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MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 12: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a last second shot during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 12, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

NBA: 5 MVP Candidates That May Surprise You

So far this season, so many teams are doing incredible things. The Heat, the Thunder, and of course, the Spurs, are having great seasons as usual, but other under-the-radar teams like the Pacers deserve more credit than they’re getting.

All these dark horse teams are led by someone who has stepped it up big-time and could give LeBron and Durant a hard time in the race to the top of the MVP Ladder.

5. Paul George: 

Jan 30, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24) stands on the free throw line against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana won 98-79. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers are incredible this year. Despite Miami’s 14 game winning streak, the Pacers are actually gaining on them. Many are saying that the Knicks and the Heat are the teams to beat in the Eastern Conference, but because of Paul George, the Pacers deserve some recognition.

I believe that the Pacers are the only team capable of bringing down the Heat: something they can do with ease. With big man Roy Hibbert slumping, the Pacers aren’t affected at all because Paul George, the All-Star, has been amazing. His only bad game of the year was against the Warriors, when he scored 0 points.

Other than that, Paul George has been an MVP.

4. James Harden:

This year, the Houston Rockets were supposed to be in a state of rebuilding, but that hasn’t been the case. In trading Kevin Martin for Harden, the Rockets have created the most dynamic backcourt in the NBA.

Jeremy Lin is a new star and a facilitator: he has the passing skills, and when needed, the scoring skills. Harden is a pure scorer: he gets to the basket and hits a tough shot.

It’s safe to say that most of the Rocket’s success is credited to Harden, who has been playing like an MVP with around 26 points per game.

3. Stephen Curry:

The NBA doesn’t really like the Warriors, but that’s never stopped them in the past. Despite the Warriors having the worst couple of months of the year, Stephen Curry has been consistent. Rest assured, if you’re a Warriors fan, they won’t keep losing.

With Curry’s beautiful shooting touch, he scored 54 points at MSG, something that only 3 people have done before. Curry was snubbed from the all-star game big time, and it’s time he gets some recognition. Once the Warriors start winning, Curry will likely re-appear on the MVP Ladder.

2. Dwyane Wade:

How can Wade be the MVP on a team that has LeBron James? Well, unlike Richard Jefferson, Wade has never failed to stop producing. At the beginning of the season, many said that

Feb 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the American Airlines Arena. MIami won 109-105. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

this was Wade’s downfall, this was the time for LeBron James to start taking over the Heat franchise. They were wrong. In the month of February, Wade averaged 23.9 PPG, and in his last 5, 27.6. Wade is dominating right now, and it’s safe to say that the Heat would not be on this 14 game winning streak if Wade were injured, or “losing his touch”.

1. Joakim Noah:

Nowhere on the MVP Ladder, yes I know.

Noah has done some brilliant things this season, however. As the Bulls’ main guy. Noah is really stepping it up in Derrick Rose’s absence: this is what leaders do, they lead. When Derrick fell out with injury, Noah took over. It has been a fresh start for the Chicago Bulls, and lead by Noah’s pasion and heart, the Bulls are overcoming the injury of Derrick Rose, who made this team 1st place when he wasn’t injured: The fact that they’re still making the playoffs is all due to the heart of Joakim Noah.

Tags: Chicago Bulls Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Indiana Pacers Miami Heat

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