A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘NBA POY

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

2011 POY Watch – End Regular Season

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The playoffs have begun, and now we will start to get into why I so stubbornly called this the “POY Watch” instead of the “MVP Watch”. By far the most meaningful award we could have for a player is one that factors in regular and post-season. That award doesn’t exist, so I say we make one up.

For those interested, during last off-season I ran a project over on RealGM I called the Retro POY project where we determined the player having the best season for all seasons back to ’54-55, the first year of the shot clock era. My post on this blog introducing the project and summarizing key findings is here.

During the playoffs, I’m going to jettison the weekly format of the regular season and instead do a round-by-round format. At the conclusion of all series for a given round, I will make an updated POY Watch. So that means there will be four more POY Watches after this one.

Without further ado, here are my rankings based on the whole regular season and nothing but the regular season.

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Written by Matt Johnson

April 20, 2011 at 1:21 am

2011 NBA POY Watch 4/11

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My weekly MVP rankings for the duration of the regular season. However, I’ll continue updating this as we go through the playoffs.

Player (last week’s rank)

1A. Derrick Rose (1)

1B. Dwight Howard (2)

A cop out? Maybe. I typically hate it when people make ranked lists and then insist they can’t choose. Dude, if you don’t know what your opinion is, why am I here? So I get it. If you insist on a 1 & a 2, then go by the letter suffix I put on there which keeps the same order as last week.

Bottom line though is that this week I have to make up my mind and commit to who my MVP pick is – but I haven’t yet made up my mind. Keep going back & forth. Very clearly, there are people on both extremes I find silly. No, Rose is not willing his team on pluck alone to best in the league status. No, Rose statistics aren’t bad – they are quite good, and the idea that just because there is no one stat that puts Rose on top, he can’t be #1 is bizarre (Out of the billions of people on earth, we have stats putting Rose easily in the top 10 that don’t factor in the intangibles of leading a team with great chemistry, and this is definitive proof against him?).

Give me a few more days…then I’ll give you my MVP and emphasize once against how wrong it is that the most prestigious individual award in the game doesn’t factor in the playoffs.

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Written by Matt Johnson

April 11, 2011 at 2:11 pm

2011 NBA POY Watch 3/28

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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?

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Written by Matt Johnson

March 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

2011 NBA POY Watch 3/21

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My weekly MVP rankings.

Player (last week’s rank)

1. Derrick Rose (1)

Rose remains in the top spot. All the good narratives point in his direction, and I’m not seeing a reason to de-value his role on the Bulls. Short of a player/team falloff, I’d imagine the only danger for him in my head is if I get more fixated on Howard.

2. Dirk Nowitzki (2)

Stays at the 2nd spot for now, but if this current snag continues for the Mavericks he’ll fall further. I’m still shaking my head. The Mavs go 18-1, I finally decide Dirk’s candidacy can no longer be denied, and then they go 3-5.

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Written by Matt Johnson

March 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm

2011 NBA POY Watch 3/14

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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.

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2011 NBA POY Watch 3/7

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Player (Last Week’s Rank)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (1)

Still Dirk. To be perfectly honest, I don’t have any real internal debate between him and Rose at this point.

2. Derrick Rose (2)

It’s really starting to sink in that Rose’s Bulls haven’t simply moved up to be in the conversation, they’ve really trounced the whole league post-November. They are contenders, though there’s nothing short of injuries for the Lakers & Celtics that would make them the title favorite in my mind.

3. Dwight Howard (4)

Howard is starting to become a very chic pick, and I’ve got no problem with that. Dude’s taken a step up. I’m not ready to launch him above all others, but I can clearly see a golden path for him that would get me to give him the hardware.

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2011 NBA POY Watch 2/28

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My version of the NBA MVP list. Updated weekly.

Player (Last Week’s Rank)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (1)

Well here we are, it’s about to be March, and I still have a guy at #1 that is not one of the two big guys being discussed and isn’t even in nba.com’s top 5. Sounds like I need to write a piece on that. In the meantime check out basketball-reference’s “Where Would They Be Without Him?” article.

2. Derrick Rose (3)

Jumps up. For detailed thought on Rose, take a look at my article from last week: Derrick Rose, the MVP race, and the Isiah-Iverson Team Model.

3. LeBron James (2)

A disappointing week and the king slips back behind Rose.

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Written by Matt Johnson

February 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

2011 NBA POY Watch 2/21

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My version of the NBA MVP list. Updated weekly.

Note: With the short week, I’ve decided to give this week’s ranking early. With the limited play, this is a week of reflection.

Player (Last Week’s Rank)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (1)

It increasingly feels like LeBron‘s going to take this, but up through now there’s not really a strong debate in my mind as to who my #1 is. Dirk’s impact says MVP to me.

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