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Both the 2007-08 MVP season for Chris Paul and the 2010-2011 season for Derrick rose were impressive.
There are many factors that should be considered when trying to determine which season was better.
First, let’s compare the stats straight up:
Chris Paul: 21.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 11.6 apg, 0.1 bpg, 2.7 spg, 49% FG, 37% 3FG, 85% FT, 2.5 TO
Derrick Rose: 25.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 7.7 apg, 0.6 bpg, 1.0 spg, 45% FG, 33% 3FG, 86% FT, 3.4 TO
In looking at Paul’s season, he led the league that year in assists and steals and had an incredible 4.6 assists per turnover.
Rose’s season was also remarkable, and he proved to put up better scoring numbers, more blocks and a slightly higher free-throw conversion rate.
Although Rose earned the MVP award, there are a few reasons why Paul seemed to have the better season.
First, while both players made the All-NBA First Team, Paul made the All-Defensive Second Team and was clearly more impactful on defense. He was known to shut down opponents and leading the league in steals was definitely an amazing feat.
Second, while Paul also led the league in assists per game, Rose didn’t lead the league in any major statistical category. While Rose averaged about four more points per game, he also took about four more shots each game. It appears that Paul had the better all-around game.
Third, while Paul averaged 4.6 turnovers per game, Rose averaged just 2.2 turnovers per game. Hence, Paul proved to be more than twice as good at ball-handling as Rose.
Fourth, let’s consider the strength of the competition. Chris Paul led the New Orleans Hornets to 56 wins and the second best record in a tough Western Conference that featured eight teams that won at least 50 games.
While Rose’s team efforts seem to be better, leading the Chicago Bulls to the best mark in the NBA with 62 wins, the Eastern Conference was not nearly as tough this past season compared to the Western Conference that Paul faced. This past season, there were only four elite teams in the East (Chicago, Boston, Orlando, and Miami).
It can also be argued that Rose had the better teammates compared to Paul. The Chicago Bulls had a very talented roster this year with an All-Star in Carlos Boozer, an amazing all-around player in Luol Deng and great role players in Joakim Noah, Keith Bogans, Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer.
While Kobe Bryant won the MVP award in 2008, Paul was equally deserving of the award.
Rose definitely had a season for the ages, becoming the youngest NBA MVP at just 22 years. But in a head-to-head comparison of these two seasons, Paul seems to have the edge.