All the Credit, None of the Blame?After Wednesday's classic double overtime win against Dallas, the Phoenix Suns have been blown out 105-83 at home by Detroit and 131-107 by the Denver Nuggets. It seemed that on Thursday morning a consensus was developing to give Steve Nash the MVP after his tremendous play down the stretch against Dallas. He was fantastic, no doubt about it--but if he gets all the credit for Phoenix' win (never mind Amare Stoudemire's 41 points and 10 rebounds) then who gets the blame when the Suns get destroyed in back to back games? The Suns have their complete roster intact, so injuries aren't the culprit. I'm not trying to pick on Steve Nash. I think that he is a wonderful player--but something is fishy if we are supposed to believe that he deserves all of the credit when they win but should receive none of the blame when they lose. If a one minute stretch versus Dallas can "win" or "clinch" an MVP, do two bad games open the race back up for other contenders? No, Nash did not play terribly in either loss (20 points, six assists against Detroit, 15 points and 10 assists versus Denver) but he has been winning MVPs based on the idea that he makes the whole team better and is the main reason that the Suns win. If he plays OK, the Suns are at full strength and they get blown out--twice--then something does not add up. Somehow, I doubt that the lead story on ABC or ESPN's coverage today will be that the Suns' performances have reopened the MVP race that supposedly was closed on Wednesday. All I'm saying is that the standard should be consistent. My position does not change game by game: Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA and should get the MVP if the award is supposed to honor the best player; if the MVP is supposed to go to the best player on the best team, then Dirk Nowitzki should win it this year, barring a complete collapse by the Mavericks. One or two good or bad games by anybody will not change my opinion about that--but those who "awarded" the MVP to Nash on Thursday morning have some explaining to do.
posted by David Friedman @ 4:26 AM