Expect some more full fledged articles soon, but with NBA.com just issuing its mid-season “report cards”, I feel like certain components of the NBA season need to be addressed. Some are obvious, some aren’t. Some are team oriented, some are player oriented. Regardless, here they are – starting with player awards candidates.
Most Valuable Player
1. Dirk Nowitzki – his play has declined as of late, battling his way back from injuries, but he will get back in to form – 23.4 points per game with the super efficient 53% FG percentage. Remember, Nowitzki is not your average big taking all layups and dunks – he is draining 3′s (at 39%) and Free Throws (.879 %). 7.2 rebounds is a bit below his career average, but that’s because for the first time in his career he has help on the glass, in forms of the two headed monster at center of Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood.
2. Derrick Rose – There’s a lot of hype that Derrick Rose has surpassed Deron William as the best point guard in the NBA. I don’t buy that for a second, I don’t even think he is in the top three or four PG’s. What he is however, is the most statistically outstanding. He is the best player on a team that is poised to finish within the East’s Top Four. He can get to the rim at will, and even the he uses the SAME windmill-clutch finish every single time, the D can’t stop it because he is quick and strong. With Boozer and Noah’s improvement before he went down, he has been able to show off more of his play-making side.
Consensus: The NBA voters, love love love there stats. The last two years they picked Lebron – rightfully so, because he was essentially a 30-7-7 guy who can play lockdown D and was a leader off the court. I am personally am a student of the “best player on the best team” definition of MVP. Three types of dark horses embody the chance to upstage these statistical wonders. They are in particular order:
3. Miami Threet (do you see what I just did there!?) – to be candid, Bosh is not in the picture, all though he will be an All Star. It’s Lebron leading Wade at this point, but its like a 52%-48% race for Most Valuable on the Squad.
4. (Insert Celtic name here) – preferably Rondo, but Garnett’s resurgent D, Ray Allen’s ageless shooting, Pierces domination in clutch situation, any four of them could be mentioned.
5.(Insert Spurs name here) – same as Celtics, with Manu as the front runner. HE PLAYS SO HARD. Like, diving for loose balls, playing lock down D on Kobe, everything you want from your “energy” guys. But how many of these “energy players” average 19 points, 4 boards, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals in only 31.7 minutes a game on a team that is 36-6? That’s right, one Manu Ginobli
The verdict – I would love to see it be a Celtic or a Spur, but I doubt that they will be selected, unless the voters go back to when Kobe averaged 35 a game and still didn’t win. It will probably go to Nowitzki if he stays healthy, and Rose if he doesn’t. Lebron is a great player and has a shot because he is so incredibly versatile, and only has to share the stats with two players (Wade and Bosh). My personal list is this list in reverse order, I am trying to take the bias out of the article.
More mid-season awards to come.