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2013 NBA MVP Award: With Playoffs Looming, Who Are the Top 10 Candidates?

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2013 NBA MVP Award: Who Are the Top 10 Candidates?

nba mvp
Debby Wong-USA Today Sports

Just a season ago, LeBron James claimed his third NBA MVP Award in the last four seasons. With the 2013 NBA Playoffs looming, James could be a collision course for yet another MVP. With that being said however, there are other contenders looking to stake their own claim at the NBA's top individual achievement.

James is chasing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won the award six times during his NBA career. Both Michael Jordan and Bill Russell have won the MVP five times in their respected careers.

The NBA MVP Award is among the most coveted accomplishments in professional basketball, but it's simply become one of the aspects that judge's a player's career and legacy. James was heavily scrutinized for being unable to win a championship ring up until a year ago and ironically enough, 2012 marked a season in which he took home both.

Fast forward to now and James has the potential to do both yet again here in 2013, but not only will teams in the playoffs have something to say about the Miami Heat's quest for back-to-back titles, but some individual stars may look to be making at late push at James in terms of the NBA's MVP Award.

With the first week of April in the books, let's take a look at the top 10 NBA MVP candidates:

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

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No. 10- Stephen Curry

curry
Cary Edmondson-USA Today Sports

Stephen Curry is 7th in the NBA in scoring this season, averaging 22.5 points per game. In addition, Curry is leading a Golden State Warriors squad that is looking to end the regular season strong and clinch the No. 6 seed out west. Curry is a long shot to win the award, but he does deserves some sort of consideration.

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No. 9- Dwyane Wade

wade
Rob Grabowski-USA Today Sports

Dwyane Wade has no chance of catching his Miami Heat teammate in the MVP race, but he certainly deserves some consideration. Wade is averaging 21.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game this season, but the former Marquette star has missed six of the last eight games down the stretch.

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No. 8- Russell Westbrook

westbrook
Mark D. Smith-USA Today Sports

Like Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook has no chance of catching his teammate in the MVP race. However, Westbrook is sixth in the NBA in scoring this season, averaging 23.4 points per game. In addition to his offensive numbers, Westbook is averaging 7.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game.

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No. 7- James Harden

harden
Thomas Campbell-USA Today Sports

The Houston Rockets are looking like a team that will hold onto its playoff spot here in 2013 and a lot of that can be attributed to some of their off-season acquisitions. The Rockets added Jeremy Lin, but there's no doubt that their acquirement of James Harden was the biggest key. Harden is averaging 25.8 points per game, which is good enough for fifth in the NBA.

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No. 6- Tony Parker

parker
Mark D. Smith-USA Today Sports

The MVP discussion sometimes circulates around that whole "best player on the best team" argument. That's usually how it should be. Well out west, the San Antonio Spurs are looking to lock up the No. 1 seed, but the Oklahoma City Thunder may have other thoughts. As for the Spurs' leader? Well Tony Parker is averaging 20.6 points, 7.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game this season.

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No. 5- Kobe Bryant

bryant
Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

Kobe Bryant is the main reason why the Los Angeles Lakers even have a shot at the NBA Playoffs and that's sad considering their lineup. Well either way, Bryant deserves his consideration despite the Lakers fighting for their playoff life. Bryant is third in the NBA in scoring this season, averaging 27.0 points per game.

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No. 4- Chris Paul

paul
Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers won their first ever Pacific Division title recently and at this point there shouldn't be much doubt as to the threat that they can provide in the playoffs. Lob City has plenty of attractions, but Chris Paul is the team's catalyst and leader. Paul is averaging 17.0 points and an NBA best 9.6 assists per game.

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No. 3- Kevin Durant

durant
Mark D. Smith-USA Today Sports

Kevin Durant has won three consecutive scoring titles, but has yet to win the NBA MVP award. He's also yet to win a championship ring, but once again this Oklahoma City Thunder star has positioned himself to compete for all three of the aforementioned accolades. Durant is averaging 28.4 points per game this season.

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No. 2- Carmelo Anthony

anthony
Mark D. Smith-USA Today Sports

The New York Knicks have had the look of a squad that is second to the Miami Heat for quite some time. Carmelo Anthony is the main reason why. Anthony is averaging 28.4 points per game this season and is making a serious push at the league's MVP award after scoring at least 36 points in each of the past four games. Anthony scored 50 back on Apr. 2.

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No. 1- LeBron James

james
Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

LeBron James can become just the fifth player in NBA history to win at least four MVP awards this season and for the time being, that's what appears to be the case. James is averaging 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game. Talk about the best player on the best player, James fits that bill to the utter most perfection.