Thursday, January 19, 2012
Who deserves the NBA MVP?
Well, here we are. After a crazy lockout and a real chance that there would be no basketball there's not much else to say other than....here we are. Three or so weeks into an shortened, crazy, 66-game season. As crazy as the schedule seems, it's far from the craziest surprises of the young season. Kobe Bryant is playing the best basketball he's played in four years. The Heat have lost 3 out of 4. The Portland TrailBlazers are doing big things out West, while the 76ers are taking the East by storm. It just goes to show, nothing is a given in the NBA. Especially not the MVP. Who deserves the three-weeks-in-but-still-exciting MVP? There are some pretty obvious guys. Kobe Bryant. LeBron. Blake Griffin. Kevin Love. Derrick Rose. Chris Paul. Dwight Howard. Durant.
Bryant is easily one of the front runners. He leads the league in scoring. He had four straight 40 point games. He has the single-game high for points in a game this year with 48 against the Suns. Of course, LeBron James is always in MVP conversations. King James is averaging 29 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists. He's getting to the free throw line 10 times a game, albeit shooting only 71 percent. A wave of new stars is contending for MVP recently. The likes of Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, last year's MVP Derrick Rose. Griffin is averaging 21.3 points and 11.8 rebounds while constantly igniting the spark for the Clippers. In his second season, he's among the league's elite. Kevin Love has started this year much like he played last year, with 14 straight double doubles. Fourth in the league in scoring and second in rebounds, he's an obvious candidate from Minnesota. Derrick Rose is having a sub-par year when compared to his year last year. A repeat as the league MVP is looking unlikely for Rose (sorry Cantrell). A player who requested a trade this summer, and the only player to average more rebounds than The Love Machine, Dwight Howard is off to a monster start. He already has two 20-20 games, and one 45-23 game, Superman is looking good this year. Kevin Durant has the Thunder off to an amazing start out West (despite a loss to the last place Wizards last night). He already hit a game winning three to beat the Mavericks this year and is third in the league in scoring.
How do you pick? How do you determine the league MVP? Easy.
MVP stands for Most Valuable Player. Which means you're looking for whichever player is the Most Valuable to his team. Which team would fall apart without their superstar? Which team is considerably worse without him?
That crosses off LeBron James. The Heat have Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They could easily be a strong team without King James. Blake Griffin's Clippers definitely wouldn't fall apart without him. Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups are perfectly capable of leading the Clippers. The Bulls are off to a great start. They have the best record in the league, and it would be easy to say that they would fall apart without D Rose. But would they? Luol Deng has the most minutes in the league. And in the games that Rose hasn't played this year, their backup is playing great. Then there's Kobe Bryant. The scoring is ridiculous. Under new coach Mike Brown, he's shooting more and hitting more. The Lakers offense runs through Bryant. However, they also have two great 7 footers there. So while their record suffers without Bryant, they don't fall apart.
Which leaves two. Dwight Howard and Kevin Love. Stats are easy to compare. Love scores more. Howard rebounds more (just barely, they're 1st and second in the league). They're all tied up after the two most important stats for a big man. So we go to value to his team. Timberwolves without Love? They're best player becomes Michael Beasley, a largely largely largely inconsistent player. Ricky Rubio is doing big things out there as a rookie as well. Then there's Superman. Down in the Magic kingdom, he's making Magic fans dreams come true with the monster performances. Without him, they have new breakout star Ryan Anderson. A washed-up Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson. It would be easy to say they are no where near the record they're at now without Dwight Howard.
It's impossible to decide. So we leave it to you. Tell us in the comments, and we'll post the best responses on the Best Comments Page. Who is the MVP right now? Whose team falls apart into the bottom of the league without him? The Love Machine or Superman? Or possibly one of the other guys? Vote via comment and we'll see what you guys think.