Monday, April 9, 2007

MVP Thoughts

Two MVP award. Who will get it?

The NBA regular season is almost over, and major attention turns to the announcement of individual awards. In this day and age, when a player's legacy can oddly seem more important than a team's, everyone starts talking about the MVP award. History shows that it goes to a key player on an elite team. That would make there 3 candidates...Dallas' Dirk, Suns' Nash and Spurs' Timmy. Sorry Kobe, if last year's efforts couldn't win you the MVP, I don't think this year's slightly less amazing numbers (only just) will win it for you. Your team just doesn't win enough, it seems. Also special shout-out to Carlos Boozer, whose numbers have been phenomenal. Your team hasn't won enough either...also everyone mentioned already happens to be from the West. My east coast MVP would goto Chris Bosh.
  • Tim: Big Tim has had yet another great year. The consistency he has shown throughout his career is nothing short of amazing. He never really improved his numbers that much cos they started so high anyway. And while his minutes have been down a bit in recent years he has still kept up the high production. Its no wonder his Spurs just keep having winning seasons. The guy is a top-5 shot blocker, top-5 rebounder, top-20 scorer and top-10 FG%. He'll also through in the most assists of any centre in the league (truthfully this year Brad Miller averages 0.1 assists per game more, but he has played far less games). Oh yeah and the Big Fundamental has started every game this year too. Your damn right he should be considered for the MVP. All that said, the Spurs have only really clicked since after the Rodeo Trip. They have not had it all their own way this year. This thus puts Duncan below the other two.
  • Dirk: The best player in the best team, Dirk is probably favourite for the award right now. The guy has advanced his reputation as a match-up nightmare even further this year. He does everything in balance. He will drive-in on you, OR shoot the mid-range jumper on you OR post you up OR pop a 3 on you (less these days which has improved his variety) OR dish to a team-mate in a better position. His opponent would rarely have any clue what he'll do each time he gets the ball. He has great trust in his supporting cast. More often than not, he, and they, deliver. That is why they were pushing 70 wins this year. Oh, and those people who say "call him Irk cos he has no D"? You wish you had D like Dirk.
  • Nash: While all of the above is true, there is this guy Nash. Sure, in 2005 Shaq deserved the MVP. Last year, it was Kobe who deserved it. Nash scooped both. This year though, Nash fully deserves the title. His numbers are this year pushing into the unheard-of category. While some marvel that he increases his team-mates stats, I marvel at his very own stats. The guy dishes out 2 more assists per game than the league's second best-assisting player, the excellent MIP-candidate Deron Williams. He averages 3 more assists per 48 minutes (15.6) than second best TJ Ford. He is clearly the best passer in the game: no one would deny that. But then if you add his shooting skills on top of this, it makes for a simply perfect Point Guard. He shoots 53% from the field, 47% from behind the arc, and pours in 19 PPG. Oh yeah, let's not forget his exemplary foul shooting too.
"Yeh, but his D sucks!" That is far from true. Its not as good as his offense, true, but Nash is no slouch on the defensive end. Sure, he isn't as athletic as many of his opponents but he does put everything in on defense which is a lot more than can be said of many other players in the league. This year I have seen him make many clutch defensive plays. Pheonix have improved their D big time this year and Nash is no different.

So why Nash over Dirk?

Well, first off, I believe his numbers are more impressive than Dirk's. Secondly, the dude is clutch. That is very important to me. I have seen Dirk hit some clutch shots. I have also seen Dirk pass the ball at the end of games and rely on someone else to make the big play. With Pheonix, you know Nash will be involved somehow when it counts...with a killer pass, a huge 3, or even a defensive stop. Adding it all up, Nash is a real leader and has been more valuable to his team's success this year than Dirk has...

All this said, I believe Dirk will be named the MVP. And good luck to him. If I was casting a vote however, I would go with his former team-mate and good friend Nash. I'm sure both will be happy whoever wins it.

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