We all know the Media has fawned over Derrick Rose, but let us go ahead and look in at his stats. I am going to try and not come off as biased. I will look at a few candidates and give my honest opinion.
Derrick Rose-Yes his team is 1st in the east. His team has a great defense, but is that more because of him or the coaching staff? His defense is suspect. His assists numbers have come down and is averaging almost 4 turnovers a game. He is shooting an Iversonian 44% from the field and 33% from 3. It takes him 20 shots to get to 24.9 ppg. Not efficient. 1.1 stls and .7 blks. Rebounds pretty decent at 4.3 a game. And shoots great from free throw at a clip of 85%. However shooting great from the free throw does not make you an MVP. On my list he is not even in the top 5.
Pau Gasol-Oh my god not Kobe from the Lakers?!?!?!?!?!? Well let me explain. Kobe has shot his team out of games this season. And I love Kobe and respect his game and career, but he needs a big man to be great. No one will say it, but I just did. Everyone says this league is wing/guard league. In the 20 years I have watched basketball, only Michael Jordan won titles without an elite big. The Lakers get Pau Gasol, they go to 3 straight titles and win 2 of them. He is shooting 53% from the field and 82% from free throw. 18.7 ppg and 10.2 rbs. 3.5 assts from your PF/C? 1.7 blks. Only 1.8 TOPG. The best, at worst top 3, PF in the game. Some people doubt he could be a number 1, but he led Memphis to 2 or 3 50 win seasons. Kobe may "close" games(although Melo is actually better than him and a slew of others) but if Gasol dominates the first 43 minutes the Lakers will win. I am not one of these blind people who say he is soft or he is euro garbage. The man is a beast. I have him as 5th on my list.
Dirk Nowitzki-I know his defense is suspect and he does not grab that many boards, but you can not deny what he means to Dallas. When he was gone they were a mess. They have built a team that covers his weaknesses with a team around him. Couldn't you make the argument that Derrick Rose is the same way? Yes, if Derrick Rose shot 53% from the field, 42% from 3, and 89% from free throw. Only 1.8 turnovers. And he averaging 23 on 15 shots. Efficient. If Derrick Rose shot the % that Dirk shoots, I would buy him as an MVP. Not until then. Dirk is just an efficient offensive machine. If he and Dwight Howard ever played on the same team, forget about it. I have him as 4th on my list.
The next three guys I will present their arguments, but not say where they are on the list until I have presented all three.
LeBron James-If I really need to explain this then you either a) hate LeBron or b) do not watch basketball. But explain I will do anyways. Somehow with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh he is still averaging 26.4 ppg. Shoots better than 50% from the field. Not too found of his 34% from 3 but I trust him over Rose to make one. 7 rbs and 7 assists. Elite defender. Has his team in the top 5 offense and defense. The most destructive force and combination of speed and power. Only one weakness. Arrogance. And I do not mean the pre season celebration. Why after 8 years does he have no post game whatsoever? Why has he not worked on it? Why not visit Hakeem Olajuwon? What is scary is that he could be even better than what he already is. He just feels his game is good enough. Still the best player in the league and in the top 2 picks if you were to build your franchise with.
LaMarcus Aldridge-This pick is not to just be contrarian. I have watch a bunch of Portland games in the last 4 months. And if you do not know who this kid is now is the time and place. For the longest time I never thought he would reach his potential. But he did something that LeBron has not done. LaMarcus was embarrassed by his playoff play. Embarrassed that he was getting kicked out of the post and that he was negated in the playoffs. Took it personal. He gained weight, became stronger, and worked on his post game. Since December he has been blazing, no pun intended, on the basketball court. Shooting 50% from the field and 78% from free throw. 9 rbs. 2 assists 1.2 blks 1.1 stls and only 2 turnovers per game. His post game is fantastic now. I would like more rebounds, but from what I see he tries not to be too aggressive so as not to pick up cheap fouls. Plus he has Marcus Camby as his center. Not many boards to be had. And he has done this with Brandon Roy.
Now he has Gerald Wallce, Brandon Roy(getting back to a degree to what he was), Andre Miller, and Nicolas Batum/Wesley Matthews/Marcus Camby to close games out. Portland is a very scary team come playoff time. And they will be lead by this young man who has transformed his game. By far the biggest All Star snub of the last 10 maybe even 20 years. He is having that type of season.
Dwight Howard-We watch him. We love him. We chant MVP for him. We pray he does not leave. Why is he a legitamate MVP candidate? Let's crunch the numbers. Shooting 60% from field. 23 ppg. 14 rbs. 2.4 blks. 1.3 stls. Two weaknesses free throws and turn overs. Has to fix both. But his complete game is the most refined it has ever been. And he is only 25. Has not even hit his prime. By far the most powerful player in the league, yes even over LeBron. Top 10 in 4 different categories. Already practically a HOF. I had him around 7th or 8th on the all time list of best centers in the history of the game. Yes he is that good. The most disruptive defensive force in a decade. What is sad is that Charles Barkley is right when he calls him,"the most underrated player in the NBA." It is really a matter of when, not if, he starts winning titles. The best big men always win titles in the league. And yes I did mean titles. If you put the right players next to him, then no other team has a chance. He has finally started to become what we all thought he could be. Heaven help the league if he ever gets 20 shots a game. I shutter at that thought.
So I have presented arguments for 6 different players. Stated where 3 of them were at. Now as to these last three where do I put them? As much as I wanted to have Aldridge at 2, I simply cannont. I know LeBron has Wade and Bosh, but he has them AND he still puts up his career averages. So I actually had Aldridge at a pretty distant 3rd. LeBron and Dwight are far and away the two pest players, not only in the NBA but in the world right now. If you are starting your franchise you flip a coin and choose. I always go with a big, due to the easier nature to build around him. But in the MVP race this year do I go big as well?
In the end, the MVP for the 2010-2011 season is..........
The simple fact is that he is his team's offense and defense. Night in, night out he is the go to offense and defensive cleaner on every possession. I am not into the book that if he was not on this team the Magic would be a lottery team. With SVG this team is probably a 6-8 seed. That is also insulting to his teammates. This is not the same junk that played in Cleveland. Ryan Anderson was better than player Cleveland had. That is how bad it was over there. What this team would not have without him his a top 5 defense or a top 10 offense. They would not be close to elite without him. With him they have a chance every year to win a title. That is my view on the MVP race. What is your thoughts OPP nation?