A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

MVP/Power Rankings Monday: First MVP Rankings and Power Rankings

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Here is my first installment of the MVP rankings and Power Rankings for this season. Remember this is based on the season we’ve had so far, not predicting what will happen from this point forward:

1. SG James Harden – The Beard activated god mode in his first week with the Rockets. 35.3 pts, 6.3 assists 6.3 rebounds and .642 TS% and a 2-1 record. Hard to believe it’s only been 1 week since the trade, isn’t it? Harden is the story of the first week and cruises to the top spot.

2. SF/PF Lebron James – The Heat have been a wee bit slow out of the gates, but look to emulate Usain Bolt after he trails opponents on the blocks before his long legs give him an advantage to blow them away the rest of the race. Lebron is so good that he can make 23.0 pts, 8.7, 6.3 asts on .621 TS% look like commonplace.

3. PG Chris Paul – Like Lebron, Paul can make a 19.0 pts, 12.3 asts, 4.0 rebs, .604 TS% start to the season look “ho hom” and it’s easy to take him for granted. The Clippers at 2-1 are off to a great start offensively despite so many new names, and will be looking to jump the Lakers for the Pacific division.

4. PG Kyle Lowry – Lowry’s first week with his new team has been nearly as impressive as Harden’s. With 23.7ppg, 7.0 asts, and 7.3 rebs, he is leading the team in all 3 categories. With the improvement in his shooting the last few years added to his athleticism and IQ, Lowry has become a star guard.

5.  SG Kobe Bryant – The Lakers may be 1-3, but Kobe has been spectacular playing off his new teammates, scoring 26.8ppg on 59.7% FG and .710 TS%. Kobe looking spry bodes well for their championship chances this season.

6.  SF/PF Carmelo Anthony – Possible career season alert for Anthony and #7 on this list. Melo has led the league’s most dominant team so far this season and aside from his standard 28.5 pts/7.5 rebs a game, has been moving the ball, defending and spacing the court for teammates at PF. Perhaps he should’ve changed positions years ago.

7. PG Rajon Rondo – Boston may have started slow, but Rondo’s production has been spectacular, with a 15.3 pts, 12.0 asts, 5.3 rebs .582 TS% – his confidence in his shooting has never looked better. That’s the type of numbers that could put Rondo in MVP contention if the Celtics put up a dominant record this year.

8. C Tim Duncan – The Big Fundamental is looking awfully spry for the Spurs to start the season. Aside from his 21.0 pts, 10.0 rebs, 3.0 blks on .568 TS%, the Spurs defense looks great to start the season and he’s the biggest reason why. He’s anchored the league’s only 3-0 taem.

9. PG Kyrie Irving – Irving once again looks like a superstar for the Cavaliers, putting up 23.7 pts, 4.7 asts, 4.0 rebs .579 TS% this week. He should cruise to his first all-star game appearance his year, the first of a great many.

10. PG Damian Lillard – Damian had one of the most impressive opening weeks for a rookie guard, like ever, putting up 21.3 pts, 9.0 asts, 4.0 rebounds on .573 TS% – and more importantly, reigniting the Portland Trailblazers’ energy after last season’s droopy, disappointing season.

Power rankings

Tier 1 – The “Pitching a perfect game” tier

1. New York Knicks (2-0)

2. San Antonio Spurs (3-0)

The Spurs have the best record in the league outright. However while playing one less game, the Knicks have been more dominant in their 2 wins.

Tier 2 – The “Haha we beat the Lakers”/”Haha we’re the Heat” tier

3. Los Angeles Clippers (2-1)

4. Portland Trailblazers (2-1)

5. Miami Heat (2-1)

All 3 teams had a very tough schedule in their first week, which gives them the edge among the 2-1 teams and even a few undefeated teams.

Tier 3 – The “Surprise Motherf*cka!” tier

6. Houston Rockets (2-1)

7. Golden State Warriors (2-1)

8. New Orleans Hornets (2-1)

9. Dallas Mavericks (2-1)

10. Orlando Magic (2-0)

11. Milwaukee Bucks (2-0)

Despite looking just OK on paper, all of these teams have played very impressive basketball and have quality wins. They’ll likely come down to earth, but they deserve credit for it in this early ranking.

Tier 4 – The “A clear impression, made you have not” tier

12. Memphis Grizzlies (1-1)

13. Chicago Bulls (2-1)

14. Brooklyn Nets (1-0)

15. Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2)

16. Philadelphia 76ers (1-1)

17. Atlanta Hawks (1-1)

18. Toronto Raptors (1-2)

19. Boston Celtics (1-2)

20. Utah Jazz (1-2)

21. Indiana Pacers (2-1)

These are talented teams are essentially working their way into the season. Their seasons so far can be described as neither good or bad.

Tier 5 – The “I know you are good, but are playing bad” or “I know you are bad, but playing OK” tier

22. Los Angeles Lakers (1-3)

23. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2)

24. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-1)

25. Phoenix Suns (1-2)

26. Charlotte Bobcats (1-1)

27. Denver Nuggets (0-3)

The Lakers, Nuggets and Timberwolves should improve their play soon. The Suns, Cavaliers and Bobcats, probably not.

Tier 6 – The “Clear and identifiable turd” tier

28. Sacramento Kings (0-3)

29. Washington Wizards (0-2)

30. Detroit Pistons (0-3)

These teams suck.

By Julien Rodger

Twitter: @ASFW_jrodger

Email: @julienrodger@gmail.com (If you send me a question, I’ll answer it in an article)

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Written by jr.

November 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

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