Here we go… nearly done. Only one more post this one… Steve Perrin from the very well-received Clips Nation (I know… they’re kinda the enemy – me being a Lakers fan ‘n’ all…). Enjoy…
When Don from With Malice asked me for my thoughts on the NBA’s MVP to date, I first had to come to grips with the definition of the MVP. Years of following the NBA has conditioned me to voting for the best player on the best team. But is that really the MVP? What does being on a great team have to do with being the most valuable PLAYER, the ultimate individual honor?
That problem is more distinct than ever at this point in this season. Kevin Garnett would probably win the award if the vote were held today (and no doubt will get plenty of votes in this straw poll). But Boston is playing great, not just because of KG, but also because of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen (and, it has now become clear, Rajon Rondo).
Still, can my programming allow me to vote for LeBron James, as great as he has been, when the Cavaliers have been such a disappointment so far? (Fortunately for King James, the Cavs seem to be emerging from their funk and may not drag done his candidacy by the end of the season. But 21-18 in the pathetic East is just not acceptable for the MVP. Or so the traditional thinking goes.)
As much as it pains me to say it given my hoops loyalties, I could make a pretty good case for that Kobe guy about now. Look at it this way – for years the argument has been “Sure he’s great, but he shoots too much, he doesn’t make his teammates better, and his team isn’t great.” Well, if those were the knocks against him, then fewer shots per game, a marked improvement in the same supporting cast, and a .684 winning percentage nearing the midway point of the season should make us take notice, right? He remains the best one-on-one scorer in the league, and arguably the most intense competitor. And though his scoring is down this season, it’s still good for second in the league, and the team is winning. Isn’t that what his critics wanted from him?