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Only the most rogue of contrarians would foolishly make an argument for anyone other than Derrick Rose for 2010-11 MVP. The Bulls have suffered through as many meaningful injuries as any team; they have a rookie head coach in Tom Thibodeau roaming their sidelines and Keith Bogans has been the starting shooting guard for the entire season. Keith. Bogans.
Through it all, Derrick Rose has been the rock for a Bulls team that has absolutely overachieved by anyone’s standards. Through his first two years, Rose has seen a steady increase in his statistical production. His game has evolved to another level in 2010-11, as he imposed his will to the tune of 24.9 points a game along with 7.9 assists.
Rose has also put forth a consistently high level of energy and focus on the defensive end and has his Chicago Bulls playing championship caliber basketball.
Yes, the Orlando Magic would struggle to win even 25 games without Dwight Howard. No single player on any team impacts an entire end of the court the way he does for his Magic squad.
LeBron James’ statistics are nearly identical to that of his Cleveland days. However, the fact that the Heat didn’t blitz the league to 60+ wins and he happens to play alongside a star like Dwyane Wade, who, under normal circumstances, would be a MVP candidate himself, squash his hopes at three straight MVP awards.
Kevin Durant enjoyed a terrific season, but statistically he regressed and the Thunder improved marginally over their surprise performance from a year ago. The standards are unfair and flat out fickle, but I don’t make the rules.
All three of those players warrant consideration, but Derrick Rose took equal parts, possibly even weaker considering the staggering number of injuries, carried his team to 60+ and the No. 1 seed in the conference when no one walking God’s green Earth thought they would.
History favors teams that do better than expected. Teams with one of the two or three best records in the league, and the best player on said team. Check. Check. Check.
Derrick Rose is your 2010-11 Most Valuable Player.