Pacific Notes: Curry, Ayton, AD, Ariza, Holmes

Warriors star Stephen Curry is running away with the early-season MVP race, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Bontemps ran an informal straw poll of 100 media members mimicking the awards ballot run during the postseason, and Curry received 94 of 100 first-place votes.

Curry, a two-time MVP, is averaging 27.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.8 steals in 24 games (34.2 MPG). He leads the league in three-pointers made and attempts with 5.5 and 13.3 per game, respectively, good for 41.3%. The Warriors have the league’s best record at 21-4.

Rounding out the top five of ESPN’s informal MVP poll were Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and Chris Paul.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Suns center Deandre Ayton will miss Friday’s game against the Celtics, per Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Ayton left the team’s shootaround early with a non-COVID illness.
  • Anthony Davis missed Friday’s game for the Lakers with knee soreness, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN. In an article from McMenamin, Davis say the Lakers need to start playing like underdogs after losing to the Grizzlies 108-95. “These guys already feel like they’re the underdogs when they’re coming in, especially when they’re without their star players,” Davis said of a Memphis team playing without its top two scorers, Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks, due to health and safety protocols. “And we got to play like we’re the underdogs. Which, now, at this point of the season, the way we’re playing, a lot of games, we probably are.”
  • Lakers coach Frank Vogel says Trevor Ariza could spent some time in the G League as he recovers from ankle surgery, Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group relays (via Twitter). There’s still no timeline for Ariza’s return.
  • The Kings will be without starting center Richaun Holmes for at least a couple games. He sustained a cut on his right eye Wednesday vs. Orlando which was surgically mended, tweets Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. He missed Friday’s game vs. Charlotte and will be out for Saturday’s contest with Cleveland, too. Holmes is expected to make a full recovery.
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