This latest entry on the oh-so-vast NBA MVP debate comes courtesy of Jim Murphy from ProphetFighting… ok, ok – so it’s a MMA blog, but this guy knows his stuff… so read on, and find out who is The Prophet‘s pick on the NBA MVP…
He probably *won’t* win since he plays in a small market, and with the mea culpa that I am a Portland Trailblazers honk, I’ve got to go with Brandon Roy.
The Blazers could have packed it in for the year after a shabby start and with #1 draft pick Greg Oden out for the season. There’s plenty of talent on this Blazers team but its all young and still plays in a Nuke LaLoosh “sort of all over the place” manner. Roy asserted himself as team leader, got everyone on the same page and the team has lost twice in their last 20 games.
The Rose Garden has been transformed from the mortuary it became during the “JailBlazers” era to one of the toughest venues in the NBA. Roy is the classic example of the player that makes those around him better and one who does whatever it takes on a given night to win whether its play nasty defense, score a ton of points, or distribute the ball and get everyone else involved. The Blazers now can go ten deep during a game and everyone contributes.
The rest of the team has followed his lead in playing defense like a rabid weasel and now its rare to see anyone score an uncontested basket. His teammates respect the hell out of him, and that’s likely due to the fact that he’s tough as shit.
In a game against Golden State a week or so he went down hard and burst into flames after a Warriors player stepped on his ankle funny. He had to be helped to the dressing room by the trainers–it was one of those moments where the crowd, players, and coaching staff let out a collective “Oh Shit!!!” and then are quiet like someone had died. During the halftime show the announcer solemnly kept saying that he’d have an update on Roy’s condition “as soon as something becomes available” like he’d been shot or something.
Of course the update wasn’t *needed* since Roy’s condition became apparent when he joined his teammates on the floor for the 2nd half shootaround. He was visibly favoring one leg, but he came out and balled anyway.. Shaking off the type of injury that would have landed Andrei “Ow, my back!” Kirilenko of the Jazz on the disabled list for a month earned Roy a hell of a lot of respect from me and I’m sure this badass mentality isn’t lost on his teammates–throw in the fact that it was a game that the Blazers had controlled from the outset and it becomes an even more ballsy move.
Roy’s also a good guy off the court and the sort of throwback that can say he doesn’t care about individual stats or how many shots he gets as long as the team wins and actually seem to mean it. That he’s a second year player is almost unfathomable–he may not have that “grown ass man” look that LeBron does but in the big picture, the baby-faced guy who plays like cranky old Jerry Sloan might be the better deal.
Anything can happen over the longterm but with Roy in town if Oden is half as good as advertised don’t be surprised to see another banner hanging from the Rose Garden rafters along side the one the big red headed hippie brought to town before its all said and done….
There’s definitely been a lot of others who contributed, but for transforming a season that could have easily been written off to one that could very well see the Blazers back in the playoffs and for resurrecting the enthusiasm around the entire franchise that was lost in the wake of the Oden injury I’ve got to give my MVP nod to Brandon Roy…