A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘John Hollinger

Rose vs Howard and the Inescapability of Narrative

with 18 comments

Image by joguldi via Flickr

In a very strange year where every candidate has something “wrong” with them, we’re still debating the MVP race with only a few games left. The race has narrowed around the star of the golden team (Derrick Rose) and the one MVP candidate from last year who can say he’s improved (Dwight Howard).

Opinions tend to be with the mainstream guys going for Rose and the heavy blogger thinker guys on the internet going for Howard. (And let’s note that the poll on the APBRmetrics board sides with LeBron.) I’m personally on record as being on the fence between Rose and Howard, so what gets me ornery enough to write a piece is someone being dead set that even sitting on the fence is wrong.

Enter John Hollinger. With him, it seems I’m guaranteed to find both compelling arguments, and some stuff I disagree with enough that I end up writing about it. (Unfortunate that  I end up writing about the “bad” because I really do respect the guy, and I absolutely use his stats.)  He’s now written Truth about the Derrick Rose Story, trying to take down Rose, and favoring Howard, so it’s on.

Turn Me On, Dead Man

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Written by Matt Johnson

April 7, 2011 at 2:00 am

Hollering @Hollinger about LeBron James and MVP Philosophy

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LeBron James

Image via Wikipedia from LAST YEAR, when he was MVPing in Cleveland, which is not his current team

This season in the NBA, we’re really seeing a watershed year in the MVP race.  People who are paying attention are reflecting on their personal philosophy on the subject. John Hollinger recently wrote a piece that gives us a great place to leap off from by giving a compelling argument from a very simple, straight forward perspective. Essentially: “You know LeBron James is the best player, why isn’t he your MVP?”.

I’m going to respond point by point to him here, before waxing philosophical for a bit. Let me preface all this by saying that while I may have a bit of fun with John, by no means would I say his opinion is an invalid one. It’s just that his opinion is not the only one that is valid. Here we go:

A Conversation with Mr. Hollinger

And that’s because the 2010-11 MVP race has a really, really, abundantly obvious solution … but very few actually want to hear it.

Let’s be honest for a minute. The best player in the league is LeBron James. It’s not even close.

Agreed, honestly.

Moreover, his case for the MVP award is only gaining steam. James in October and November muddled through 18 games in which he was dramatically less effective than usual, a major reason for the Heat‘s uninspired crawl out of the gate. Since then, however, he’s been monstrously good, climbing to his usual perch atop the PER charts and widening his lead considerably with a spectacular 51-point outing against Orlando on Thursday.

True.

With James cruising, the Heat are arguably the league’s best team — despite injuries to James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, they’re 28-6 since their scuffling start. Yes, James has star support with Wade and Bosh in tow, but he’s also saddled with inferior help. At roster spots 4 through 12, there isn’t a weaker cast in basketball outside Ohio.

Er, agreed, I suppose…but not really. Read the rest of this entry »