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Pacers guard Victor Oladipo was named a finalist for the Most Improved Player Award, along with Clint Capela of the Houston Rockets and Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets.

To make his case, Davis' numbers warrant serious consideration.

With 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game, James' numbers are especially impressive when one considers the circumstances the 2016 National Basketball Association champions have gone through this year with the trade of Kyrie Irving, injuries, a general manager change and the absence of head coach Tyronn Lue due to illness.

Meanwhile, LeBron will be back on the floor with his Cavaliers teammates on Saturday for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Quicken Loans Arena against the Boston Celtics, who lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. And he raised his level of play after fellow all-star DeMarcus Cousins went down to an Achilles injury.

But, Davis' competition for the MVP award is stiff.

Kevin O'Brien believes historic century can spur Ireland to unlikely victory
Up stepped Kevin O'Brien, who became the first Irishman to score a century in test cricket while racking up an unbeaten 118. The discipline in Ireland's second innings at odds with their first showing, when they were knocked over for just 130.


Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) and Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz).

Harden led the National Basketball Association in scoring at 30.4 points per game, while guiding the Rockets to a franchise-best 65 wins. He was the number one player on the leagues number one offense.

The four-time NBA MVP also posted a career-high 52 double-doubles (5th-most in NBA and 2nd-most in franchise history) and a career-high 18 triple-doubles (2nd in NBA).

James also played an NBA-leading 37.2 minutes per game.

Harden, the league's leading scorer in the regular season with an average of 30.4 points per game, appears the favorite to succeed Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook as MVP when the awards are announced on June 25.


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