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Around The NBA: Who is the MVP Right Now?


We are not even at the halfway point of the season, but let’s talk MVP anyway.  Two of the league’s stars made recent comments about the award so why can’t we?  LeBron James basically said as soon as he and Dwyane Wade joined company they could kiss any MVP consideration goodbye.  Meanwhile Bulls PG Derrick Rose said it’s his goal to win the award this season and he thinks he can as long as the team continues to win.  (Chicago is currently 3rd in the East).

So, who is your MVP?  Here is a look at some of the top candidates thru 30+ games.

Amare Stoudemire, Knicks: 26.4 points, 9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks.

In his first season in the Big Apple, Stoudemire has New York in 6th place in the Eastern Conference while ranking 2nd in the NBA in points-per-game.  The Knicks are looking like a playoff team early thanks to stellar combination of Stoudemire and Felton.  It will be tough for him to win the award if New York finishes near .500, which I expect.

Kevin Durant, Thunder: 27.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3 assists.

The NBA’s leading scorer has his team in 5th place in the West but only a half game out of 3rd and 3 games back of 2nd.  He was clearly the MVP of the Gold Medal winning World Championship team, and he has sort of carried that over into the NBA season.  I thought he would be a little more dominating; after all he did crack the 30 points per game mark last year.

Derrick Rose, Bulls: 24 points, 8.6 assists, 4.7 rebounds.

The guy thinks he’s the MVP, wants to be the MVP, and could very well win the MVP.  He’s 8th in scoring, 7th in assists, and his team sits in 3rd place in a conference that is more top heavy than Dolly Parton.  Rose has been a complete player leadings a team that has never been a full strength with the injuries to Boozer (early) and Noah (present/future).

Dwight Howard, Magic: 21.1 points, 13 rebounds, 2.5 blocks.

He’s the best center in the game (Duncan is a PF, naturally so is Amare, and Yao is in 7’6 sits the rest of the way), and because of this, he will always get some consideration.  His team made a major shake up but he remains the vocal point.  The Magic will only go as far as Dwight takes them.  If he is really going to win the MVP he might have to catch Love for the rebounding title and Bogut for blocks and win another Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Kobe Bryant, Lakers: 25.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists.

MVP talk must involve Kobe Bryant even though he has taken home the award just once in his Hall of Fame career.  Kobe has not been torching teams with the same regularity yet he still ranks 3rd in the league in scoring, but the Lakers find themselves tied for 3rd place in the West.  As long as Bryant is healthy his name will be mentioned on the MVP ballot at the end of the year.

Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks: 24.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 54.5% FG.

The 2007 MVP is once again putting up impressive numbers and doing it for a team that is piling up wins.  The recent injury to Caron Butler will likely hurt the team, however with an inspired performance it could help Dirk’s MVP case.

Deron Williams, Jazz: 22.2 points, 9.3 assists, 3.9 rebounds.

In my opinion he is the best point guard in a very deep group in the NBA.  The Jazz are tied for 3rd place while adjusting too many new faces.  Boozer, Mathews, Korver, Miles are all gone and Okur has been out, yet Williams and the Jazz are still one of the best teams in the league.  It also helps that he ranks 12th in points and 4th in assists.  He won’t win it this year but an All-NBA 1st team should be in the cards.

LeBron James, Heat: 24.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists.

The back-to-back reigning winner of the MVP trophy says he won’t win it this year.  Is this a random moment of self deprecation?  It doesn’t matter what he says, he will be considered.  The Heat have a great chance to pass the Celtics (only .5 game back right now) for 1st place in the East because of Boston’s injuries coupled with Miami’s recent performance.  Also I am pretty sure Michael Jordan still won the award a few times with Scottie Pippen on the team.  Monster numbers on a winning team = MVP.

Dwyane Wade, Heat: 24.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists.

Same rules apply for LeBron.  Perhaps these guys would split votes if they has similar numbers (like they do now) and were the #1 seed in the playoffs.  Even still I think each one has a chance at the award.  Wade has caught fire as of late and now leads LeBron by .1 in points; they rank 5th and 6th in the league respectively.  Another trip to the All-Defensive team for both will also help their consideration.

Rajon Rondo, Celtics: 10.6 points, 13.6 assists, 2.3 steals.

Given he’s missed 11 of the team’s 32 games, which would make winning the award a huge uphill climb, you have to wonder.  What if Rondo put up these kinds of numbers for a full season and the C’s had the best record?  Steve Nash won 2 (should have been 3) MVP awards and never averaged 13.5 assists in a season.  Yes, Nash did score more points and we really shouldn’t even compare their shooting skills.  But I wonder, in a year where LeBron and Wade are playing together, and Kobe isn’t dominating (as much), would Rondo have received many votes?  Maybe he still can.  The last time a player missed 11 games (so we would be assuming Rondo played in every game the rest of the way) and won the MVP award was Allen Iverson back in the 2000-01 season.  AI played in 71 games but dropped a ridiculous 31.1 ppg.

It is really difficult to pick just one player as the MVP at this point in the year.  If I had to choose I think I might take Kevin Durant, (he was my preseason pick).  The Thunder will need to be a Top 4 seed in the West; Durant must defend his scoring title, and improve his rebounding to win it.  LeBron and Wade will make a run for this thing too whether they think so or not.  Who would you vote for?

Streaks! The Heat and Magic have both won 6 in a row.  Miami had a double-digit winning streak snapped by Dallas but have since ripped off 6 straight, while Orlando made a major shake up to their roster and preceded to knock off the Spurs, Celtics, Nets, Cavs, and Knicks.  Speaking of the Spurs they have won 4 consecutive since that Orlando loss and continue to own the league’s best record, 29-4.

The sorry Cavs have dropped 7 in a row; however it’s the Kings who maintain the worst record in the NBA.  Believe it or not the Wizards, Nets, Cavs, T-Wolves, and Kings all have 9 or less wins here on the 3rd day of January.  The #1 pick is up for grabs!

Around the NBA will be back next Monday.  Thanks for reading.

  • zebulon

    CJ Miles is definitely still on the Jazz…

  • JAW

    Chris Paul has the best PER in the league, and is carrying a bunch of dead weight to a respectable record. Russell Westbrook has been better than Durant so far. FWIW Durant has started slow every year of his career. He'll pick it up.

  • Truth Hurts

    First of all, PER is useless. It only tracks who puts up the most shots, not production. You only have to shoot 33% on two and 25% on 3s to have a high PER.

    I see that all of your main candidates can put lots of points (however many shots it takes them). Opposing PFs are shooting 60% in the post on Amare, 55% on perimeter isolations, and teams are shooting above 70% when Amare is inveloved in pick-n-roll defense. I'll say that again, the only way to get an easier two points than have Amare on pick defense is to have steve Nash shoot free thows.

    Rose is only averaging that many many points because he is a point guard taking over 20 shots a game. He is no where near Rondo in actual production, just highlights.

    Rondo, Lebron, Wade, and Howard are the only players that are actually producing wins from you lists. everyone else is just fortunate enough to reap the glory when productive non-scorers on thier squads are actually producing the wins.

  • Truth Hirts

    JAW, you are right Paul should be on any list for MVP, but again PER is worthless.

  • Rich Keefe

    Lot of stats Truth Hurts, but who is your pick for MVP right now?

  • Dan

    Chris Paul needs to be on this list. He has the least talented roster and all advanced stats support him as best (WS/48, PER, take your pick). Even if he doesn't put gaudy shooting numbers, he shoots extremely efficiently (above .60 TS%) and is the only player the other team really needs to focus on stopping each game. Plus, I would contend that his assists would be higher if his teammates could shoot/finish better.

    In addition, why do all commentators/analysts ignore TOs per game. Even sticking with per game stats would seem to mean that turnovers should be accounted for. Chris Paul is great at keeping control of the ball and taking the ball back, and is a great defensive player. Deron is not a good defender by advanced stats – until recently, he had negative defensive win shares and even now he has almost 5 times more offensive win shares.

  • aaron

    i'm gonna vote for tony parker, because of what he gave up in his personal life to improve his team's chances of winning.

    now lets look at the last three years worth of mvp trophies. Kobe gets one, loses in finals. LBJ gets two in a row, and never gets to finals. I would rather just root for my favorite team to win it all, thanks.

  • Cool Hand Luke

    Chris Paul does deserve to be there (and high up), but truth hurts fair complaint about PER (rewarding extra shots even at very low efficiency) should boost Paul rather than hurt his candidacy – it says he's the best AND he's not chucking up shots that hugely add value to others. He only takes 11.5 shots per games and 4.3 free throws. His usage of 21.5% is vastly lower than anyone on this list (clocking in at 31.4, 31.4, 30.9, 28.2, 35.3, 28.5, 26.7, 31.4, 31.8, 17.7 respectively). Okay, so Rondo is lower by a usage count, but when looking at who PER underrates by scoring, CP3 should be at the top of the list. And yet somehow he ends up at number 1.

    The people who PER boosts for taking extra shots at below league average (at least from a TS% perspective) are Derrick Rose types who use loads of possessions and are below average with regards to scoring efficiently. CP3 is not like that.

    I think KG deserves to be on the list, he's rebounded phenomenally (at least defensively) and his TS% is the second highest of his career. Plus he's played great man on D and help D. He's been awesome. For his position his steal count, lack of TOs and especially assists have all been well above average. It's harder to stand out when as much is expected of you as it is of kg but he's been great. I think Nash has been pretty amazing too, his 8 for 8, twenty point game is a nice symbol of how it's going, he's been excellent (and hasn't turned it over as much of recent) and his team blows it.

    • Chris O

      I'm sorry as much as I love KG no one gets on (the MVP List) for playing 15 and 9 (or 10) ball and playing very good defense. Dwight -for example-gets more points, more rebound and plays better more intimidating D and means even MORE to his team and you want KG in the talk when Dwight probably isn't even said MVP, I mean really….c'mon, who's next Paul, Ray, and Shaq Daddy

      • Cool Hand Luke

        Dwight's obviously been a better player – I'm not saying KG should win, merely that he deserves to be at the end of the list. Derrick Rose and Deron Williams are worse in practically every category to cp3 except scoring and in rose's case that's quite inefficient. Williams at least, should still be on the list.

        KG has been a far better passer than dwight (on a team that's supposed to be based on him kicking it out to open shooters, though maybe he has a lot of hockey assists), far far better at stealing which means howard's not creating quite as many extra possessions as you'd think especially when you compare their tov% of 17 for howard to 10 for kg. Their defensive rebounding is pretty similar and howard is way ahead on off boards. Howard scores more at slightly higher efficiency. I'm not saying KG has been better, and dwight should be towards the top of any mvp list, but does that mean kg shouldn't be at the bottom? I'd take his production this season over kobe, rose and possibly stoudemire (considering his far worse rebounding and crap D) at least. As you can probably tell, I'm not a fan of volume scorers. KG is not that, he's just a very productive player in a lot of ways, which makes it harder for individual stats to stand out.

        Ray and Paul have been very good. Not in the discussion though. I do believe KG is. His win shares per 48 are .216, which is very, very, very high. LBJ is .236, howard is .198, cp3 is a league leading .288. Wins produced says he's a ~.360 and it thinks the top 10-15 players all fall in the .300-.450 range. My point is, he's been great, and he deserves to be at the outside end of these discussions.

        • Cool Hand Luke

          Also, I probably agree with you that lbj has probably been mvp so far, though I haven't thought too much about where people should place.

        • Chris O

          I'm not trying to completely discredit Garnett either, he has been huge in his renaissaince but he's just not even in the MVP discussion, I'm sorry. I love the guy he is great. The only Celtic that should be considered is Rondo but even then, the Celtics are to strong of a team for them to have a legit MVP candidate (and by that I mean they have as Perk said incredible depth). Rondo and KG are the most irreplaceable pieces but unfortunately MVP, and even being on the list for now for each, is out of the question.

          • Cool Hand Luke

            I think the disconnect here is that KG is on a team that's very strong and is obviously a role player and that makes him unviable as a candidate for you. I probably value excellent role player production more than you do – I realize that's not how the mvp ever goes – but I think he deserves a tiny bit of consideration for the numbers he produces. This is not to say he should be near winning, but top 15? Probably. Top 10? Well, probably not, but he's been better than some of the people mentioned above for sure.

  • http://theonlinesportsjournal.com Jake T

    " Two of the league’s stars made recent comments about the award so why can’t we? "

    Can't say that Lebron doing something is a good reason for you to do it….

  • Morpheus

    CP definitely deserves to be on there. He has a garbage,,,,i mean STINKER of a roster. I love the name Trevor Ariza……. Belinelli a starter……REALLY. Okafor is overpaid and has been underperforming since he was traded there. Jarrett WHO??? Marcus Who????? in fact the entire bench WHO????? Seriously that roster is a joke outside of CP and West although Okafor has picked up his game over the last week. Regardless, CP has them sitting 7th in the West. If you're going to place Amare on that list, CP deserves equal honours.

  • KY Celts fan

    If these are the options, I'd go with Dirk. Second in the West, Third in the league. Greatly due to his increased efficiency. If they continue to win at the same pace with Butler down, then Dirk has to be the odds-on favorite.

    • hdavenport

      Why are people thumbs-downing this? Dirk was having one of his best years ever before he got hurt.

      • Chris O

        I'll tell you why I thumbs downed it. I don't think Dirk has any shot at the MVP unless his team wins 65+ (which I don't think is going to happen). With Butler (who I realize is now gone) that team is actually stacked. And I don't think they will contine to win at the same pace, should I have thumbed downed the post probably not but he is not actually much more efficient than he has been in other years of his career. Yes his FG% has a good spike, but he has averaged almost the same amount of points on the same amount of attempts before – because of more getting to the foul line and better FT % (example in 06-07 he averaged .5 more points on .8 more attempts which is very comparable). I love and fear Dirk, but I don't think he is MVP, I would put LBJ, Dwight and Amar'e ahead of him. Are any Spurs going to get any love if they finish with 70 wins (not that they will lol).

  • Russell

    I cannot believe the Chris Paul has no one comments, he has David West and Emeka Okafor.. two good ball players and Ariza isn't a bad player either. I think Manu Ginobli should be considered I think he's the best player on the best team in the league right now.

    • Morpheus

      I said outside of West and i did mention Okafor has picked up his game of late – over the last 3-4 games. Ariza isn't a bad player – defensively he is TERRIBLE offensively. They're 27th in the league on offense……27th, thankfully they're one of the top 3 defensive teams because they're not going to beat any team with their offense. Belinelli is not a starter, he has one of the worst PER ratings for a sg starter in the entire league. Ariza is no better either.____They should never have traded Stojakovic that early with Bayless for Jack who has played abysmally since the trade.

  • Russell

    or Dirk!

  • bman

    How about Derrick Rose. All of his numbers are better then Deron Williams.

    • Chris O

      Yes but his stats are inflated from volume attempts. Silimlar to A.I. in the early 2000s or Peyton Manning in the NFL volume stats are only so 'amazing'.

  • Chris O

    Sorry I'd hate to say it but right now the MVP is again LBJ. I hate the guy, and people don't want to vote for him but he is clearly the best player on what might already be the best team (as of now – I'd still take a healthy C's as top team in the NBA). As a huge C's fan the fact he actually has ridiculous talent around him scares me. Yes Wade is the closer and will look at his hand in disbelief but night in/night out LeBron is the MVP. He's the best defensive player on what is one of the new best defensive teams. He has sublimated his game and joined more talent for a chance at multiple rings, and although he is the Anti-Christ/pariah of the BBall World he is still the Chosen One, and shoot Darth Vader was still the MVP of the darkside, with the most Force and LBJ is still the MVP of the NBA. Is it bad I just want him to shatter his knee cap???

    • hdavenport

      There is a lot of great stuff in this comment.

      • Chris O

        Haha, thanks. Not as well as you could have written though.

      • Morpheus

        The "shatter his knee cap" part or "i hate the guy" or both lmao…

        • Chris O

          probably both lol

  • JP-

    Amar'e is playing like an MVP right now, but his team is just not good enough (not to mention his coach). On the list above, LeBron makes the most sense, but Rondo has been other-worldly when healthy. Rose or Amar'e would be my MVP's right now

  • GranTur

    No question it's Dirk right now. Dirk is playing out of his mind.

    Dude is shooting 55% and is scoring 24.1 points on 16.4 shots! That's INSANE!

  • http://www.azizpbrimah.com Zee

    Amar’e is doing for NY what LeBron did for Cleveland. He has resurrected that whole city, not just the team. Anyone see the Spurs game last night? And they did it without Gallenari (sp).

    I love my C’s, but Stoudemire deserves the MVP this year.


    somebody said it best when they said the celtics are like a ferarri with a spare tire, there is no slowing them down, even when their spare tire went down (and by spare tire i mean rondo) they still managed to continue their winning streak, but as soon as an actual tire went down (garnet) thats when they started losing. It just shows how good the celtics truly are even when they are without rondo, so it is actually his teamates that make him look better not the other way around!

  • big will

    all yall people are crazy what are yall thinking about its not hard are yall looking at the stats im seeing cause by far labron average 25 pts 7ast and 7rebound with d-wade and labron stats will increase soo we might as well give him the MVP right now

  • big will

    and when have u ever seen the heat fighting for 1st place if u take labron off that team they wouldnt be close labron is a big part if he went to any team in the nba he still gone do what he do even if he play wit kobe we just cant help it he is a stat machine

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