LeBron James Ranked 2nd in ESPN’s Latest MVP Straw Poll, Anthony Davis 7th

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have been led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis all season long.

Right now, that superstar leadership has helped the Lakers claim the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Given that fact, it probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that both James and Davis have ended up in the top 10 in a recently released straw poll for the MVP race.

ESPN writer Tim Bontemps broke down the straw poll before revealing the top results.

“ESPN asked 101 media members to participate in an informal straw poll of where the league’s MVP race stands as the season moves into its second quarter,” he wrote. “It was [Giannis] Antetokounmpo who stood above the rest. The Milwaukee Bucks forward received 48 first-place votes and was the only player to appear on all 101 ballots.”

James ended up right behind Antetokounmpo with 29 votes for first place.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis

James ending up in second place is somewhat incredible. At 34 years of age, fans and critics alike entered the season expecting James to take a step back in production compared to that of his prime years.

James has done just the opposite. So far, he is averaging 25.6 points, 10.8 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game. His points and rebounds averages are slightly down compared to those of his career, but he has made up for it be averaging nearly three most assists per game compared to his career average.

If James wants to win the actual award by season’s end, he will have to keep up these numbers or even improve upon them.

As the Lakers prepare for what they hope is a deep postseason run, it is possible that James will slow down a bit to conserve his energy.

Luckily for Davis, that likely means that his current production could take a boost, improving his chances of winning the award. Right now, Davis is averaging 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.7 blocks per game. Every average marks an improvement compared to his career averages with the exception of rebounds per game.

As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see if either Lakers star works his way into the frontrunner position for MVP.

In the end, it doesn’t seem either player cares all that much. Instead, what both Davis and James seem to be primarily focused on is bringing a title to Los Angeles this season.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.