Miami Heat forward LeBron James has proven himself a prophet.
By joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach, James predicted that he was eliminating himself from MVP contention, and that is exactly what has happened. Despite being the most valuable player in the league for the third straight season, he will have to watch as his award goes to a much less deserving player in Derrick Rose.
Even though James was unable to duplicate the efficient production of his two previous seasons, seasons which rival Michael Jordan at his best, James was still the best player to step on the court during the 2010-11 NBA season.
James once again led the league in PER (27.3), offensive win shares (10.3), total win shares (15.6) and win shares contributed per 48 minutes (0.244). By every objective statistical measure, James was the MVP, and all the voters who elected not to give it to him are putting their complete ignorance on display.
Rose's MVP campaign was so full of erroneous conclusions that it hid the fact he was not even the second-best candidate for the award.
Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Chris Paul can all claim to have contributed more total win shares to their teams than Rose. Rose drops to eighth in the league when win shares contributed per 48 minutes are factored in.
There was a trophy that Derrick Rose did deserve, but the voters wrongly gave the Most Improved Award to Kevin Love instead. It was Rose and not Love that improved the most from last season to this one.
Rose experienced a 26.3 percent increase in his PER (from 18.6 to 23.5) and a 108 percent increase in his win shares contributed per 48 minutes (from 0.100 to 0.208). Love can only boast a 17.4 percent increase in PER (from 20.7 to 24.3) and a 52.2 percent increase in win shares contributed per 48 minutes (0.138 to 0.210).
Just as there's no contest between James and Rose as to who was the league's MVP, there's no contest between Rose and Love as to who was most improved.
Although Rose may take the NBA MVP award home with him, it is not rightfully his.
Only LeBron James is worthy of that title this season.
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