A Substitute for War

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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Paul

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

November 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

MVP/Power Rankings Monday – The 10 most likely future NBA MVPs (who haven’t won any yet)

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Kevin Durant waiting for the tip-off in OKC vs...

Kevin Durant is a near cinch for future MVP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The NBA MVP feels the most important of the 4 major sports’. Since the best player in basketball matters more than the rest, so does the all-time rankings of players – and next to championships, MVPs are the most prestigious award they can get. Furthermore the NBA is unique from the other sports in that only the greatest talents even have a shot at the award, while in the NFL, MLB and NHL a very good but not transcendent talent can win an MVP if he breaks out to a spectacular statistical season. The MVP club is a much more exclusive lounge to join in the NBA.

Here are my rankings of who the most likely future MVPs are, among players who haven’t been awarded with one yet

Tier 1 – The frontrunners

1. SF Kevin Durant – A near lock to eventually get an MVP. He’s finished 2nd twice, is the dominant scorer in the league and is a media favorite due to his class and hard work. Most importantly perhaps is that winning an MVP just about requires finishing top 2 in the conference and Durant’s Thunder have the talent to consistently grab 1st and 2nd place finishes in the West for the rest of his prime. It’s much more likely Durant wins 2 or more MVPs than it is he wins 0.

2. PG Chris Paul – With 2nd and 3rd place finishes he’s proven he has the respect of MVP voters due to his transcendent true PG ability. Like Durant on the Clippers with Blake Griffin beside him he has the talent to lead a team strong enough to win an MVP and if the Clippers ever get that high, the narrative of saving that once tortured franchise will play in his favor.

3. C Dwight Howard – Like Durant and Paul he’s a consensus superstar who has 2nd, 4th and 4th MVP finishes. He’s easily the best at his position and the value of dominant two way centers has been recognized. My only concern with him is that after leading 59 W seasons in both 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, he still only was rewarded with 4th place finishes both years. Even in the year he finished 2nd many argued Derrick Rose didn’t have the same value to his team enough to beat him. Is it possible Dwight’s lack of dominant scoring talent and polish hurts his chances of getting MVP respect? Perhaps, but he deserves to be ranked top 3 at worst. Read the rest of this entry »

MVP/Power Rankings Monday: MVP predictions for the 2012-2013 NBA season

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Here is my predictions for the 2012-2013 MVP race in the NBA:

Honorable mentions:

Dirk Nowitzki – Should have another strong season, but when a player passes his statistical prime it’s hard to rejoin the MVP conversation

Kobe Bryant – I’m expecting age and the odometer to rear up this year for Kobe, but another 25 point per game season is possible

Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – I expect another strong season for the Spurs, after after the novelty of putting Parker in the top 5 last year, I expect the MVP votes go in other directions

Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose – Will miss too large a portion of the season to make a dent in the race

Kevin Love – The hardest omission from the top 10. The biggest factor is my prediction that the Wolves have a disappointing season, which I’ll cover later this week

9-10 Elite 2nd bananas

10. Russell Westbrook – Russell’s scoring could finally plateau this year with James Harden’s increased usage on the perimeter, but his motor and energy continue to define the Thunder even more than Kevin Durant and on an elite team should find himself with a number of top 10 finishes in his career

9. Blake Griffin – Many star players break out statistically in year 3. Remember Blake was thought as a future MVP candidate after his rookie season. With a PG who’s used to him now and a midrange shot that’s dieing to get consistent, he could be in for a massive season that makes the media reconsider his ceiling back to that superstar level.

5-8: Star production, but not a high enough team record to compete for MVP Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

September 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm

The Clippers trade for Chris Paul: The Other Shoe and Unnecessary Risk

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Image via Wikipedia

The Chris Paul trade saga is over – with Paul being traded for Eric Gordon, Minnesota’s 2012 1st unprotected, Al-Farouq Aminu and Chris Kaman. In other words, David Stern got everything he wanted from the Clippers.

Including Eric Gordon in this trade was a failure by the Clippers. Not because Paul isn’t worth assets like that. But because the Clippers were largely bidding against themselves. Where did the Hornets have to turn to as leverage? Unlike the Magic, they almost surely couldn’t make Paul play this season – the cord between the player and the franchise had already been all but severed. Paul didn’t appear interested in resigning in either Boston or Golden State. Only the Lakers/Houston deal and their Kevin Martin and Luis Scola package was sitting out there

And it was incredibly obvious that taking the Minnesota draft pick over those players was the direction Stern wanted the Hornets to go. Teams that trade a star in this fashion commonly want to start over and draft young future stars on rookie contracts – which the Hornets are now in a great position to do.

Here’s the problem with this trade now: If Gordon was kept, not a lot would be put on the table by the Clippers. Their future was in fine shape as long as a superstar Griffin and the best under 25 SG and possible superstar Gordon remained on the team, and Deandre Jordan at center nice to have too. The Minnesota pick was a luxury, but not a necessity long term. Trading it for Paul was a relatively low risk, high reward move – the right move.

But with this move the Clippers are legitimately risking that sure bet for long term prosperity – and it certainly is a risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

December 15, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Thoughts on the Rejection Part 2 and another revised deal to make Paul to the LA Lakers work

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English: David Stern, commissioner of the Nati...

David, what ... have... you ... done? (Image via Wikipedia)

The mess the NBA got itself into in rejecting the Chris Paul to the LA Lakers trade got bigger yesterday when the NBA rejected the 2nd offer submitted by the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets.

The problem with the 2nd offer is it was by most reports, insulting similar to the 1st one. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Hornets “revisions” included sign and trading Jason Smith and Marcus Banks to the Lakers in the deal. Which changes nothing for the Hornets – it just adds to the luxury tax bill the Lakers would pay.

If Dell Demps thought that’d be enough or that the PR mess of veteoing this trade again would pass the same trade on the 2nd try, he was incredibly naive. He tried to put lipstick on a pig.

What Stern actually came out and said yesterday before this 2nd veto, is that he rejected the initial deal because it’s non-beneficial to the future of the Hornets financially. The NBA is trying to sell the team – and thus the most logical move in the post Paul era is to have a team full of young players on rookie contracts and a salary floor payroll. This trade leaves the Hornets with multiple long term contracts for veteran, short term players.

The Hornets didn’t make the trade the owner(s) wanted. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

December 11, 2011 at 11:55 am

Why the Knicks should consider the WTF move: Dumping the Amare Stoudemire era now

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Amare Stoudemire

(Image by Keith Allison via Flickr)

One of my biggest pet peeves recently is the assumption by Knick fans and others that it’s possible for the team to acquire Chris Paul or Dwight Howard next summer as is. It isn’t. For one, the team doesn’t have the capspace next summer with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony combining for 40 million in salary alone. When this is pointed out, the answer is that the Knicks will force the team to trade for them. With what? The trade assets they don’t have? It’s not like they’re sitting on James Harden and Serge Ibaka to throw at the Hornets for Chris Paul. Their most valuable young player is Landry Fields. That won’t cut it. There’s almost no way for the Knicks to be in the position to get Chris Paul or Dwight Howard without either the capspace or trade assets that other teams have.

Thus what is more likely is this. The Knicks two best players a year from now are still Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. The team is a decent playoff knockout and has little way to improve from that point on without any extra assets or capspace, until Amare’s health inevitably betrays him. Is this something the Knicks fans want? After the “Isiah and Eddy Curry decade” as it will forever be remembered, it’s a slight improvement in entertainment, but the goal should be to win the title eventually. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

November 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm

2011 Player of the Year – Final

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The Player of the Year Watch has gone on all season long. Here we have the Final ranking.

Player (last rank)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (1A)

This is an easy choice for me. When it comes to literally lifting a team, Dirk has been the personification of this all year long. With the way LeBron came on against Chicago, I thought he was going to make me toss that aside but it didn’t happen.

I’ll admit that I actually thought that Wade was the MVP of the Finals over Dirk, but over the course of the entire season, nobody contributed value like Dirk.

2. Dwight Howard (3)

My regular season MVP got knocked off his perch down to the 3rd spot after the Conference Finals. However he floats back up a spot after LeBron’s weak Finals play. I’m always hesitant to let someone who has already been eliminated rise in my rankings, particularly when they were eliminated in an upset in the first round, however I can’t find real fault in Howard’s playoff performance, and what happened in the Finals did sway my opinion on LeBron’s season.

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2011 POY Watch – End Conference Finals

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The Player of the Year Watch continues past the regular season factoring in all of the playoffs and coming up with the player that truly had the best overall season. After each round, I will update the rankings.

Player (last rank)

1A. Dirk Nowitzki (4)

It’s been a joy to watch Dirk this year. He would without question be my Offensive Player of the Year. He plays so damn smart, with such an unreal touch. The Mavs are in the finals, with not a ton of talent around Dirk. I know that fit matters, and the Mavs have fantastic fit, but Dirk deserves some credit for helping to build that fit to.

1B. LeBron James (3)

And then there’s LeBron. I talked once before about how much I hate ties in rankings…when I last ranked a tie. Again though it seems appropriate right now as an in flux ranking to have a tie on top.

What LeBron did to Chicago was unreal. Tier 1 level offense, with world class defense. He is the best player in the game, and at this point I’m expecting him to take the crown over Dirk when all is said and done. But as they say, that’s why they play the game.

Read the rest of this entry »

2011 POY Watch – End Conference Semis

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The Player of the Year Watch continues past the regular season factoring in all of the playoffs and coming up with the player that truly had the best overall season. After each round, I will update the rankings.

Player (last rank)

1. Dwight Howard (1)

Odd position to be in. Howard’s sitting at home while the next 5 guys are all on the last 4 teams playing for the championship and playing fantastic. As much as I don’t want to be swayed by who has the better supporting casts, at this point I think it’s unlikely that Howard will keep the top spot when all is said and done.

2. Derrick Rose (2)

Started off the playoffs slow with some nagging injuries. He’s looking quite solid now. It’s also interesting that there was so much stat community negativity toward the guy during the season, meanwhile he keeps showing more as the season goes along. Doesn’t mean they were wrong by any means, but if Rose truly does emerge as a guy challenging for the top spot in advanced statistical metrics in the near future, I can just hear the frustration among the statistically minded.

Bucher: “So you admit you were wrong now?”

Stat guy: “No, YOU were wrong, but now you’re right. It’s a complete coincidence.”,

Bucher: “Whatever you want to tell yourself, I could have told you he’d do this because I watch the games.”

Stat guy: “Gah! That statement doesn’t even mean anything!” <Head explodes>

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2011 POY Watch – End 1st Round

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The Player of the Year Watch continues past the regular season factoring in all of the playoffs and coming up with the player that truly had the best overall season. After each round, I will update the rankings.

Player (last rank)

1. Dwight Howard (1)

What’s that you say? The Magic lost in the first round to the lightly regarded Hawks, shouldn’t he drop? Well, dude played great though. I’m not going to drop him just because his team disappoints. I’ll admit though that this does leave him out of sight and out of mind while others have a chance to up their rep. Excellent chance he ends up slipping a bit by the end of June.

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Written by Matt Johnson

May 3, 2011 at 11:10 am