On the eve of the NBA Playoffs folks are weighing in not only with their picks for games to come but accomplishments past. Specifically, discussion of who is worthy of this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player.
Have seen a few posts on this topic and one of my favorites is this one.
We’ve all had heated discussions of criteria regardless of sport…what does MVP mean?
Regardless of personal definitions, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt identified a “starting five” for consideration – players among the most-oft discussed for this year’s honor. They all have average stats far from average (surely part of anyone’s criteria)…but always stories behind the stats:
1. Derrick Rose – A 22-year old captain of a team that went from 40 plus wins a year ago to 60 plus wins this season. Going from 40-60 wins much more impressive than 20-40. 25 points, 7 assists and 4 boards on average. The true leader of a gritty, determined team.
2. LeBron James – Since taking his talent to South Beach and adjusting to having talent around him (sorry Cleveland)…26 points, 7 assists and 7 boards on average. This just in…Heat came within a few games of the top seed overall. You would have thought they were the #8 seed in their conference based on all the overreaction to the hiccups along the way. Kept his head and stayed the course.
3. Dwight Howard – Where would Orlando be without him? Enjoying their theme park. 23 points, 14 boards and a couple of blocks on average. Can you give an MIP (Most Improved Player) to someone already considered a superstar?
4. Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas is still scheduled to begin the playoffs even while most already have them eliminated. Dirk and the Mavs are always discriminated against because of their post-season collapses. That being said…23 points, couple of assists and 7 boards on average.
5. Kobe Bryant – 25 points, almost five assists and 5 boards on average. Does it matter the Lakers did not finish strong? It depends on whether or not you want to ignore the absolute tear they went on mid-season. It may be true rust never sleeps, but it hasn’t hit him yet. Age is just a number in LA.
I vacillate from year to year what the definition of MVP means…but this season I think Rose and his Bulls rose to such heights…he’s hard not to elect.