Derrick Rose seems to have all but secured the 2011 NBA MVP Award.
The NBA media, which decides the winner, has been making this pretty clear in recent weeks.
Add to that the fact that the Bulls are the only top team without multiple all-stars, and you've got a pretty solid case.
Still, I'm going to argue against Rose for MVP. While the performance of his team certainly supports his candidacy, his statistics don't seem to.
If Rose is, in fact, named MVP this season, he will become one of the statistically weakest MVPs in NBA history.
Rose would become just the second NBA player in the last 45 years to win MVP while shooting worse than 45 percent from the field (.440).
The only other player to accomplish the feat was Allen Iverson, who, in 2001, won the award with a field goal percentage of .420.
Iverson, however, at least used his poor shooting to garner six more points per game with a 31.1 ppg average, compared to Rose's 25.0.
This season, there are six NBA players who are averaging more points per game than Rose, all while taking fewer shots per game than he does.
There are 27 players in the NBA this season who average at least 15 shot attempts per game. All but 5 of them (Kevin Martin, Antawn Jamison, Danny Granger, Stephen Jackson and Tyreke Evans) shoot a better percentage than Rose.
If he were to win MVP, Derrick Rose would join Steve Nash as the only two players in the last 37 NBA seasons to win the award without a top 10 PER ranking.
The rest of the MVPs in the past 37 seasons averaged a 2.37 finish in the Player Efficiency standings.
There is, however, a candidate who has both the team success and individual statistics to warrant MVP.
He is LeBron James.
LeBron James leads Derrick Rose in points per game, field goal shooting, three-point shooting, rebounds, steals and blocks.
Derrick Rose shoots almost 10 percentage points better from the free-throw line, and edges him out in assists at 7.9 to 6.8.
Considering that Rose is a point guard and James is a forward, the real edge in assists has to go to James. That leaves just free throw percentage for Rose.
Statistically, LeBron James blows Derrick Rose out of the water. And he's done it while sharing the ball with a 25 ppg scorer (Wade) and a 19 ppg scorer (Chris Bosh).
It is easy to like Derrick Rose and what the Bulls have accomplished this season.
It is easy to hate LeBron James and what the Heat has accomplished.
But let's not let emotion get in the way of the truth.
LeBron James has earned his third consecutive Most Valuable Player award.
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