Skip Bayless Makes Surprise Pick As Strong NBA MVP Contender

Kawhi Leonard, Clippers, NBA
Feb 5, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dribbles against Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) during the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past two months, the Los Angeles Clippers have been on a heater, and they appear to have a real shot at reaching the NBA Finals for the first time.

With a 35-17 record, they have risen to third place in the Western Conference, and Kawhi Leonard is leading the way. He’s averaging 24.1 points per game while shooting 52,7 percent from the field and 45.3 percent from 3-point range, yet he’s getting virtually no love in the race for the regular season MVP.

On “Undisputed,” Fox Sports 1 personality Skip Bayless said Leonard can make a charge for the MVP because of what he’s done this season.

Leonard is the rare superstar who can score big points while also locking down opponents on the defensive end, something that has rarely been seen, regardless of era. He is even more rare when one considers the fact that most two-way superstars throughout NBA history have been big men.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers Updates

As Bayless pointed out, he doesn’t put up as many shots as some other superstars, but he has been incredibly efficient. He even compared Leonard’s impact to that of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was named the NFL’s MVP for the 2019 season, because his impact goes beyond his stats.

Bayless also mentioned another important argument Leonard has in his favor. The forward has thus far missed only four of the Clippers’ games and has “worked his tail off” to be able to be available this often.

Due to various injuries and injury concerns, Leonard hasn’t appeared in over 60 regular season games since the 2016-17 campaign, back when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers Updates

Of course, their annual playoff failures are the nagging bone of contention for the Clippers. Star teammates Paul George, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook all have a history of underperforming in the postseason, and anything the team accomplishes in the regular season won’t matter if it doesn’t earn a world championship ring.

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