Weekly Dish: Who Deserves the MVP

Every year the MVP discussion brings many different opinions for the winner of the most prestigious individual award. This award is defined as the most valuable player to his/her team in a season or the playoffs. Being the MVP means so much more than just a trophy. To receive this award one must be the best in what they do, and help their team more than anyone else in the league. All the winners that have retired are in the Hall of Fame. The seven who are not in the Hall of Fame are still active in professional basketball. These seven are Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson, and Dirk Nowitzki. Every single one of these men are definite Hall of Famers (with the exception of Derrick Rose because he is still young).

Every player in the NBA is outstanding at the game of basketball. Every player was the best player on their high school team, and most were the best on their college team, and some are the best on their professional team. Of the players in the conversation this year, I believe that there are four players who have a reasonable chance to win the award.

  • The favorite is reigning MVP and World Champion, LeBron James. He has been on a tear leading up to All-Star weekend, and is a nightmare to face. He can score 30 points with ease every night, and shut down every player in the league. Over the off season he developed a solid mid range jump shot and a rapidly improving three point shot. The only negative is that he is on the best talent wise team in the league, and while he helps the Miami Heat a lot, they have two other all-stars in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He is averaging 27.3 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 8.2 assists per game, and he’s capable of a triple double every night.
  • The most promising young player in the NBA is Kevin Durant. He is almost 7 feet tall, but has the ball handling skills to play a shooting guard. He has one of the prettiest releases of a three pointer in the league. Playing with Russell Westbrook makes the Oklahoma City Thunder “a highlight a second team”. He needs more muscle to his frame, but he is very mature for his age. He is averaging 29.2 points a game, 7.4 rebounds per game, and 4.4 assists per game, all above his career averages. He can score the ball from almost any spot past half court, with unlimited range, and he has a massive array of moves in the paint.
  • The person who has the most significant improvement from last year to this one is Carmelo Anthony. He has brought a New York Knicks squad to a 32-18 record, and made Madison Square Garden one of the most feared places to play an away game. Carmelo is near the top of the league in scoring with 28.6 a game and is hitting the boards more efficiently grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game this season. By playing power forward, he is a matchup nightmare. If you have a power forward guard him, he will use his speed to go by his defender, but if you put a small forward on him, he will use his power to get to the rim. He has allowed players such as Steve Novak, Raymond Felton, and J.R. Smith to play better.
  • The player who is the “sleeper” in this group is Tony Parker. The San Antonio Spurs never get enough attention across the country, but Tony has led them to a league leading 42-12 record coming into the All-Star break. Tim Duncan is still an important player in the NBA because Tony is such a magnificent leader. In games that fellow stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have to rest, because they are aging, he leads the Spurs to victory. He is averaging 20.8 points per game, and 7.6 assists per game. If this award truly means the player most valuable to his team wins, then Tony Parker is the deserving recipient.

Any one of the players in this group of four can come away with this award, and all of them are deserving. Each player is an all-star, and are very valuable to their respective teams. LeBron is on the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference, and Carmelo and the Knicks are second in the East. Tony and his Spurs are in first in the West, while Durant and the Thunder are right behind them. Each player is giving their team victories, which is all that the fans want.

Info Credit: ESPN

Top Ten Most Valuable Players In The NBA

Wizards v/s Heat 03/30/11

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

As we approach the upcoming All-Star break, we look at who to vote for, for what is considered one of the most watched non championship sports matches. Of course there will be no surprises this year. Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, etc. will all get in. But after this fun filled weekend, we get into the longest stretch of the year for the players and front offices in this coveted sport. The two months before the start of the playoffs. It is in these two months that we find out who are the most valuable players in the NBA. If you think i have left out anyone, please comment.

10. Lamarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers are usually a non-playoff team before the season even starts. But due to Aldridge’s 20 points and 8 rebounds a game, they have creeped into the Western Conference playoff picture. Last year Lamarcus missed a lot of the season, and the Blazers couldn’t even get to .500. Its simple. No Aldridge, no playoffs.

9. David Lee, Golden State Warriors
It has been a tough year for big men in the NBA this year(Pau Gasol, Howard, Kevin Love), but through all the injuries, David Lee has proven yet again, that he can wreck havoc in the paint, with 20 points and 11 rebounds a game. Oh Yeah, the Warriors are 22-12 this year, better than their Laker neighbors .

8. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
I have always admired the Spurs for their hard work and dedication to playing good defense and winning games, but it never occurred to me until this year that Parker is the reason that works. Sure he is not the most flashy player, but he is still passing great (7.2 dishes) and dominating (18 points a game). With Manu Ginobili turning into a role player, Parker becomes even more important for an aging Spurs team.

7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
People say he shoots too much. Those people can chew on 8 assists per game for the young fellow, and a .422 shooting percentage. How do you think Durant gets 29 points a game?! Certainly doesn’t get open from great passes from anybody else. Oh yea, and he is scoring more than Dwyane Wade, and Dwight Howard. OKC is poised to win a championship every year as long as Westbrook is flying through the air.

6. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
After 17 seasons in the league, he still leads the league in points per game, and is dishing out 5 assists a game as well. After all the big names coming to L.A(Dwight Howard, Steve Nash), Bryant still is dominating the game of basketball.

5.Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Carmelo would originally have been around the 8 or 7 spot, but after a one game suspension for “trying” to tussle with Kevin Garnett, it became apparent to me how important he is for the city of New York and their beloved Knicks. The Knicks couldn’t even put up 80 against a Indiana team that was missing its superstar, Danny Granger, without Melo. Carmelo’s presence for the Knicks and how important it is can not be emphasized enough.  He is the heart and soul of the Knicks, and is the best closer in the league.

4. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
Just look at the Lakers right now. It is very simple. With Dwight you get wins, and without him is a big L on the paper. He has to deal with adversity right now, but once it is behind him and Lakers nation, the dominating Dwight we know and love will emerge once again. He also is averaging the most boards in the league per game, with all his injuries.  Continue reading