Rajon Rondo Should Be the Front-Runner to Win NBA MVP Race

Kevin Van PeltCorrespondent IApril 17, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MAY 01:  Rajon Rondo #9  of the Boston Celtics looks on  during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on May 1, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Rajon Rondo has made his case why he should be the MVP.

In his last 22 games he has had at least 10 assists which puts him eight games away from breaking John Stockton's official record of 29 games.

During this span, the Boston Celtics are 15-7 and have moved into first place in the Atlantic Division. The Celtics, who have the original big three, now lean on their young point guard to run the team. Coach Doc Rivers allows him to call the plays on the court and has him run in transition more.

In reality, there are three contenders for the MVP at this point in the season: LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Rondo. All three players are leaders of their teams and have put up great numbers this season.

James has been said to be putting up historical numbers this season averaging 27.1 points a game, 7.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists. However, James has put up better numbers before and while his numbers are great, they are not historic.

Durant is having a great season as well. The Oklahoma City star is averaging 27.8 points a game while leading the Thunder to first place in the Western Conference.

The problem that both of these players may face during MVP voting is their teammates. James is on the same team as Dwyane Wade and Durant is on the same team as Russell Westbrook. Both players have helped James and Durant respectively get where they are this season.

As for Rondo, he has been the only constant this season for the Celtics. They have had a season full of injuries including their big men Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Wilcox and they also lost Jeff Green before the season even started.

The big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have looked slow at times this season and have all been injured at some point this year.

This doesn't slow Rondo down as he is able to rack up double digit assists on a daily basis with a rotating lineup. He recently passed Steve Nash as the league leader in assists averaging 11.6 a game while also collecting six triple-doubles.

Rondo has taken a team that many thought would struggle to make the playoffs halfway through the season and has made them a championship contender. He has shown up for all the big games this season and has had some of his best performances come on the biggest stage this season.

For his career Rondo has always been great on national television. He has recorded 14 of his 18 career triple doubles with the bigger audience. Here is some of what he has done in the biggest games of the season.

Against the Chicago Bulls: 32 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds

Against the New York Knicks: 18 points, 20 assists and 17 rebounds

Against the Miami Heat: 16 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds

Against the Atlanta Hawks: 10 points, 20 assists and 10 rebounds

So not only his Rondo leading his team to a championship contender while his other "star" players are having statistically the worst season of their careers, he is doing it during the games that matter the most.

While a player like James struggles to find his role with the Heat or Durant struggles to get the ball away from Russell Westbrook, Rondo knows what to do and when to do it. He helps this team in all areas of the game and is a trusted leader in the locker room.

If that is not an MVP then I don't know what is.