Dirk Nowitzki is the projected MVP based on a poll of the award's voters conducted by The Arizona Republic. Nowitzki received 57 first-place votes from the 96 voters (out of 132) who responded to the survey. Two-time winner Steve Nash of Phoenix had 37 first-place votes, with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant getting the other two.
Nowitzki would be the first European in league history to be named MVP. He averaged team highs in points (24.6) and rebounds (8.9) during the regular season, leading the Mavs to a league-best 67-15 record.
Though the Mavs were ousted from the playoffs Thursday, Nowitzki is remaining in North Texas should the announcement come this week. He finished third in the voting last year, the best showing ever for a Maverick.
The Phoenix-based newspaper correctly predicted both of Nash's previous MVP honors.
ART GARCIA'S MVP BALLOT
1. Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
2. Steve Nash, Suns
3. Kobe Bryant, Lakers
4. LeBron James, Cavaliers
5. Tim Duncan, Spurs