It is time we ask that same question that we ask every March during every basketball season. There is much debate surrounding the answer to this question. So, what is the question? The question is, Who is the MVP of the NBA year to date? There are many quality players that should be considered, but what exactly is a Most Valuable Player?
The common definition for the term "Most Valuable Player" is "the player judged to be the most important to the sport."
Here are the top ten most important players to the NBA today.
Derrick Rose has been a beast of the East this year. He has been so good that even LeBron James' teammates (Chris Bosh and Juwan Howard) have said he deserves to be the MVP over LeBron. Actually, Lebron himself has said that D-Rose should be the Most Valuable Player this year.
"I think [it's] Derrick Rose," James said..."What he's done for that team, with all the injuries they have and them being first in the Eastern Conference -- they're playing some really good basketball."
Just because James and some of his teammates feel as they do, if they truly feel that way, that doesn't necessarily mean they are right. Nevertheless, his play has been inspirational and his team has experienced much success. The Chicago Bulls are on every team's radar as a team that will be right in the thick of things come Championship time. Here are Rose's statistics through March 3, 2011. You decide whether Chris Bosh, Juwan Howard and/or Lebron James is right.
LeBron James has won the 2009 and 2010 MVP award, and is in the running to win his third in a row in 2011. Below is LeBron James' stat line for the two years he was MVP and for this year. The Statistics are updated as of March 3, 2010.
Most writers and fans are chanting and touting Derrick Rose and LeBron James as the front runners for MVP in 2011. However, Dwight Howard's name can't be ignored in the discussion.
He is a force down low and is the main reason the Magic even made the playoffs this year. Without Dwight Howard, the Magic could very likely be a mediocre team at best. His pure size and strength are second to none and though he is frequently called for technical fouls that is only because he cares so much about the game he plays. Here are Dwight Howard's 2011 statistics as of March 3, 2011.
Most Valuable Player? Who can say those words and not think of Kobe Bryant. He has been instrumental for the Lakers and the NBA for some time, having won back to back NBA titles and five in total over his Hall of Fame career.
Kobe Bryant defines the word Laker and without him they may win games, but they would not be the two-time defending champions that they are today. Here are Kobe Bryant's 2011 statistics through the end of February and into early March.
Dirk Nowitzki, one of the more consistent players in the NBA today has been so for some time now. He is the main reason that year after year the Dallas Mavericks find their way into the postseason.
He is extremely talented and has a surprisingly great jump shot for a big man/Power Forward. His ability to stay healthy and constantly play at a high level are characteristics that define him and set him apart from his peers.
Nowitzki is now 32 years old, but you would never know it because he just doesn't seem to slow down at all. Below are Dirk's statistics for the 2010 - 2011 season.
K.D. has been playing phenomenal, but we have come to expect this from him. We tend to forget that he is only 22 because he plays like he has the experience of a 30-year-old and seems to be a man amongst boys on the court.
Despite the strong seasons of some of Durant's counterparts, his game has also spoken for itself and in a loud way. Here are Kevin Durant's statistics year-to-date.
Amare has been enjoying his new home town of New York so far in 2011. He is playing like a man on a mission. The results of his leadership and hard work have been obvious as the New York Knicks have gone from one of the least feared teams in the Eastern Conference to a playoff team who is competing for a championship.
Recent trades by the Knicks, sending Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to N.Y., haven't hurt the Knicks' chances of winning these upcoming playoffs either.
Now that these new stars have arrived to New York, less attention can be paid to Amare because it is also necessary to account for Billups and Anthony as well. Is it possible that Stoudemire takes his game to another level, even higher than the level he is on now with the help of these new acquisitions? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain, Amare is having one heck of a year.
Chris Paul, AKA CP3 is healthy again. The whole NBA knows it because he lets them know it with his game. It's hard to ignore the solid statistics that Paul has put up across the board this year and that is why he has made it to the top 10 list of MVP nominees.
Chris Paul is battling with Rajon Rondo to be the league leader in steals per game and his assists numbers are not too shabby either.
Coming off of an injury plagued 2009 - 2010 season, he has rebounded in a big way, returning to form yet changing his game in the process to be more of a team player and to think pass first instead of shoot. Chris Paul is one of our 2010 - 2011 NBA MVP finalists. Check out what he has accomplished this year thus far.
Whether Carmelo is playing in the Western Conference or Eastern Conference, his game speaks for itself. He is an elite player in the NBA and that is what all the buzz was about surrounding his recent trade from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks. Taking his talents from Denver to New York has been an easy transition for Melo. He is young, he is feared and now he is playing alongside more talent than he ever has before. Here is a look at Carmelo's statistics for the 2010 - 2011 season thus far. As you can see, they clearly qualify him for MVP contention.
Kevin Love...are you shocked to see him on the top ten MVP list? The only reason you may be surprised to see his name mentioned for MVP is because of how poorly the Timberwolves have played this year. To that I say this...how bad would the T-Wolves be without K-Love?
At only 22 years old, he is playing like a man possessed. It is as if someone has told him he was horrible and he really, really, really wanted to prove them wrong. Kevin Love has simply been an animal, a beast and, quite frankly, a vacuum on the boards.
Love almost single handedly is keeping the Wolves from being the worst team in NBA history and that speaks volumes about how valued he is not only to his team but to the league as a whole. He is respected amongst his peers and plays with heart every night leaving nothing in the tank at the end of each game.
Well, coming into this season Kevin Love was good but was nothing like he has been playing like this year. He just broke the NBA's record for most consecutive double doubles with his 52nd Wednesday night.
Kevin Love's statistics for the past two seasons are shown below. It is important to leave last year's stats up to show how much Love has improved his game over the past season.
To the joy of Cleveland Cavaliers fans and the dismay of Miami Heat fans, my 2011 MVP selection is not LeBron James. Instead of Lebron winning his third MVP award in a row, my prediction is that Derrick Rose will be crowned 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player.
Looking at Rose's statistics and how Chicago has become a force in the East behind his leadership, he has clearly shown he knows how to carry a team during close games vs. good teams. You can't deny Rose what he deserves. Without Derrick Rose the Bulls would be a good team but with him they are a great team that could win a championship in the near future.
Some critics would say Lebron James deserves the award for the third consecutive year. Those same people would direct us to look at the Cleveland Cavaliers and how that team has completely collapsed upon his departure. To those critics I say, please direct your attention to the Heats record vs. the top five teams in the NBA. It is 1W - 9L. Lebron has been choking for one reason or another in key moments in the regular season and the playoffs since he came into this league. He has been recognized and acknowledged for his talents but now we must take this time to recognize the likes of Derrick Rose and his rising star status.
Yes, it is debatable. Nevertheless, hate him or love him, Derrick Rose has made a strong case to be the MVP this year and is my pick for the 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player Award.