Thursday, April 10, 2008


As the NBA regular season grinds to a halt, one of the more heated MVP debates of recent memory will surely ensue, with 2 players from each conference dominating the discussion. Ask any Joe Schmoe who knows even a little about basketball, and you're likely to hear a heated opinion on the matter.

How, though, does one choose from this year's top-notch pack? There's the big man who brought basketball back to Beantown; there's the King, with his otherworldly numbers; there's Jordan 2.0; and there's the wunderkind who's overseen a Renaissance in a city that could use one.

While no single argument can be made against any of the 4 leading MVP candidates, what follows is my best effort to present the case as I see it--not the flawless opinion, but my sort-of-well-reasoned, perhaps partially inconsistent, thoughts. (In hindsight, I am fairly sure that my analysis could never hold up under the scrutiny of true basketball pundits... or the confines of conventional logic. Poo!)

4th Place: Lebron James
I know... I know. Proponents are clamoring about the fact that Lebron is averaging a Jordanesque 30-8-7 for the season. He's a monster. A man-child.

Detractors are pointing to the Cavs' 43-35 record, insisting that 4th place (19 games back) in the little-brother conference simply isn't good enough.

I subscribe to neither the pro argument (after all, his stats are mindboggling, but not recordbreaking), nor the anti argument (team success should never be the sole determinant for MVP, which is why I supported A-Rod's win with the last-placed Rangers).

Sure, if you took LJ away from the Cavs, they would plummet--30 wins would probably be a far stretch. He's as "valuable"--and most probably more valuable--to his team than any player in the NBA. Still, only one person can be the MVP... and there are 3 other players who have, by dint of circumstance, performed ever so slightly better than King James this season.

3rd Place: Kevin Garnett
Enter the 20-10 machine (alongside the sweetest shot in the league), and the Celtics have the league's best record--with 5 games to spare. If ever there were a truth surrounding the idea of "presence," this is it. KG is a veteran, and his steady production/dependability have lent the Celtics a swagger that they haven't known since the days of #33.

Some will argue that Pierce scores slightly more--and some will argue that Ray Allen's presence somewhat clouds our ability to gauge KG's singular impact.

I say: "Bah."

2nd Place: Kobe Bryant
"He's never won one. He deserves it."

"29-6-5. Contending for 1st place in the West. Best player on the planet. Today's Jordan."

These are all valid comments--the latter more so than the former--and I couldn't complain much (or justifiably) if Kobe won the MVP.

(In fact, I think he'll take home the trophy.)

1st Place: Chris Paul
1st place in the insanely stacked Western Conference.

21 points and 12 assists per game.

1st place in the insanely stacked Western Conference.

26 points and 14 assists per game against the Lakers.

1st place in the insanely stacked Western Conference.

8 games of 30+ points and 10+ assists.

1st place in the insanely stacked Western Conference.

Other games of 43-9, 40-9, and 42-9 (a 132-130 win in Phoenix).

1st place in the insanely stacked Western Conference...

... and arguably the best season ever for a point guard.

CP3 4 MVP !!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

now that the season is over and the lakers have the best record in DI (western conference) which is clearly more competitve with more talent than D I-AA (east) kobe is clearly the MVP. simply, he is the best player in the league and plays on the best team.