The NBA MVP isn’t decided after only a few games, but there would be a pretty clear winner if that were the case. LeBron James has been the league’s best player through the first two weeks of the 2019-2020 NBA season.

The Los Angeles Lakers were defeated by the Los Angeles Clippers on Opening Night. The Lakers have since gone on a six-game winning streak, giving them the best record in the NBA.

Giannis Antetokounmpo won the 2019 NBA MVP award as the best player on the league’s best team. James Harden did the same two years ago when he led the Houston Rockets to a league-high 65 wins.

James has been the best player on the best team through seven games. He’s also got better overall numbers than almost anyone.

With 11.1 assists per game, James leads all players by a decent margin. The four-time NBA MVP is tied for 10th with 26.1 points per game to go along with 8.3 rebounds per game. James’ 1.6 steals per game put him inside the top 20. He’s remained efficient on 19.3 field-goal attempts per game, despite shooting just 28.9% from three-point range.

Of the 15 players scoring more than 25 points per game, only James, Luka Doncic and Antetokounmpo are averaging at least 16 combined rebounds and assists. James is at 19.4. Doncic (26.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 9.5 apg) is just ahead of him. Antetokounmpo (27.7 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 7.4 apg) fills the stat sheet like no other player in basketball.

James got the better of Doncic last week when the Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks on the road. Los Angeles is 1.5 games ahead of Dallas in the Western Conference standings.

Antetokounmpo remains the betting favorite to be the 2020 NBA MVP, and he might very well win the award for a second straight year. But the Milwaukee Bucks have one more loss than the Lakers and aren’t a top-two seed in the East through seven games.

The Lakers are outscoring their opponents by 14.7 points per 100 possessions when James in on the court. In 96 minutes with James on the bench, Los Angeles has been outscored by 3.4 points per 100 possessions.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James gestures while playing against the Brooklyn Nets on October 10, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China LeBron James Photo: AFP / HECTOR RETAMAL

Karl-Anthony Towns leads the NBA in PER with eye-popping numbers. He’s only played four games.

Kawhi Leonard might never be in the MVP conversation again. He’s about to sit for a second time this season because of load management.

Harden could be on his way toward another scoring title, leading the league with 36.6 points on 24.0 shot attempts per game. He’s part of an atrocious Houston defense that has the Rockets sitting only a game above .500.

The Lakers have the NBA’s second-best defensive rating, in large part because James is seemingly trying on that end of the floor again. James has been a good defender this season after a few years of giving minimal effort when his team didn’t have the ball.

That effort might not continue over the course of the regular season as James gets his body ready for a deep playoff run. Like Leonard, it’s more important for James to be completely healthy for May and June than it is for him to be the league’s best player from October-April.

Anthony Davis is the team’s leading scorer and might be the Lakers’ best MVP candidate when all is said and done. James wasn’t lying in the preseason when he said the Lakers’ offense would run through the superstar big man.

Most NBA teams have played about 8.5% percent of their schedule. The MVP race has barely even begun. 

But at least through the first week of November, James is ahead of the field.