Friday, January 12, 2007

Canada's Taking Over, Or Is It?

Early NBA MVP Watch

It's only January but I'd like to take a look at who just might pick up the hardware at the end of the season. While the winner of this award, at least recently doesn't win the NBA Championship. He at least gets to stock his mantle full of hardware. Oh, and I don't care what professional athletes say, they play for this stuff. Never mind winning championships these guys are chasing an individual legacy, who cares about all this team stuff anyway? (NOTE: To qualify for this list a player must appear in the top 5 of a given category as of this posting.)

The Candidates:

Steve Nash: 19.6 PPG, 11.3 APG
The two time MVP is averaging career highs across the board while leading his team to the second best record out west. Along with a measly 15 game winning streak. Team accolades mean nothing to me when looking at an MVP, it's all about individual accomplishments on this list. Nash has plenty of those as he passes his way toward a potential third strait MVP award.

Gilbert Arenas: 30.2 PPG, 6.4 APG, 2.03 SPG
Arenas has been lights out from the field the last month or so, including a 60 point performance on the eve of my birthday in Kobe's house. Kobe had criticized Gilbert's shot selection and Agent Zero let him know what he thought about it. Gilbert does all this without much of an inside presence to keep the defense from shading the perimeter, making it that much more impressive. I don't wanna hear Antwan Jamison as an inside presence because he's not, the guy spend too much time on the perimeter himself.

Kobe Bryant: 28.0 PPG, 5.4 APG, 1.27 SPG
Kobe has taken a new approach this season getting his teammates involved rather than just trying to break scoring records. This is a bad thing in my opinion, after all its Kobe who dropped 81 points on Toronto last season. I don't know what everyone else thinks but I want Kobe to come out and start firing again, take a Que from Gilbert and go crazy. Watching one player try to beat 5 by himself is much more exciting then watching team play at its finest. Many argue Kobe has matured and learned how to lead. I disagree, he just wants to prove to Shaq he can do it without him. Otherwise, he'd be chucking 40 shots a game and averaging in 40's as the leagues most capable scorer should.

Carmelo Anthony: 31.6 PPG, 4.1 APG, 1.5 SPG
Despite all the games he's missed, Carmelo has looked fantastic since the Nuggets acquired fellow scoring machine Allen Iverson. The Nuggets are 3-7 with Iverson and everyone is talking about how he and Carmelo will play together. It really doesn't matter, I'd almost prefer a thug death match at halftime of a home game to decide who's team this is. Carmelo I think would take Iverson down in that battle based on his shot on Mardy Collins during last months much publicised brawl. When Carmelo comes back he'll pick up where he left off scoring at will. While Iverson just wonders who he should punch in the face to get as motivated as Anthony will be.

Dwight Howard: 17.4 PPG, 12.8 RPG, 1.89 BPG
Howard in just his third season has turned into the guy the Magic thought he would be when they drafted him #1 overall out of high school. Howard leads the league in rebounding at just 21 years of age and isn't going to get any worse. He dominates the inside like a young Shaq, making even some of the better big men look like Patrick O'Bryant. I look for Howard to flirt with 20-20 averages down the road, he's not there yet but when he gets there he'll own this race.

The Pick: Gilbert Arenas
You have to have that killer instinct to be the MVP of my league and Gilbert has that. You also have to be a guy who can do it all himself and does, Gilbert also fits into that category. Kobe finishes a close second but because of his new found team first mentality he loses points.

Noticeable Omissions: Lebron James, Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, and Micheal Redd.
None of these guys are top 5 in any statistic, so they can;t make my list. Yao would have been if not for his 2 points in the game he was injured dropping his scoring average almost 6 points in the process. T-Mac gets a mention for the way he's played since Yao went out and he returned to the floor after missing games with back spasms. If he stays healthy I like T-Mac to make this list by the end of the season if he continues to dominate. Redd is going to miss way to much time to win the award, not to mention he's not currently a top 5 guy.

Least Valuable Player: Jason Kidd
His stats don't make a difference to me though he has been bad shooting the ball. When your afraid of your wife you have a problem. Not to mention this is the same guys who beat her up when he played for Phoenix. Has she been working out more over the years to get that eventual payback? She even yells obscenities at him during games from her front row seat, this I find especially hilarious because athletes should be used to this. Man up Jason, or your a lock to win this award.

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