MVP/RoY Rankings, Part III am participating in a season-long bi-weekly poll in which various bloggers offer their takes on the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year races. The results of the first poll were published on December 3. The results of the second poll were just posted at Clips Nation.
The top four players who I chose for MVP finished in the top four on the overall ballot, albeit in a different order. Seven of my 10 selections ranked in the consensus top ten; I left off Carlos Boozer, Manu Ginobili and Caron Butler in favor of Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and Dirk Nowitzki. Four of my top five rookies were consensus picks; I chose Glen Davis instead of Jamario Moon.
Here is my complete ballot exactly as I submitted it (MVP and RoY votes are scored on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 and 5-4-3-2-1 basis respectively, so James is my top MVP pick and Durant is my top RoY pick):
10-LeBron James: The cliche states that a player cannot lose his job due to injury. If anything, LeBron enhanced his top ranking due to injury because the Cavs looked terrible without him. It is worth remembering, though, that Hughes and Varejao were also out during that time.
9-Kobe Bryant: LeBron, KG and Howard have gotten most of the early MVP headlines but Kobe is having a major impact at both ends of the court.
8-Dwight Howard: Orlando has hit a bit of a funk recently but his production has actually increased.
7-Kevin Garnett: He is the best player on the best team but his numbers have dropped off dramatically (16.0 ppg and 7.2 rpg in December after putting up 20.1 ppg and 11.8 rpg in November). Part of this can be attributed to a decline in his minutes and it is important to note that the Celtics are 6-0 in December.
6-Tim Duncan: Like James, absence made the heart grow fonder.
5-Steve Nash: His shooting percentage plummeted but his assists went up as Phoenix hit the road.
4-Chris Paul: Was putting up career-high numbers in the first month of the season and then he increased them dramatically in December.
3-Tracy McGrady: Houston may be struggling a bit now but history has shown that when he is not in the lineup the team is terrible.
2-Yao Ming: Continues to put up solid scoring, rebounding and shooting numbers and has also taken on a more vocal leadership role.
1-Dirk Nowitzki: I gave the reigning MVP the benefit of the doubt early because his team was winning but now the Mavs are sliding and his numbers are down, so I'm dropping him to 10th place.
5-Kevin Durant: So many rookies seem to be hitting the proverbial wall now that he may actually earn RoY by default even though I am less impressed by his game than most people.Yes, he's had two games of more than 30 points since the last rankings, but he's also had games in which he shot 4-12, 4-17 and 3-11--and it's not like he's making up for that with his floor game (1.9 apg this season, 1.4 apg in December).
4-Al Horford: Shooting dropped off in December but his rebounding remains consistent.
3-Juan Carlos Navarro: His numbers are all over the map--two points one night, 27 on another.
2-Yi Jianlian: Has been solid most of the season and his numbers have improved recently.
1-Glen Davis: Did not do much in the first month of the season but is now a solid contributor off of the bench for the Celtics.
Dropped from the list since last time: Sean Williams (playing time, production have plummeted), Luis Scola (ditto)
Added to the list since last time: Yi Jianlian, Glen Davis
posted by David Friedman @ 7:39 AM