Evaluating Early NBA MVP Candidates As Fans Chant for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade

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Evaluating Early NBA MVP Candidates As Fans Chant for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade

We are almost at the halfway point of the NBA season, and I am already hearing the M-V-P chants when watching NBA games. 

We might as well get started on the MVP discussion.

The way I see it is that the race comes down to four players—LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade.

And it really only comes down to two of these guys—LeBron and Wade—with King James the one more than likely to be crowned.

I know it is early, and my “naysayers” will quickly point that it is too soon to have an MVP discussion, but the way these guys are playing, it needs to be recognized and discussed.

When I come up with my criteria on who should be the MVP, I think of three questions in this order:

1. What is the team’s overall record?

2. What would the team be without this player?

3. What are his stats?

 

What is the team’s record?

At this point in the season, the Lakers hold the best record in the league by a mere one game over the Cavaliers. If both of these teams stay on this winning percentage, they will win 68 games—just two shy of the 70 win plateau, which has only been reached once in the history of the NBA by none other than His Airness and the Bulls.

What is a more astonishing fact, is Cleveland’s point differential margin. They are scoring 101.4 PPG but are only giving up 89.0 PPG, meaning they are beating teams by an average of about 12.4 PPG.

On average, when the Cavs have taken the floor this year, it is the equivalent of a blowout. To compare it to the best record in the league, the Lakers are at about a nine PPG differential, or roughly a 30 percent difference than the Cavs—a relatively large margin.

 

What would their team be without the MVP?

Terrible. Disgusting. Awful. Horrible. You are starting to get the point.

Checking the table below, you see the supporting cast for the four MVP candidates. Far and away, the Heat and Cavs have the worst talent surrounding them, and if I had to choose one between the Heat and Cavs, I would probably rather have the Cavs.

Regardless, none of these teams would fare well without their superstars and goes to prove how worthy each of these guys are:

Cavs

Lakers

Hornets

Heat

Ilgauskas

Bynum

Chandler

Marion

Wallace

Gasol

West

Beasley

West

Odom

Peja

Chalmers

Mo Williams

Fisher

Peterson

Haslem

Gibson

Radmanovic

Butler

Cook

Varejao

Ariza

Posey

Anthony

 

 

What are the stats?

Candidate

PPG

RPG

APG

STL

BLK

TO

Wade

29.0

5.1

7.1

2.25

1.56

3.8

James

27.7

6.6

6.6

1.97

1.31

2.9

Paul

20.4

5.2

11.3

2.82

.15

2.8

Bryant

27.0

5.3

4.6

1.39

.36

2.8

 

Statistically speaking, it is difficult to break down these four great players and come out with a true winner, which is why I deem this category the least significant.

Also, I believe stats are blown out of proportion by the media when coming up with these types of awards as I do not believe they evidence direct viewpoint of how good player is playing.

Basketball cannot be summed up by analyzing statistics like the sport of baseball can, there are too many factors involved (sounds to me like a future blog post).

Obviously, all of these players have great stats across the board, particularly in the position that they each individual plays (i.e. Paul with 11.3 APG). If I had to pick one that had the best stats, I would have to go with Wade. He leads the league in scoring, has a high number of APG, and is up there with steals and blocks.

All four of these players are having outstanding seasons, but I do believe that Wade and James are a slight cut above the rest.

There are still plenty of games left to be played, and a lot can happen before the playoffs start in April. If the season continues as it has, LeBron should be the MVP—his team has the second best record in the league (just one win shy), they would be nothing without him and his stats are as good as any player out there.

In my book, that is the MVP. Get the crown fitted for the King.

 

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