A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

2011 NBA POY Watch 12/6

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My version of the NBA MVP list. Updated weekly.

Player (Last Week’s Rank)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (1)

To me Dirk’s lead right now is pretty glaring.  It’s strange to me that he isn’t being talked about like the favorite.  He didn’t even win Player of the Month.  Dirk’s Mavs have almost the best record in the league, and they are totally dependent upon him bringing it every night.

2. Deron Williams (7)

There are a couple big shifts in my ranking this week.  I don’t like it because it forces me to face up to how much an inexact science this is.  However, the other guys who were in front of him have really been slipping.  Deron is the front and center superstar for a very strong Jazz team, he earns this place largely by having less caveats than the other candidates.

3. Chris Paul (2)

The Hornets seem to be falling into the abyss, so Paul’s fall still seems likely.  At this point though, they still have nearly as good a record as the Jazz, with Paul doing great stuff with a minimal supporting cast.  We can’t disown the early part of the season where the Hornets thrived so quickly.

4. Dwight Howard (4)

Treads water.  Howard seems to be getting more MVP buzz than anyone else right now, and I’m still not totally sold.  He missed two games this week, which hurts regardless, but the Magic don’t exactly seem lost without him unless they face a team with a really good center.

5. Manu Ginobili (5)

Obviously the Spurs aren’t doing it just with Ginobili, but he is the clear guy to single out on the team this year.  I’ve been a long time believer in Ginobili.  For years now, when healthy, and in whatever limited minutes he plays, he has tremendous impact.  With Duncan’s decline, Ginobili’s minutes go up and he becomes a legit full time star.

6. Russell Westbrook (8)

Gaining respect each week for his skills separate from teammate Durant.  As much as the Thunder has hit a bump on the road on their way to an elite record, they’ve actually gained more reason to think they’ll actually get to top contender status.

7. Derrick Rose (9)

I feel similarly about Rose as I do Westbrook.  Rose doesn’t have the overbearing shadow of Durant to contend with…but then again his Bulls aren’t doing as well either.   We’ll really know more once Boozer’s been back for a while.

8. Pau Gasol (3)

9. Kobe Bryant (6)

Both Laker stars take a major fall this week.  A 4 game losing streak this early in the year will do that to you.  The obvious explanation for this fall has been Gasol’s poor play, which might lead one to question why Kobe is falling.  Well, they’re still losing, and Kobe’s still not playing huge minutes.  Gasol’s played the big minutes, and was the primary catalyst for their victories when they were getting victories.

10. Steve Nash (NR)

Nash jumps back in again.  His second appearance in this year’s Top 10.  He could fall out and jump back in a few more times before he’s done.  He’s playing spectacular ball, but I put a lot of stock in actually winning games.  If the team falls back below .500 there’s a lot of brutal competition out there for this spot.  On the other hand, he’s doing impressive enough that I could easily see him sneaking into the top 5 if the Suns even flirt with 50 wins.

Falling Out

Rajon Rondo – They now have two blow out wins without him, and it’s hard to really look at him as being as valuable as the guys listed above.  It’s tough though because Boston really is a strong title contender, so the idea that no Celtic deserves top 10 mention is hard to swallow.  Of course, that Celtic in the top 10 might end up being someone other than Rondo.


One Response

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  1. Didn’t realise how well Dirk was playing. A 63 TS%? Wow.


    December 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm

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