Elton Brand - Los Angeles Clippers
Most Valuable Player

Western Conference Player of the Month for November ... Named Player of the Week three times ... Ranked 11th in the NBA in points (24.7), seventh in rebounds (10.0), fifth in blocks (2.54), seventh in field goal percentage (.527) and fifth in double-doubles (45) ... 2006 NBA All-Star.

Our take:
Elton Brand boasts career averages of 20 and 10 over seven seasons, but he's made just two All-Star appearances, both in reserves roles. This is a player who has flown under the radar his entire career. This season -- his best statistically and from a winning standpoint -- deserves to be the year that he is given his due. Brand ranked fourth overall in the NBA in efficiency rating as his Clippers achieved the franchise's best record since the 1974-75 season. He's a lot like Tim Duncan in many regards, difference being Brand's never even been voted as an All-Star starter while Duncan's been elected as regular season MVP twice.
-- Brad Friedman

From a former coach:
He's in the best shape of his life and he's really shooting the ball better than he ever has. He has developed that face-up game. He can face the basket really well and he's playing like a champion.
-- Mike Krzyzewski

From his current coach:
Elton's always been the type of player that continues to add new things to his game. When I got here three years ago we talked about extending his game more outside, and that's what he did. The next year it was improving his defense and his pick and roll game. Each year, it was like adding a new layer.
-- Mike Dunleavy Sr., Long Beach Press-Telegram.

A fan's take:
His outstanding play has helped to bring the lowly Clippers to second place in the Pacific division, and a playoff slot. His performance is steady and consistent, and is not limited to offense or defense. He is currently the best all round, and most consistent player in the NBA. Look at the numbers. I challenge you to identify a player with better overall performance.
-- Christine - Baltimore, Mary.

The Numbers:
79 39.2 24.7 10.0 2.6 1.03 2.54 .527 .333 .775

Most Valuable Player - The Candidates:
Chauncey Billups - Detroit Pistons
Elton Brand - Los Angeles Clippers
Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James - Cleveland Cavaliers
Steve Nash - Phoenix Suns
Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks
Dwyane Wade - Miami Heat

Others worth consideration: Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol, Shawn Marion

Most Improved Player
Rookie of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Sixth Man Award
Coach of the Year

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images