A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

2011 NBA POY Watch 3/28

with 3 comments

My weekly MVP rankings

Player (last week’s rank)
1. Derrick Rose (1)
Rose’s Bulls continue to be on an absolute tear. Very clearly at this point, they’ve been the most impressive team of the regular season, and that’s before you even factor in the injuries to the 2nd & 3rd best players on the team. Many said we’d never again give an award to an Iverson type guy, but this is a perfect storm. Oh also, just because I’m a told-you-so kind a guy, with the recent articles talking about the similarities between Rose & Iversons’s MVP year, if you have read my Derrick Rose, the MVP race, and the Isiah-Iverson Team Model piece from February, well, there it is.

2. Dwight Howard (3)

Howard and his Magic now appear to be doing exactly what I said they needed to do for him to make a game of the MVP race. I want you to consider for a second: When the end of the month comes around in a few days, Howard probably wins Player of the Month again, right? That would make it two months in a row, and 3 months total for the year. If he and his team keep it up and he wins a 4th POM, could you really defend selecting Rose as MVP ahead of Howard? Howard’s got better stats by any metric I know of, no one I know thinks Rose is a better player, no one I know would draft Rose ahead of Howard. If he truly get 4 POMs to Rose’s zero, and Rose wins the MVP, doesn’t it seem like a certainty that a lot of the people who vote for Rose will deny it later?

3. Dirk Nowitzki (2)

Dirk didn’t really do anything to drop. The phenomenal season continues, but Dwight is such a force I can’t justify Dirk ahead of him at this point.

4. LeBron James (4)

I continue to marvel how rapidly the narrative shifts with LeBron this season. Earlier this month it swung back hard against him, and now I start hearing the narrative in the other direction. Part of it of course is that the pace setter is Rose, who everyone agrees that LeBron superior to. However, that doesn’t make it much more reasonable. Bottom line is that if the Heat go out in the 2nd round like their seed suggests, everyone’s going to see his season as a failure.

5. Kevin Durant (5)

The Durantula just keeps clinging to the 5 spot. That’s great of course, but clearly the season hasn’t been what we hoped for him.

6. Dwyane Wade (6)

Beginning to question whether Wade deserves the 5 spot more than Durant to be honest.

7. Manu Ginobili (7)

Keepin Ginobili in place for now, but if the Spurs keep slipping, he’ll drop out of the top 10 soon.

8. Kobe Bryant (9)

Really this is about the Celtics falling more than anything else. I’ve meant what I said before about not feeling comfortable putting Kobe ahead of the stars of superior teams. It should be clear though that the Lakers’ recent performance hasn’t come from Kobe going all 2006 on us.

9. Chris Paul (10)

Benefits like Kobe, but let’s also note that Paul clearly is feeling better than he had been. He’s looking again like the best point guard in the league.

10. Pau Gasol (NR)

That other Laker star joins the fray again. I don’t see anyway around it: The Lakers are the favorites to win the title now, and it’s happening partly because Gasol brings something to the table that superstar #2’s on other teams aren’t bringing.

Falling Off

Paul Pierce – I like to give teams who have proven themselves a large benefit of the doubt, and it’s not that I’ve given up on the Celtics. Don’t tell me though that these games don’t matter. The Celtics have to feel they’d be the defending champs right now if they’d had HCA over the Lakers, and they’re now on track to not have HCA against the Lakers again this year. With all that considered, I can’t justify Pierce’s season over the 10 above.

Written by Matt Johnson

March 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

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

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

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

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