Monday, March 03, 2008

The NBA Race for MVP

Over at The Boston Globe the always-reliable and often-great Peter May makes the case for why Kevin Garnett ought to be the NBA MVP. A sample:
If you want to give the MVP to the guy with the best numbers on a pretty good team, then Garnett is not your guy. If you want to give it to the best player on the best team, to an individual who has transformed a franchise and brought the word "defense" into the daily discourse without the need for a laugh track, then he still has to warrant serious consideration.
MVP debates in most sports often come down to the same definitional dilemma: What do we mean by "Most Valuable." Some people simply argue that the MVP ought to go to the best player. Others try to parse what "valuable" means, especially in terms of a guy's value to his team. I have always believed that it would be appropriate to have an MVP and a Player of the Year award, even if in many years the award might well go to the same guy.

As for this year's debate, there is no doubting that LeBron is a singular talent. And Kobe is having another year of gaudy numbers on a very good team in the tougher conference. But it seems to me that Kevin Garnett has been the difference-maker in taking the Celtics from the dregs of the East to the best record in the NBA, and he has made the Celtics a great defensive team while still racking up offensive numbers. I'd rather have the C's win and other people take home the individual hardware. Nonetheless, I'd give LeBron Player of the year if such an award existed. But Garnett gets my vote for MVP.


mgarc said...

While I agree that KG is a legit candidate for MVP. I ask you to consider another candidate, Chris Paul! If you speak of the most valuable player per say, I think that most do not compare to him. Other than him, only basketball junkies could even name any of the other players on that team and they are in contention for the west title. This season has been so good b/c there is not clear cut MVP or Champion at this point of the season.

dcat said...

MGarc --
I think Chris Paul is a great choice. And his time will come. I just believe that this year KG has earned the MVP. Though I must say, if NO continues to transcend expected performance, Paul deserves serious consideration. He is going to be a Hall of Famer.