Top 5 Early Candidates For 2013-14 NBA Offensive Player Of The Year

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Top 5 Early Candidates for 2013-14 NBA Offensive Player of the Year

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The 2013-14 NBA season has been quite a treat. There have been some surprise teams and players coming to the forefront. The surprise of the season has to be the Portland Trail Blazers. Led by two young superstars, they are simply getting the job done especially offensively, averaging over 108 points per game to lead the league.

Make no mistake, this young Blazers team is going to give teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets a run for their money in the Western Conference thanks to their young, budding superstars. Watch out for this Blazers squad.

In the East, it is far more clear-cut. It is the Miami Heat, the Indiana Pacers and then everybody else. These two played a dandy recently in which the Miami Heat barely squeaked out a win in controversial fashion. If these teams could play 20 times a season, it wouldn't be enough. The Pacers simply look like a different squad. Their postseason experience, a revamped bench and the emergence of a young superstar has put them on a different level.

I believe if they get home court throughout the playoffs, they can take the Eastern Conference juggernaut that is the Miami Heat down in seven games. The beauty of the NBA every season is that surprise teams as well as players bubble to the surface every year. It is no different this season. Veterans and young players alike are taking their games to a whole new level.

Lets' take a look at the top 5 early candidates for the 2013-14 NBA Offensive Player of the Year award.

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5. James Harden

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James Harden is putting the Houston Rockets on his back. He is averaging 24.4 points per game and shooting a cool 45 percent from the floor. Harden is a master at drawing contact and getting to the line, and that hasn't changed this season. The Rockets are in good hands with this superstar guard leading the way.

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4. Lamarcus Aldridge

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Lamarcus Aldridge has been the major reason for the Portland Trail Blazers' epic turn around. Aldridge is averaging a double-double, 23.3 points and 11 rebounds a game as he is turning into one of the game's elite big men. If he keeps playing at this level with his partner in crime Damian Lillard, this Blazers team will be playing well into June.

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3. Paul George

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Paul George is a budding young superstar. His offensive skill set is scary. His 3-point shot is now a deadly weapon as he is shooting at better than a 40 percent clip from long range. George's elite athleticism allows him to drive to the cup seemingly at will and finish around the rim. With George leading the way, the Pacers will be one of the last teams standing in the East, and will perhaps finally get over the hump and get into the NBA Finals.

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2. Kevin Durant

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What can you say about Kevin Durant? He has the best offensive skill set in the league. He has unlimited range on his jumper, can drive at will, is a monster mismatch as a 6-foot-10 forward and has recently improved his post game. He can do it all and is doing just that right now for the Thunder. Averaging over 28 points per game, Durant is well on his way to another scoring title.

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1. LeBron James

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Another ho-hum year for LeBron James. He is once again doing it all on the basketball court. He is filling up the stat sheet as he is averaging over 25 points, 6.5 assists and nearly seven rebounds a game -- all while shooting nearly 60 percent from the floor and 41 percent from beyond the arc. James continues to be the league's most efficient and best all-around player. He once again is the front-runner for offensive player of the year and perhaps a fifth MVP in six seasons.