Editor's note: We asked our panel of NBA experts, "Who will win Most Valuable Player?"
1. Kevin Garnett (7 votes)
Chad Ford, ESPN.com:
A sentimental pick. KG finally gets a real shot at the title and the Celtics are relevant again. That sounds like the perfect storm for the MVP.
Jemele Hill, ESPN.com:
The Boston resurgence will be the story of the season, and KG will be so giddy he's finally playing with his best team since his MVP season of 2003-04, he will put up spectacular numbers.
Mark Jackson, ESPN: His new team finally has a legit chance. An all-time great who shouldn't be judged by a lack of playoff success -- remember Karl Malone?
Scoop Jackson, ESPN.com: Over 20 ppg, will lead the League in rebounding (again) and blocked shots, but the 6-plus dimes per will clap and seal it.
Keith Lipscomb, ESPN.com Fantasy:
He'll be everything the Celtics hoped he'd be, and more. He'll make things easier for everyone, especially Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins.
Jalen Rose, ESPN: We're talking about turning an entire culture around with the Boston Celtics. He's going to rally that team, though not to Red Sox-level success this season.
Marc Stein, ESPN.com: No team will make a more dramatic improvement from last season to this season than the Celtics, and it shouldn't be too tough to pinpoint the obvious difference maker, with apologies to Ray Allen.
2. LeBron James (3 votes)
Henry Abbott, ESPN.com's TrueHoop: With a reliable jumper, he'll win plenty of these.
Chris Broussard, ESPN Mag
Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com:
Would have gotten my MVP vote at the FIBA Americas tourney if they hadn't collected the ballots before the gold medal game. So I went with Carmelo Anthony there, and I'll take Melo as the runner-up here.
T-3. Steve Nash (2 votes)
Jon Barry, ESPN: He deserved it more than ever last season, but it seems people balked at the notion of the company he'd join with three straight MVPs. He is the system in Phoenix.
Kiki Vandeweghe, ESPN: I vote for him every year. Everybody around him gets better -- more than anybody else, if he goes down, his team falls apart.
T-3. Dwight Howard (2 votes)
Chris Palmer, ESPN Mag:
Could be the first of many. In fact, he'll finish his career with more MVPs than Kobe and Shaq combined.
David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: Winner by a coin flip over Amare Stoudemire. Howard gets the edge thanks to improved shooting and better shooters around him. He is ready for a monster season and the ultra-exclusive 20-and-12 club.
Baron Davis (1 vote)
Ric Bucher, ESPN Mag: Because he is Nash-like in his importance to the Warriors' success.
Tim Duncan (1 vote)
J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: The quiet storm.
Tony Parker (1 vote)
Jack Ramsay, ESPN Radio: He'll play all season like he did in the Finals.
Yao Ming (1 vote)
John Hollinger, ESPN.com: A leading candidate until his
injury last season. With health and a winning team, he'll prevail this