Clarifying the MVP debate

Cleveland Cavaliers v Denver NuggetsIn a recent radio interview with Dan Patrick, Cleveland Cavalier Kevin Love said that Russell Westbrook is more deserving of this year’s MVP Award than Love’s own teammate LeBron James.  In their never-ending quest to make something out of nothing, ESPN ran this “news” across its ticker in the hopes that somebody would make a big deal out of it.

Fortunately nobody did.  Ya’ know why?  Because Kevin Love spoke the truth.  Westbrook is more deserving of this year’s MVP.  So are James Harden and Stephen Curry, one of whom will likely receive the award.

Kevin Love was not asked who he was thought the best player in the league.  That question is far more cut and dry.  Love was also not asked who he’d rather have as a teammate or which player he thought gave him a better chance at winning a championship.  Those answers are pretty straightforward as well.

MVPThis year, much more so than in recent years, we’re finally looking at the NBA MVP award in a different light, or at least I am.  Not only in the NBA but in the other major sports leagues as well, debate has seasonally raged over whether the award should go to the league’s best player or the player that is most valuable to his team as the award suggests.  What does the award actually mean, who should win it and is it given to the right person every year?

This year, if polled, probably about 85% of the MVP voters would tell you either Curry or Harden will be getting their vote over both Westbrook and Bron Bron.  I don’t think anyone has a problem with that.

One could conceivably make a case for Bron Bron winning the award.  After all, his team took a nosedive when he was injured earlier in the season.  They have a stronghold on second place in the Conference since his return.  Despite the seasons the other three are having, one would have to be delirious to not think he’s still the best player in the league.  But more often than not the MVP award goes to a player that puts up video game-like numbers and Curry and Harden are doing exactly that.  Westbrook has also been doing that in spades but his team is struggling to make the playoffs.  Meanwhile, LeBron suffers from MJ Syndrome.  Sure he’s averaging 26-7-6 but he does that every year.  We’ve come to expect it.  I’m not suggesting that Harden and Curry aren’t more worthy.  I’m just saying that LeBron’s career numbers work to his detriment.  The fact that he’s shooting 49% from the floor this year while managing 57% last year certainly doesn’t work in his favor.

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors - Game SixJames Harden is carrying the Rockets in the absence of Dwight Howard who has missed over half the season.  He’s averaging career highs in points assists and rebounds.  Westbrook has been spawning triple-doubles while his teammate Kevin Durant has been injured.  And Steph Curry is putting up the best offensive numbers on the best offensive team in the league.

Fortunately, the Chosen One came out and said he didn’t have a problem with Love’s comments.  After all, those guys are having better seasons.  It would be silly of LeBron to think otherwise. Besides, LeBron knows who would win a game of one-on-one if they all played.  If this serves to inspire LeBron in the post-season, we all might want to look out.  There’s nothing we’d like to see more than LeBron face off against one of these three in the Finals.

Here are your four primary candidates for MVP this season.  Who’s got your vote?

 

Player   Games Played   FG%       3P           FT%        PPG       RPG       APG

Curry                     69           48%        233         91.4%    23.4        4.1          6.9

Harden                 69           44%        173         86.8%    27.2        5.8          7.0

Westbrook         56           43%        65           84.4%    27.5        7.2          8.7

James                   61           49%        107         71.9%    25.9        5.8          7.3

 

Curry’s probably going to win the award in a highly contested battle with Harden coming in second and LeBron and Westbrook competing for third and fourth places.  At least that’s my opinion.  And if that’s the case, the award will have gone to its rightful owner.

If nothing else, at least this year’s debate has given us a little clarity into the real meaning of the award.


7 thoughts on “Clarifying the MVP debate

  1. Chris

    It might be the most wide open race for League MVP the NBA fans have seen in years . Remember the travesty of the voting when Karl Malone won ,when Jordan had put up far superior numbers ?

    No more damn biased sympathy votes by the beat writers . Just let them get it right for once .

  2. Chris

    Why not have the players and coaches alone, be the ones as the adjudicators ? Who better than they ___ would actually know more about the game ? The vote is now done by NBA beat writers , many of whom, may well watch a game, but at the end of the day , remain biased one way or another .

    I’ll give credit where it’s due, and the New York Knicks ought to be applauded in notching up their sixtieth loss of the season . At the same time ., the idiots who suggest Phil Jackson has a plan , ask them to explain this year, if they can _____ rather than continually pressing their lips to Jackson’s sphincter, ,. praising him like he’s a basketball genius as a front office executive and in assessing talent . They tend to forget who (general managers) placed the personnel within those franchises to win the championships in Chicago and New York .

  3. Either way, Al, they’re biased.

    I’m not sure what the answer but it seems to me, the more people polled, the broader of a sample you’ll get, allowing for bias to play less of a factor and impartiality to play more of one.

    Let me ask you. What do the Knicks plan on doing this off-season to make this team any better than it was in 2015?

  4. Chris

    It has been a disastrous season for the New York Knicks and there is no way in hell Phil Jackson can be let off the hook this mess . Anyone coming out in support of him , has to be considered an idiot . His first mistake, was the hire of Derek Fisher to be the team’s head coach. Then look at the coaching staff assembled . What pedigree do they have cohesively or singularly , that suggests winning ? You ask what they (Knicks) should do in the off-season ? Kiss their own @ss collectively _____ because I doubt anyone wants to come to New York to play alongside ‘melo when the coaching staff is simply bull#hit ! They as a team can’t score , can’t defend and at no point during their season , were they able to put to together a winning streak of more than five games. Get the picture ? Fans are talking about them having money to spend big ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!!! Spend big but Jackson can’t put together a coaching staff worth #hit and yet ,morons are buying into his greatness and coaching philosophy . You have to laugh at morons with that type of a mindset altogether .

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