January 20, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts to a call during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 121-118 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NBA MVP Ladder: Ranking the top contenders

It’s time for my bi-weekly look at the MVP race.

We are at the halfway point of the NBA season, so that means there likely won’t be a whole lot of movement from just a couple of weeks ago.

January 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) looks on during the third quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Trail Blazers 103-97. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With that being said, here’s a look at my latest NBA MVP Ladder.

Honorable Mentions: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Zach Randolph, Tony Parker, James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook

5. David Lee, Golden State Warriors: Lee has to get some love for the success of the Warriors so far. Lee has 25 double-doubles on the season and ranks seventh in rebounding (10.8 RPG) and 11th in scoring (19.6 PPG). He is a big reason why the Warriors have the seventh best record in the NBA. Previous Ranking- Not Ranked

4. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks:  Anthony still has an MVP resume, ranking second in the NBA in scoring at 29.2 PPG, while ranking fourth in the league in PER (25.29). However while that is no doubt impressive, his MVP candidacy has taken a hit as of late as the Knicks have gone only 7-9 in their past 16 games. Previous Ranking-4

3. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers: Paul slips a spot after missing three games last week, but his MVP resume is still impressive, ranking third in the NBA in PER (26.11), while averaging 16.6 points per game while also ranking second overall in assists with 9.7 per night. He also leads the NBA in steals with 2.6, while leading the Clippers to the best record in the NBA. Previous Ranking-2

2. LeBron James, Miami Heat: LeBron leads the league in PER (30.3) and is fourth in the league in scoring (26.3 PPG), 10th in assists (7.0 APG) and is also pulling down 8.1 rebounds per game. As much as James is having an MVP-type season again, the Heat aren’t as good (at this point) as they were a season ago and must become a better road team. Previous Ranking-3

1.  Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder: Durant’s January, in which he has averaged a whopping 32.3 points per game, has just helped his MVP case. He’s the NBA’s leading scorer, averaging 29.5 points per game and is playing on a team that is an NBA-best 33-9. He’s second in the NBA in PER (29.15) and is also averaging 7.5 rebounds and a career-best 4.2 assists per game. His case gets even stronger due to the fact that he is shooting 51.6 percent from the floor, 40.4 percent from three and 90.9 from the free-throw line. Just like last season, the MVP could end up being a two-horse race between LeBron and Durant when it is all said and done. Previous Ranking-1

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