A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

2011 NBA POY Watch 1/10

with 2 comments

My version of the NBA MVP list. Updated weekly.

First a general note:  We’ve entered full on chaos mode now.  I can’t remember an MVP in so much disarray this late into the year since I’ve been following the sport.  We may end up approaching ’77-78 levels.

Player (Last Week’s Rank)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (1)

Dirk’s still here to some degree because no one’s knocked him off the perch.  Obviously part of it is that Dallas had enough separation from the pack that they aren’t really hurt by their fall at this point, but I’ll admit that part of the deal is my meh feelings about those behind him.

2. Derrick Rose (2)

If y’all don’t stop me soon I swear I’ll pull the trigger and move Rose up to #1 shortly.  I’m hoping to see more massive free throw games from like we’ve seen recently.

3. Dwight Howard (8)

The Magic are 9-0 since the arrival of new talent after the big trade and clearly looked to be one of the elite teams in the league again, with Howard looking quite happy.  He clearly needs to be on the MVP shortlist again.

4. Deron Williams (3)

5. Chris Paul (4)

The two point guards are slipping.  The Jazz are falling off track with Deron looking quite different than he did a few weeks ago.  The Hornets were already off track, but the losses to bad teams continue, the poor offense continues, and we’re all asking why Paul isn’t playing the same volume role we’d come to expect of him.

6. LeBron James (7)

7. Dwyane Wade (9)

LeBron, Wade, and the Heat are looking stellar.  If they keep winning at this pace, given the rest of the competition, I won’t be at all surprised if one of them wins the MVP.  They’re not going to get a super rapid promotion from me though.  This team SHOULD be incredible – anything than improvement over what we saw with LeBron in Cleveland makes it really hard to swallow the idea that either of these two is contributing MVP-like lift to the team.

8. Manu Ginobili (6)

Ginobili continues is moderately paced fall on this list.  To be expected as Tier 1 Superstars get their groove on.

9. Kevin Durant (10)

As I’ve said, I believe in Durant.  He feels like someone who could emerge as the most worthy of the MVP this year, but we’ve yet to see a glaring streak of absolute genius from him this year.

10. Amare Stoudemire (NR)

Stoudemire is getting some serious MVP love all around the basketball commentary universe.  I still think people are confused – they seem to think he’s responsible for one of the great team turnarounds in history, but that’s really not the case.  Still deserves his spot here on the POY Watch.

Falling Off

Kevin Garnett – Too much injuries made this inevitable.  That said, Boston’s eventual rebound without him makes it clear just how robust the Celtics are.  I’m in awe of what they’ve done, but every time I single someone out for some praise, the basketball gods chop down that tallest tree out of spite.


2 Responses

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  1. I’m still trying to wrap my head around Derrick Rose winning MVP this year. The stats and a 55 W headed team is in place, but it just doesn’t feel right like Paul in 08 would’ve. Maybe it’s because Rose is nowhere near the best in the league as a scorer or passer, but doing both very well is enough to make up for it in this year

    I’m starting to get a feeling Dirk’s injury is serious – because there’s been no news on it. Reminds me of when KG went down in 09 and nobody knew what was wrong with him, what looked like a couple week absence lasted until the next fall. Dirk is also in a similar position in pre 09 KG where he’s never been injured, ever, so 10 straight years may have put his knees in a position to pop

    I have Dwight, Lebron, and Wade higher. Dwight might be my #1. I’m not impressed by that Magic team aside from him and they are rolling. As for Lebron and Wade, their teams would be good without them, but the leap from 65 W caliber to 50 W caliber is worth as much as the gap from 50 to 25 Ws for me. The Heat are playing at a historically good level the last 20 games and Lebron/Wade are why

    Julien Rodger

    January 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm

  2. I really can’t argue with your statement about Rose at all, though obviously I have him high on the list. Where I have trouble NOT taking Rose seriously is that there’s a serious dearth of surrounding Bull talent on which to hang credit for the Bulls success. Rose’s box score stats AND +/- stats are way ahead of his teammates.

    There is a part of me that wants to give the glory to coach Tom Thibodeau instead of Rose, but I’m really quite wary of playing that game. I’ll certainly give Thibodeau credit, but if Thibodeau got hit by a bus tomorrow, that great defense isn’t going to disappear, so how much sense does it really make to knock players for that? I ask that somewhat rhetorically, but really, that’s something I continue to think about.

    Matt Johnson

    January 11, 2011 at 10:40 pm

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