4.6 apg Last week: Second. In a normal season, everyone would be raving over Durant's season. He was extraordinarily efficient, shooting over 50 percent from the field, 40 percent on threes and 90 percent from the line. He also improved as a passer and defender while leading the Thunder to the top seed in the West. Of course, it wasn't a normal season because one player overshadowed everyone else with a season for the ages. Durant's first MVP will have to wait.
LeBron James, Miami Heat
Stats: 26.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 7.3 apg Last week: First. In his 10th NBA season, LeBron left his peers behind and took his place among the all-time greats. He played in 76 games and was excellent in nearly every one, recording career highs in field-goal percentage (56.5), 3-point percentage (40.6) and rebounds while notching career lows in turnovers and fouls. The only question is whether his fourth MVP award will be a unanimous selection. And, of course, whether he follows it with a second NBA title. It will be a big surprise if he doesn't.