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Warriors' Stephen Curry, Lakers' LeBron James on collision course for regular-season MVP award

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One NBA star has continuously made shots from almost any distance with his unmatched stroke and vision. Even if teammates and coaches expect Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry to make many of them, they still marvel at his feats.

“It’s literally like a video game,” Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson said. “We’re all on the bench chuckling and laughing like, ‘Man, he’s unreal.’”

One NBA star has continuously dominated with his freakish athleticism and basketball smarts. Even if teammates and coaches expect Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James to dunk, pass and shoot, they still marvel at his feats, too.

“He’s special, man,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said. “He can flip a switch.”

James and Curry once competed head-to-head for NBA championships. Curry helped the Warriors win three NBA titles at James’ expense in 2015, 2017 and 2018. James helped the Cleveland Cavaliers become the only NBA team in league history to overcome a 3-1 Finals series deficit at Curry’s expense in 2016. 

Curry and James cannot compete in the Finals this season since both players reside in the Western Conference. But it seems highly unlikely the Lakers and Warriors would meet in the Western Conference Finals. It appears highly likely, though, that Curry and James will compete against each other for regular-season hardware for the third time in their careers. 

It wasn't that long ago that Stephen Curry and LeBron James were competing for NBA championships and regular-season MVP awards. They could be the two frontrunners for the MVP award again this season.

Curry won in 2015 and unanimously in 2016, while James finished in third place. James collected his four regular-season MVPs in Cleveland (2009, 2010) and Miami (2012, 2013) before Curry’s ascension. This season, it appears Curry and James are on a direct collision course to determine first and second place.

Curry has led the NBA this season in both total points (844) and 3-pointers made (140). Although Curry has fulfilled that job description every season during his 12-year NBA career, the Warriors observe that Curry has played his best basketball this season. Curry has routinely attacked the rim, showing he can dominate opponents partly by emulating James’ strength. Curry has mirrored his scoring output this season (29.9 points per game) to what he produced in 2015-16 (29.9). He has also shot nearly as effective from 3-point range this season (42.9%) as he did in 2014-15 (44.3%) and 2015-16 (45.4%). Unlike when he played with Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston during those other MVP years, Curry has spent this season navigating other challenges. Thompson suffered a season-ending right Achilles injury before the season started. Rookie center James Wiseman has shown varying degrees of growth and struggles before missing the past eight games with an injured left wrist. And Curry’s other teammates have yet to prove they can consistently supplement his outside shooting.



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