NBA Core's Official Atlantic Division 2008-2009 Team MVPsOctober 25, 2009
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Boston Celtics – Ray Allen, Paul Pierce
The defending champion Celtics had quite a disappointing season this year with a second round exit coming off a 62-20 season. The key reason for this was losing their true MVP: Kevin Garnett. On paper former Finals MVP Paul Pierce should be the clear cut team MVP of the Boston Celtics for the past season. Rajon Rondo definitely showed his case as well averaging nearly a triple double during the playoffs with 16.9 PPG, 9.7 RPG and 9.8 APG. Unfortunately he did not show enough consistency scoring the ball during regular season, which is the reason he is not the winner of this award. However throughout the whole season Paul Pierce carried the team on his back doing a bit of everything for the squad he has played for his entire career. So you may question why he is sharing Co-MVP honours with Ray Allen here. Although Ray Allen did not put up numbers like we seen in his prime, he did shoot a career best 48% from the field and a very impressive 95.2% from the free throw line. He did choke against the Orlando Magic in the second round of the playoffs averaging only 13.1 PPG, he made many clutch shots to tie and win ball games throughout the year for the Celtics especially in the very entertaining first round series against the Chicago Bulls. The two wing players of the Boston Celtics Paul Pierce and Ray Allen stayed healthy for the entire season to carry this team with Kevin Garnett having a season ending injury so they definitely deserve the Boston Celtics Co-MVP honours.
New Jersey Nets – Devin Harris
The New Jersey Nets finished this season with a 34-48 record missing the playoffs and obtaining a late lottery pick, but it was expected after Rod Thorn parted ways with Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson to begin a rebuilding project. The key piece acquired in that rebuilding project was Devin Harris who has completely emerged into a star this season leading the Nets in scoring and assists. With a career high 21.3 PPG and 6.9 APG, he is proving to be the Nets franchise player now and the future. There weren’t too many bright spots for this team this season but the emergence of Devin Harris is one thing they have to be happy with. Many will argue Vince Carter had a great season by finally putting aside his selfishness but there is no denying this is Devin Harris’ team, which gives him the New Jersey Nets MVP honours.
New York Knicks – David Lee
This was a decent season for the Knicks as they definitely showed great signs of improvement under Mike D’Antoni’s fast break coaching system and getting rid of Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph. Although this team still has quite a long way to go before they can return to the contender status they were a decade ago, progression was definitely made this season as the ball was being shared getting the best out of each and every player on the team. Nate Robinson and Al Harrington could easily have a case for this award playing the best season of their careers but there is no denying that David Lee is most deserving of it. He was third in the league with a career high 11.7 RPG and finally broke out of his shell on offense to average a career high 16.0 PPG. The Knicks struggled majorly in the rebounding department this season but Lee definitely did his job on the glass. Aside from being the only player that could rebound on this team, he was also the only player that could pose a low post scoring presence near the basket where he scored the majority of his points. The rest of the Knicks became jump shot happy under D’Antoni’s coaching system but Lee gave this team their only low post scoring that they needed to a dire extent. David Lee stepped up to do the two things no other player on the Knicks could do: score deep in the paint and rebound, which makes him the New York Knicks MVP of this season.
Philadelphia Sixers – Andre Iguodala
The Sixers had a mediocre season as they expected a lot more from their front court of Samuel Dalembert and Elton Brand but they still managed to make the playoffs with a solid 41-41 record. The Andres, Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala played and started every single game to lead the Sixers squad night in and night out. Andre Miller definitely had the more consistent year as Andre Iguodala struggled dearly at the beginning of the season. However, Iguodala pulled it to together when it matter in the second half of the season bouncing back to average 18.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 5.3 APG doing everything for the team. His performance kicked up a notch in the playoffs with 21.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 6.7 APG the Sixers’ first round loss to the Orlando Magic. Iguodala carries the load for this team every night and does everything as a complete basketball player. Some may argue that is not really a number one franchise player but with those numbers carrying a team to the playoffs without Elton Brand deserves the Philadelphia Sixers MVP award for this season without question.
Toronto Raptors – Chris Bosh
The Raptors had quite a disappointing season finishing 33-49 but it was mainly caused by injuries and chemistry problems with the firing of former coach of the year Sam Mitchell and having so many lines up changes. Aside from the emergence of Andrea Bargnani late in the season, Chris Bosh was the only bright spot on this team during the year. Bosh had his healthiest season in four years playing and starting 77 games this year. He also put up a career high 22.7 PPG and led the team in rebounding with 10.0 RPG. Aside from Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson and Zach Randolph, Bosh was the only other player to average at least 20 PPG and 10 RPG this season. Unlike the other Atlantic Division teams, this selection was a no brainer and there is no other player on the Raptors that even comes close to match Chris Bosh’s contribution to the team. Without anything else to say, proclaiming Chris Bosh as the Toronto Raptors MVP of this season is without question.