A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

2011 NBA POY Watch 3/14

with 7 comments

My weekly MVP rankings.

Player (Last Week’s Rank)

1. Derrick Rose (2)

Well now this awkward. I write my piece on why Dirk is the MVP, and then drop him down to #2. What gives? Dirk’s case is clear in my mind, but it faces major issues when the Mavericks drop in the standings. That may seem arbitrary to you, but I’d suggest it’s about the least arbitrary watershed you could have. So for now, Rose is back at #1.

2. Dirk Nowitzki (1)

As written, The Case for Dirk.

3. Dwight Howard (3)

Dwight holds steady, but he’s actually the player most on my mind. There’s a growing part of my brain more impressed with him this season than anyone else. I suppose my hang up with him is that the Magic are worse this year than the past two years. Doesn’t mean he’s to blame of course, but some of this comes down to the slide before the big trade and then getting used to a new supporting cast, and I question whether either of those two things happen if Howard doesn’t get frustrated with the team not getting over the hump in last season’s playoffs.

4. LeBron James (4)

The Heat’s stumbles have been enough to make a good-sized gap between him and the top 3, but let’s not get too carried away. He’s not in free fall.

5. Kevin Durant (5)

Durant’s place here feels quite fragile to me, but someone’s going to have to knock him out of the top5.

6. Dwyane Wade (6)

Like with LeBron, I don’t feel an urge to see Wade stumble off this list, but on the other hand, with things as they are now, he’s not exactly nipping at Durant’s heels.

7. Paul Pierce (7)

At this point I’m pretty comfortable with Pierce where he is. Yes he’s got amazing talent on his team, but I don’t feel compelled to use that argument ad nauseum until no players from the best team are left. And yeah, the Celtics record isn’t that mind blowing, but this is clearly a team coasting, and Pierce’s raw +/- easily leads the league at +521.

8. Manu Ginobili (8)

As always, similar story to Pierce, with a bit less prominent of a role.

9. Kobe Bryant (9)

I know people are hoping I’ll see the light and Kobe will miraculously leap into the top 5 some week, and I’m actually not going to say it can’t happen given that I’m not in love with the candidates 5-8, however at this point, I still can’t get past the idea of essentially arguing that Kobe’s team’s inferior record is due to him having a weaker supporting cast than others. Hope to have a fleshed out piece on this, this week.

10. Steve Nash (10)

Nash is just hanging on here. If he misses more time with the hip injury he’s gone, but for now, the Suns didn’t really get upset this week, and when Nash didn’t play, they got slaughtered as they are wont to do. Lamarcus Aldridge is on my mind as a candidate for this spot, but not yet willing to pull the trigger.

7 Responses

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  1. […] 2011 NBA POY Watch 3/14 (asubstituteforwar.com) […]

  2. where is melo?


    March 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm

  3. You really think he belongs in the top 10? Or are you asking for a general ranking?


    March 25, 2011 at 10:19 pm



      March 26, 2011 at 8:56 am

      • Ah yes, I forgot I wasn’t on RealGM any more. 😉


        March 27, 2011 at 12:22 am

  4. This is odd discussion, interesting to think about though.

    Both Denver and New York have played better without Melo on the team. I (presumably) obviously don’t consider Melo a sub-average NBA player. I think I’d have to say that Melo is low enough that I don’t think you can say he’s had any clear value.

    Matt Johnson

    March 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm

  5. […] 2011 NBA POY Watch 3/14 (asubstituteforwar.com) […]

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