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LeBron doesn’t think minutes limit will hurt MVP candidacy

James cited Steph Curry as a reason why.

NBA: Finals-Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

According to some, LeBron James’ MVP chances this year will be hurt if he takes a number of games off during the regular season. According to him, a limit on minutes and games won’t hurt his chances.

“No,” James said Saturday when asked if limited minutes would hurt his MVP candidacy per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Because Steph played 31 minutes a game and he won the MVP.”

Also from McMenamin’s piece:

“Well, I’ve never set into a season saying I want to win MVP,” he said. “I’ve always thought of the season saying I want to be MVP for my team and it’s resulted in me getting four of them. So I’ve been available, for the most part, every night and I’ve been available on both sides of the floor. I’ve been healthy.

“So the simple fact that I’ve been able to win four has been an honor, and it’s been a tribute to what I’ve been able to accomplish in my career, but more importantly being able to be on the floor with my teammates. So, it will be great if I’m able to accomplish another one by doing what I need to do to help this team win. Because we got to win to get one. No matter how great your individual numbers are or your play is, your team has to be successful, and I’ve been able to be a part of some successful teams so far.”

In context, Curry only played 31 minutes per game last year because the Warriors often held huge leads heading into the fourth. That team also won 73 games, a new NBA record.

LeBron, though, has a point. He has finished third in MVP voting the past two years, but his candidacy might rise this year after his historic Finals performance and how voters will view the Warriors with Curry and Kevin Durant now on the same team. Plus, the Cavs are likely to dominate the East with LeBron leading the way. That alone could set James up to win MVP even if his minutes and number of games played are lower than a typical candidate.