A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

2011 NBA POY Watch 2/28

with 5 comments

My version of the NBA MVP list. Updated weekly.

Player (Last Week’s Rank)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (1)

Well here we are, it’s about to be March, and I still have a guy at #1 that is not one of the two big guys being discussed and isn’t even in nba.com’s top 5. Sounds like I need to write a piece on that. In the meantime check out basketball-reference’s “Where Would They Be Without Him?” article.

2. Derrick Rose (3)

Jumps up. For detailed thought on Rose, take a look at my article from last week: Derrick Rose, the MVP race, and the Isiah-Iverson Team Model.

3. LeBron James (2)

A disappointing week and the king slips back behind Rose.

4. Dwight Howard (5)

Howard’s really on fire at the moment. It’s hard for me to see any of the players below emerging as MVP at this point, but Howard could quite easily, if the team will just play consistently.

5. Kevin Durant (4)

I’ve talked about Durant as a guy I could see merging as the top MVP candidate all season long, and I still don’t want to say “never”. But here we are, the Thunder have a week where they 3 shots to actually prove they can do something against elite teams, and all three were failures. The Thunder are a solid team, but with what they’ve shown thus far, the they are not legit title contenders. We’ll see what happens with the trades that just went down.

6. Dwyane Wade (6)

Wade’s holding steady at the moment. I feel pulling in both directions, arguments for why he should be higher or lower.

7. Manu Ginobili (7)

Monster game last night from Manu. It’s games like that that make me want to consider him to be a major contender for the MVP, but there are just too many other games where the team succeeds without any glaring reliance on Ginobili.

8. Chris Paul (8)

It’s now becoming fashionable to talk about Paul clearly not being 100%. Fascinating. Not saying I disagree, just amazing how the man can continue to be arguably the best advance box score stat guy in the league while people see the flaws.

9. Paul Pierce (9)

ESPN & nba.com are back to having Rondo as the designated Celtic in their top 10, which goes along with precisely the reason why Pierce is so low here, and his place so fragile. I think though that people need to remember how the Celtics did without Rondo (answer: fine). Not saying that without Pierce they’d fall apart, just saying that you’ve got to consider who has been there contributing for the team all year long. Also saying: In my Celtics MVP debate, it’s not Rondo but Garnett who make me second guess my vote for Pierce.

10. Steve Nash (10)

Holding Nash steady. I think some would expect that after the Laker’s hot weak, Kobe would slip back into the top 10, but I am a believer in Nash. In the article I linked to above in Dirk’s blurb, there’s an estimate that the Suns would be 9-48 without him. That’s what I’m talking about. Yes, the estimate is too simplistic to take too seriously, but consider: Now that the Suns have acquired balance, their defense is just as good as last year, and their offense while Nash is in the game has an efficiency of 116.0 (which if a team averaged that for 48 minutes would be the greatest offense in history). All of the Suns problems come from the fact that the team just struggles without Nash.

Written by Matt Johnson

February 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I do think Kobe needs to be on the list somewhere.

    People were freaking out after their 3 game losing streak, but let’s look at a slightly bigger picture. They have won 8 our of their last 11. 6 of those wins were against New York, Portland, OKC, Memphis, New Orleans, Boston ON THE ROAD. Another win was at home against Atlanta. That’s 7 wins in their last 11 games against winning teams, 6 of which were on the road. That is really, really impressive.


    March 1, 2011 at 2:04 am

    • Your thoughts, and others are on my mind.

      Also, Kobe would have gotten the 11th spot, had it existed, so any slip above him could put him back on the list.

      Matt Johnson

      March 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm

  2. […]  See Monday’s post.  This gets updated […]

  3. […] 2011 NBA POY Watch 2/28 (asubstituteforwar.com) […]

  4. […] 2011 NBA POY Watch 2/28 (asubstituteforwar.com) […]

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