NBA MVP – Who? (With Malice)

30 01 2008

Kevin Garnett…KB#24Kobe.

Or KG.

Recent discussions including LeBron James that currently flood the ether appear merely based on the outcome of last Sunday’s Lakers vs Cavaliers game. And totally ignore that James plays in what is still a very weak Eastern Conference (despite the presence of Boston & Detroit).

Yes, LeBron deserves to be in the conversation… but rates no more a mention than Chris Paul or Brandon Roy.
Perhaps less so.
People arguing that LeBron should be there because his scoring is prolific this year should scroll back a year or even two and check Kobe’s ppg. average.
Chris Paul has taken New Orleans to the very top of perhaps the toughest division in the NBA, and amassed the best record in the West thus far.
Brandon Roy is in the process of leading Portland to the playoffs. A team that everyone dismissed in the wake of Greg Oden’s injury.
LeBron has the Cavaliers doing exactly what they did the last few years, and does anyone really believe that he’ll lead them to the finals?
Past Detroit or Boston?
Don’t make me laugh.

Kevin Garnett is pretty much doing as he’s always done, only now it as so much more impact. He’s playing in the East, for perhaps the best team in the league. He has two legitimate Hall of Fame candidates as his wingmen in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Should Boston hope to make the Finals, then all 3 of their stars will be playing a balanced game – and that will detract from KG’s chances of MVP. Hell, should they take the title he won’t give a damn.

Kobe.  Should be the MVP - if there’s any justice…Kobe Bryant has re-invented himself. He trusts, he plays a team game. In the days after Andrew Bynum’s injury, everyone declared that ‘uh-oh, he’ll revert to being a shoot-first guy again’… and one game – he did. But pretty much every writer, commentator, commenter stated that even in doing so, he wasn’t betraying the team – he pretty much won the game against the Griz’, scoring 48 points.
Two games later, he had eleven assists and took on the role of ‘play-maker’, guiding the Lakers to a win over the then-division-leading Denver Nuggets.
Losses to Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio and Cleveland all were winnable, and at times Los Angeles looked like they’d do just that.

Still, for Kobe to claim the title of MVP, the Lakers need to be at least a .500 team sans Bynum.
Everybody’s declaring that for that to happen Bryant needs to trust the team.
No: he’s doing that.
The Lakers need to trust themselves. Luke Walton cannot panic like he did at the end of the Cavs game, passing up on a potential match-winning shot.
Kwame Brown needs to play at least at a decent level. He doesn’t need to be good, he just needs to ‘not suck’. Phil Jackson likened Kwame to a bank deposit… he’s been given an opportunity, now they need to see returns on the investment.
Don’t forget that it’s not only Bynum the Lakers miss – but Ariza and Mihm too.

Egads… this has turned into a veritable Kobe-love-fest…The other thing on this is that people have to remember that this LA Lakers renaissance is happening ahead of time. No-one expected them to be this good, this soon (at least, with a full roster).
Bynum’s accelerated growth as a player has certainly lead that charge, but the growth of Farmar, the presence of Fisher, and the acquisition of a resurgent Ariza have all had impact as well.
Kobe’s probably realised that his best chances of being in an elite team are in LA, right here in the Lakers.

He doesn’t need to trust more, he just needs to be patient.

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8 responses

30 01 2008
Basketball » NBA MVP - Who? (With Malice)

[…] withmalice wrote a fantastic post today on “NBA MVP – Who? (With Malice)”Here’s ONLY a quick extractLosses to Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio and Cleveland all were winnable, and at times Los Angeles looked like they’d do just that. Still, for Kobe to claim the title of MVP, the Lakers need to be at least a .500 team sans Bynum. … […]

30 01 2008
31 01 2008
fouledout

chris paul is definitely in the mix right now..

1 02 2008
Aaron Becker

C. Paul gets votes and I take my Garnet vote off the table….for now. Personally, I’ve thought for years that there shouldn’t be an MVP in any sport, unless there was a clear cut choice to begin with.

1 02 2008
ryanyonkers

Lebron James
PPG 30.1 All great players, but I’ll take lebron
RPG 7.8 then kobe. Their ability to take over
APG 7.2 games gives them the edge.
SPG 2.0
BPG 1.1
FG% 0.481

Chris Paul
PPG 20.8
RPG 3.9
APG 10.7
SPG 2.6
BPG 0.1
FG% 0.481

Kevin Garnet
PPG 19.2
RPG 9.9
APG 3.8
SPG 1.4
BPG 1.4
FG% 0.551

Kobe Bryant
PPG 27.8
RPG 6.2
APG 5.3
SPG 1.9
BPG 0.5
FG% 0.450

1 02 2008
withmalice

“Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

A quote usually attributed to either Disraeli or Twain, but applicable here.
Sorry Ryan, but LBJ has a team that’s slightly better than .500, in a very weak East (only 6 teams are better than .500). He will need major help before the Cavs are considered ‘elite’.

Both Chris Paul & Brandon Roy rank higher, and both of them below Kobe & KG.

13 02 2008
The Apologist

Great post! Right on target. Why is it that everyone seems so willing to adjust the finish line for LeBron James?

Here’s an article I think you’ll appreciate: LeBron & Fans Experience the “Bryant-Nash Rule”

It goes into a little more depth about how Bryant’s past two years were as good as LeBron’s this year — or better — and since he didn’t get it then, LeBron doesn’t deserve it now.

http://www.respectkobe.com

28 02 2008
TYRONE CARTER

kobe bryant because of his ability to play against the 1,2,and 3 gurads better than any other superstar in this league and what he’s doing now i the tough west coast with his team number 1 is the reason why he should get the mvp. if lebron,who is one of my toop 2 favorite players along with kobe were to play the type of defense kobe has to do he wouldn’t score or rebound as much as it wouldtake that much more energy out of him. jordan couldn’t do it as scottie had the toughest defensive job by t=guarding the other team’s best player more consistantly than jorda.” KOBE FOR NOW SHOULD BE THE MMVP

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