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Monday, December 31, 2007

MVP/RoY Rankings, Part III

The third edition of the blogger MVP/RoY rankings was just posted at 3 Shades of Blue. In case you missed the first two editions, here are the links:

MVP/RoY rankings, Part I

MVP/RoY rankings, Part II

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: Widely acknowledged as the "best" player in the NBA, supposedly the only reason that he has not won the MVP the past two years is his team's record. The Lakers have beaten Phoenix twice and are on pace for more than 50 wins, so if the Lakers keep this up then that excuse will no longer be valid.
9-LeBron James: He is having another great season but even LeBron insists that Kobe is the league's best player, so who are we to argue?
8-Dwight Howard: He's had 21 rebounds in back to back games and the Magic have won three straight after losing seven of their previous nine.
7-Kevin Garnett: He's actually putting up his worst numbers in a decade in most categories but as long as the Celtics keep winning he will always be in the MVP discussion.
6-Tim Duncan: Like Garnett, he is putting up lower numbers than usual but the Spurs were just 2-2 during the four games that he missed due to injury. His performance has been up and down since returning to action.
5-Chris Paul: Hornets have won five straight and six of seven; he has averaged 24.6 ppg and 10.0 apg in December.
4-Steve Nash: Is he finally wearing down? Nash has shot less than .500 from the field in six of his last seven games and the Suns only went 4-3 in those games.
3-Dirk Nowitzki: Mavericks have won six of eight as Nowitzki's numbers move toward their '07 levels.
2-Amare Stoudemire: 24.1 ppg, .629 field goal percentage in December.
1-Tracy McGrady: This year Houston may not be winning much with him but the Rockets literally can't win at all without him. If winning is the ultimate "value," then the Rockets' record with him the past four years versus the Rockets' record without him suggests that his value is very high.

Dropped from the list since last time: Yao Ming

Added to the list since last time: Amare Stoudemire


5-Kevin Durant: In December, he had two 30 point games--and three 6 point games. He leads rookies in minutes played and shots attempted, so the raw numbers alone basically assure him of winning the RoY award but that does not mean that he has lived up to all of the overblown hype surrounding him. Any other player barely averaging 20 ppg while shooting .400 from the field would not garner as much praise as Durant does.
4-Al Horford: Nearly averaging a double double while shooting better than .500 from the field.
3-Sean Williams: Playing time went back up recently. Shoots well (.551 from the field), blocks shots and gets rebounds.
2-Yi Jianlian: Like all of these rookies, he has had some ups and downs but he has been more consistent than most of the first year players.
1-Luis Scola: Getting steady minutes recently and putting up solid numbers.

Dropped from the list since last time: Glen Davis (played 12 minutes in the last four games), Juan Carlos Navarro (played horribly as Memphis lost four straight)

Added to the list since last time: Sean Williams, Luis Scola

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posted by David Friedman @ 4:41 AM



At Monday, December 31, 2007 4:07:00 PM, Blogger madnice said...

Brandon Roy is a way better candidate than McGrady who is a chump and doesnt want to play. He has no heart. The Blazers have won 13 straight. You should at least include him. Im not saying Roy is an MVP yet but he is a better candidate than T-Back. My bad this time its his knee. Even the Czar and Marv were saying hoe it seems he is hurt every year. And tehy werent even broadcasting that game.

At Monday, December 31, 2007 5:27:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Just because T-Mac gets injured a lot does not mean that he has no heart. Didn't LeBron just miss five games because of a finger injury on his non-shooting hand? I am very wary of questioning how hurt someone really is, unless it is obvious that someone is faking an injury or dogging it. T-Mac has a chronic back condition and I have not heard anyone in Houston say that his knee is not really injured. We have four years of evidence of how "valuable" T-Mac is to Houston. Roy has done well, but we're talking about a month (plus a solid rookie season). I like Roy's game a lot and he is on course to make my top ten at some point but I'm not like those guys who put Arenas up for MVP after he had a good couple weeks last season (though I'd probably already take Roy over Arenas right now).

At Tuesday, January 01, 2008 10:56:00 PM, Blogger madnice said...

Because of the Blazers success this year (not his rookie season) Roy deserves to be at least mentioned but who cares? Plus, David, Arenas has but up a couple of good years. At least he has been to the second round. McGrady hasnt even done that.

McGrady has no heart because he is a quitter. He quit on Orlando. He said he would take the Rockets to the second round and couldnt twice. He said now he knows what it means to be in the 2nd round vs. the Pistons when his team was up 3-1. And then they lose 3 straight. He should of took his team and beat Dallas in game 7 but instead got blown out by 40. Im not saying his injuries are why he has no heart. He has shown that he is not clutch and lacks heart. He is not a leader at all and doesnt make his team better. Yeah I know the Rockets record is better when he is there then when he is not there. But thats misleading like Marbury averaging 20 and 9 for his career. Those are HOF numbers for a point guard but his teams results have proven otherwise. The Rockets havent had any playoff success with him there. I know McGrady has great talent but he doesnt show it all the time, is always hurt, makes a lot of excuses, and doesnt always play hard (he admitted this). Ask Calvin Murphy what he thinks of McGrady.

Its unfortunate because guys like Carter, McGrady, and Nowitzki will probably be in the HOF but I dont think of any of them as HOFs.

At Wednesday, January 02, 2008 4:05:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Arenas has put up some stats for several years but he has not had that much impact on winning, as is becoming more evident to everyone as the Wizards are not doing any worse without him than they were doing with him--in contrast to the Rockets, who drop from a 50 win pace to a less than 20 win pace whenever T-Mac gets hurt.

T-Mac did not quit on Orlando. The GM there took a personal dislike to him; that guy is now an NHL scout. How many competent NBA GMs end up becoming NBA scouts? Obviously, T-Mac's quote about making the second round was unfortunate but why does that have to live on forever when guys like Arenas say stupid things every other minute and people just laugh? That is a double standard that I will never understand. If you look at T-Mac's playoff stats, they are way better than Arenas'. T-Mac has had little or no help (other than Yao in Houston and two guys can't do it all by themselves). Marbury averages 20 and 9 but his teams are always garbage; T-Mac's teams win when he is on the court, he just has never been on a team good enough to get to the second round. If you watched the game, it was not his fault that Houston got blown out by Utah in game seven. You need to question the heart of some of the other guys on the team; they're collecting paychecks, too, though it is not clear why.

Dirk will definitely be in the HoF. I don't think that T-Mac is a lock right now and I suspect that VC would not make it based on what he has done so far. Of course, HoF voting is so political at times, so I might be completely wrong about those three.

At Wednesday, January 02, 2008 4:17:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


As for T-Mac versus Roy this year, it's not like I have T-Mac in my top five. T-Mac is near the bottom of my ballot and Roy is one of the top guys that I don't have listed. If it were up to me, I would not list more than five MVP candidates because, to me, if you are not on the All-NBA First Team (or pretty close to being worthy of that) then you are not a serious MVP candidate. Realistically, unless something drastic happens, we know that the MVP this year is going to be KG, Howard, Kobe or LeBron. You can throw in CP3 or one or two other guys as a novelty but none of those guys are going to win unless their stats just blow up or their team wins 20 in a row or the top four guys all get hurt. People who go for the best player on the best team will vote for KG (unless the Celtics no longer have the best record but you get my point). People who go for the most dominant big man on the theory that he is more valuable than a great perimeter player will vote for Howard. People who vote for the best player, period, will select either Kobe or LeBron based on their own opinions about that. Unless something strange happens, do you expect anyone else to get a lot of first place MVP votes? So, right now I've got Roy just outside the top ten. Next time maybe he'll be ninth or maybe he'll be 13th. The point is that he's not better, this season, than those top four guys.

However, it's not my project or my rules and we are supposed to pick 10 guys, so I do my best to rank the "best of the rest" after the four guys who are going to get most of the MVP votes when the actual balloting is done.

At Wednesday, January 02, 2008 8:57:00 AM, Blogger madnice said...

You realize that McGrady himself said he didnt try as hard because he knew they would lose. Sure players think this and dont say it so maybe we should commend him on his honest. But I dont want to here that when I have to work 2 jobs.

Im not comparing McGrady to Arenas, and I am actually getting tired of Arenas and his blog and stupid predictions. Somehow things catch up to you. Is there a little karma in his knee problems because he doesnt shut up? Maybe it sounds silly but you know what i mean. He should just play.

McGrady said he will take the Rockets to the 2nd round. He said if they lose its on him. No it wasnt his fault totally that they lost (they didnt get blown out by Utah) but he put that pressure on himself. So come through.

As far as the joke called the HOF, neither player I mentioned should be in. Dirk will probably go. I say that Vince and T-Mac will probably go because they have been on many all-star teams and have careers averages of 24 and 22 plus you will probably get in.

I know T-Mac is not in your top five...Im just saying he shouldnt be in the top 10. I expect more out of T-Mac but he has never shown it.

At Wednesday, January 02, 2008 5:51:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I think that what T-Mac meant to say is that it is frustrating and that it is difficult to try your best night in and night out when you know that your team has no chance to win. That is just being honest but you are right that he should not have said it. He also should not have said that if they don't make the second round that it is on him--he can't control how poorly the rest of his team played.

Of course, you are right that Utah did not blow Houston out. What I meant to say, referring to T-Mac's lack of playoff success in Houston, is that it is not his fault that Dallas blew out Houston in game seven in the 2005 playoffs or that Houston's role players did not step up in game seven versus Utah.

Arenas' situation pretty much speaks for itself.

I don't see how Dirk would not go into the HoF. I'm not as convinced as you are that VC will be automatically voted into the HoF. Right now, I think that T-Mac has a better shot than VC. Of course, this is all just speculation on my part--and each of these players has the chance to improve his "resume."


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