Friday, April 17, 2009


One thing that Gus Johnson's Whisper hates (and by extension, we assume that Gus Johnson must hate as well) is how the NBA MVP is decided. Not so much the voting process, because that is as equitable as the process can be, but rather the 'pack mentality' that develops. It's an interesting phenomenon. At some point during the season, enough analysts, tv personalities, columnists and the like declare '______ is the MVP hands down'. As soon as that tipping point occurs, all the voters rush to line up and cast their ballots for the 'hands down MVP'.

The most glaring example of this occurred last year (repeating this year with Lebron) with Kobe Bryant. Now, Kobe was outstanding last year; this is not up for debate. But, what GJW believes is that the key word in the award is 'Valuable'. The Lakers were a very good team last year (made it to the finals). Do they do that without Kobe? No. But, are they good enough to be a playoff team if you put an average NBA 2 in his place? Absolutely. Especially after the Gasol heist.

2 players last year deserved the NBA MVP more than Kobe Bryant: Lebron James and Chris Paul.

Take either of those 2 guys off their teams, and not only do they not go to the playoffs, but they are in danger of winning the lottery. I won't go into a John Hollinger breakdown as that is not why you are reading. Just know that the same thing happened the year before when Dirk Nowitzki won the award with a season that was not his statistical best (fewer rebounds, pts, blocks, FT attempted per game, steals and somehow, he had a 'transcendent' season.). The award for the '06-'07 year should have gone to either Steve or Kobe Bryant. We could go on and on about this. Email us if you want a further dialogue.

This year's MVP will be Lebron James.

We've past the tipping point and now, much like critics of global warming, any contrarian is shouted down. Lebron is certainly a fine choice as he is the linchpin on the best team in the East and a legit title contender. But again, Valuable is the key word.

Lebron's per game #s of 28.4 pts, 7.6 boards, 7.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks are incredible. Especially when you consider that he sat out a lot of 4th quarters or large portions of games because his team was rolling. Know what else was incredible? His #s last year. 30 points, 7.9 boards, 7.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks. Weird. Those numbers look really similar to us. But again, we've had that tipping point occur where there is no doubt in a voter's mind that this year is somehow more special than a better statistical effort from a year ago. The hype has gotten so out of control that Lebron is now being mentioned for the All-Defensive Team. The .1 more blocks per game really were that noticeable?

Cleveland has the exact same team from last year with the exception of Mo Williams. The only possible explanation is that Lebron has a 'special year'. The guy was just as special last year.

As for this season, the MVP should be Dwayne Wade.

Think about Miami's squad. Lottery team last year with Wade hurt. It happened. They were epic bad. This year, a rotating cast of dung surrounded Wade. Literally, without him, this team might have won 10 games. With defenses keying only on him, with no one else capable of getting to the basket to create space, with no post scoring, with a clueless rookie coach, and every other factor working against him, he did this:

30.2, 5 boards, 7.5 assists, 2.2 steals, 1.7 blocks. Give him the Cavs group of shooters, he gets 9 assists per. It's hard to get an assist when you are kicking it out to Joel Anthony.

Again, look at those defensive numbers. 4 blocks and steals per game from a 2 guard. Yet, no All-Defensive mention. He'll finish a distant 2nd in the voting which is OK because it means that he might get a make-up MVP at someone else's expense. We guess that's the pattern, you don't earn the MVP the year you should, you get delayed a year or 2 and earn the right hype.

No comments: