MVP/RoY Rankings, Part VIIThe seventh edition of the blogger MVP/RoY rankings has just been posted at Celtics Blog
Here are links to the previous six editions:
MVP/RoY rankings, Part I
MVP/RoY rankings, Part II
MVP/RoY rankings, Part III
MVP/RoY rankings, Part IV
MVP/RoY rankings, Part V.
MVP/RoY rankings, Part VI.
This time around, the bloggers voted LeBron as the MVP, with Paul second, KG third and Kobe fourth. I think that for most of the year KG has been the media favorite but I'm not sure if that is the case now considering that Boston went 7-2 without KG and that Kobe and LeBron have been playing at an unreal level. I have Kobe first and LeBron second and I think that anyone who looks at this objectively understands that it should be a two horse race at this point. Paul has had a very good season but I'm not sure if I will ever believe that a 6-footer is the very best player in the whole league; the fact that Deron Williams eats his lunch on a regular basis is also worrisome: I don't know of any player who performs similarly well against Kobe or LeBron. Howard is a dominant inside player but he has a tendency to drift on defense and still has a limited offensive repertoire. KG is very versatile but has yet to prove that he is a closer like Kobe is and like LeBron has been at times.
The reason that I bring up all of these things is that three of the 20 blogger voters left Kobe entirely off of their MVP ballots this time; in other words, they don't rank him among the top 10 players in the NBA. The host rhetorically asked if they should be invited back for round eight. My answer to that is, "No"--and I'm not joking. If you honestly don't think that Kobe is one of the top 10 players in the league then you either don't watch enough NBA basketball to be qualified to vote or you don't understand what you are seeing well enough to be qualified to vote; the other possibility is that these three voters realize that Kobe deserves to be in the top 10 but they are such homers for whoever "their" guy is that they intentionally left him off. If someone votes LeBron number one but has Kobe in the top 3-5, I can accept that at some level, even though I completely disagree--but if you don't have Kobe in the top 10 then you don't know what you are talking about and your vote just dilutes the value of this whole project.
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 Bryant is my top MVP pick and Durant is my top RoY pick):
10-Kobe Bryant: The best player in the game may be better than ever now that defenses also have to account for Pau Gasol.
9-LeBron James: This year's MVP race between Bryant and James brings to mind the late 80s and early 90s when scorer-who-could-pass-and-defend Michael Jordan battled passer-who-could-score Magic Johnson.
8-Dwight Howard: Much more than just a "Super" dunker, Howard has an excellent chance to average 22 ppg and 15 rpg while shooting better than .600 from the field. I'd take Duncan over him in a playoff series, but Howard is having the better regular season.
7-Chris Paul: During All-Star Weekend, Bryant and other All-Stars raved about how well Paul is playing. He has it all--court vision, quickness and the ability to score.
6-Kevin Garnett: I've been saying for a while that the MVP is his to lose in terms of the mainstream media voters but he may be in the process of losing it: the Celtics went 7-2 without him and how can voters ignore Bryant in a year when his team appears poised to win more than 50 games?
5-Tim Duncan: His regular season numbers in recent seasons don't blow you away but he is the foundation for all of San Antonio's success.
4-Dirk Nowitzki: Started off the season slowly (by his standards) but has been steadily picking up steam.
3-Amare Stoudemire: He averaged 29.3 ppg and 11.4 rpg in the first eight games of February.
2-Steve Nash: Has a chance at another .500-.400-.900 shooting season.
1-Yao Ming: He is the focal point of Houston's recent winning streak.
5-Kevin Durant: I've been pointing out his flaws since the Summer League but it is still difficult to take another rookie over him.
4-Al Horford: He is having a solid season but just when I am about ready to put him ahead of Durant he has a stat line of eight points and five rebounds. He simply is not being asked to carry as heavy a load as Durant is.
3-Luis Scola: He has been very productive as the Rockets start to make a move in the stacked Western Conference.
2-Jamario Moon: He has been solid all year and his scoring and shooting have improved recently
1-Sean Williams: Numbers have tailed off recently but he is still averaging 1.9 bpg and shooting .545 from the field for the season.
posted by David Friedman @ 1:43 AM