Just behind Garnett is Kobe -- the best player in the best conference. At this point, the Lakers have won more Western Conference games than either N.O. or S.A. That's a credit to Bryant.
Chris Paul rounds out the top three challengers for MVP honors this season. He controls the tempo and pace for the NBA's most surprising team. Like Steve Nash (who knows a thing or two about the MVP award), Paul doesn't just score the ball, he distributes it.