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LeBron James played a career-low 35.6 minutes per game last season and averaged 25.3 points, 6.8 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game. Heading into the 2016-17 season, James will be three seasons removed from his last MVP award.
This season, the majority of NBA GM’s predicted that LBJ would reclaim the MVP award in 2016-17. However, with Tyronn Lue preparing to reduce his stars minutes even more from last season, winning his fifth MVP may not be an easy task for the three-time NBA Champion.
James points at Stephen Curry playing 34.2 minutes per game during his MVP year and says that it is definitely possible for him to win the award despite a minute reduction. Via ESPN:
“No,” James said Saturday when asked if he was concerned that planned rest could affect his MVP case. “Because Steph played 31 minutes a game and he won the MVP.”
James was a little off in his stats — Curry averaged 32.7 minutes per game in 2014-15 and 34.2 minutes last season en route to back-to-back MVPs — but his point was clear: Even at age 31 and playing his 14th season, with Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue hoping to keep him fresh for the postseason, it’s possible to add another MVP award to his collection.”