My stream of consciousness about the MVP race at the moment. Bear with me. Oh yeah, and I wrote this a few days ago, so the stats might be a LITTLE bit off. I bothered to update the team records, just not the stats. Bit too lazy for that.
Winning the NBA Finals is usually the main goal for all NBA players. The ultimate thought of succeeding is coming out on top after a tough playoffs against other great teams is the best feeling for these players, at least hopefully. Everybody wants their team to win the Larry O'Brien. The NBA Finals is where everybody wants to be.
But, if you can't win a championship, why not win the MVP award? This is second to a chip, but it's a nice award nonetheless. And, it's never too early to say who's winning in the race. Yes, even now. So here're my top 10 MVP rankings.
1. LeBron James - Cleveland Cavaliers
Bron is doing his thing, man. As predicted, he's carrying his team, and they're winning. The Cavs are 10-3 and are second only to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. He's still got his playmaking ability (big surprise) and he's leading the league in points, with 29.6 per game. He's also got 7.8 boards and 6.9 dimes per game, coming as damn close as you can to a triple double per game. Bron also has 2 steals per game, doing it on both ends. He's the obvious number one so far, and if his team keeps winning, that spot ain't going nowhere.
2. Dwyane Wade - Miami Heat
OK, I know that the MVP award has to be given to a guy who leads his team to victories while getting good numbers and all that, blah, blah, blah . . . but D-Wade is an exception. He is important to his team because he . . . well . . . he IS their team, so he's pretty valuable there. He's got ridiculous averages of 28.2 points, 7.8 assists, 5.1 boards, 2.5 steals and 2 blocks per game. I know his team kinda sucks, but that's insane. He's second in the league in points and steals, and he's just getting everything done except for winning, which the team needs to do (they also need a point guard and a center for that one).
3. Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
Everyone on here knows I'm a Celtics fan. I hate Kobe Bryant, as you might have guessed. And I'm wicked scared of the Lakers. Kobe, Bynum, their bench (ain't nobody scared of Gasol) but they're scary. And they're led by Kobe. With great averages of 24.3 points, 5.1 boards, 3.9 dimes and 1.7 steals per game, which isn't exactly incredible for the Black Mamba. His numbers aren't exactly terrific compared to some other dudes on here, and he hasn't had a game where he exploded for 40+ points, but his team is 10-1 and has won all of their road games and nearly all of their home ones, and they're just incredible. As the leader on this great team, he deserves the spot. I hate to say it.
4. Dwight Howard - Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard is just a beast. There is no other way to put it. An incredible defensive player, leading the league in blocks per game so far with 4.0 (!) his Magic are a pretty good 9-4 and looking steadily good. With 21 points, 13.5 boards, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and, of course, the 4 blocks per game, Howard is cruising. Yes, he's better than Yao (Hursty and RV, don't get that started :) ). Occording to John Hollinger, the Magic are third in defensive efficiency. And Howard defines defense at this stage. He deserves this spot for the moment.
5. Chauncey Billups - Denver Nuggets
Now here's a guy who you weren't expecting to see here at the beginning of the season. But the Nuggets are 7-1 after the Iverson trade, and it looks like Chauncey has brought the "D" to Denver. It LOOKS like it. If it stays, then FINALLY! No more Enver! But Billups has shined for the Nugs, and bringing a win against the surging Celtics on the home court was totally unprecedented. With averages of 17.5 points, 6.2 boards, 3.5 dimes and 1.7 steals per game, he is pretty good numbers. But it's the team success that puts him here. If Chauncey keeps this up and brings Denver to the playoffs, he'll be seriously considered for the spot.
6. Chris Paul - New Orleans Hornets
Doing what he's supposed to do in N'Awlins. With averages of 20.7 points, 11.9 assists, 5 boards and 3.1 steals (!) Paul is back and better than ever. The Hornets are starting off slow at 7-5, but expect bigger things from the Hornets this year. Hopefully they can defend my preseason pick. If the Hornets were doing better, he'd be higher, but for now we'll keep him at 6. He had a record seven straight games with 20 or more points and 10 or more assists (passing, ahem, Oscar Robertson), and that was great. His supporting cast needs to pick it up, though! Hey, Tyson! Is 20 points, 15 assists and 4 steals from your point guard good enough for you? I guess not, because they lost at home to SACRAMENTO after this great Paul effort. But other than that, CP is doing his thing.
7. Chris Bosh - Toronto Raptors
Dude's producin'. With the dynamic duo of Bosh and Jose Calderon, the Raps should be doing better than 6-7. But they're not. But Bosh is doing great on the offensive side. With 25.5 points, 11 boards and 2.2 dimes per game, Bosh has been stellar on the offensive side. But on D, eh, he's been OK. He's averaging only .9 blocks per game, and he needs to step that up to get ahead of the guys above. But if that improves and his team improves, everything should work out for CB4, and he'll be top 5 soon. He's exploded a few games this year with nearly 50 points and 20 boards a few times. Do that nightly and he'll have it wrapped up. But he won't, so for the moment he's at number 7.
8. Paul Pierce - Boston Celtics
Pierce is the number one player on the number one team (at least in the EC). That alone gets him to this spot. But it doesn't because the dude is averaging 20.2 points, 7.2 boards, 3.7 dimes and 1.2 steals per game, deserving of some love in and of itself. He's hit many clutch shots for the surging 13-2 Boston Celtics, one being a game-winner. He's been getting to the charity strip an insane amount of times of late, and he's shooting .822 from there. That's nice stuff. Oh, and I forgot to say: The Celtics have DUPLICATED last year's season start. And, I believe we won the NBA Finals last year. Just pointing that out. But Pierce and the C's are cruisin'.
9. Joe Johnson - Atlanta Hawks
I see you, D.J. Law. Joe Johnson is doing more than expected for the 8-5 Atlanta Hawks. The young guns are led by Johnson, who at the moment is averaging 24 points, 5.2 assists, 4.8 boards and 1.5 steals per game, gaudy numbers. The undoubted leader for ATL, he's looking to take the Hawks far in the playoffs, and he's on the right track. Johnson's doing it on both ends of the floor, just an efficient player. Somewhat under-the-radar, Johnson is making a strong case here.
10. Amare Stoudemire - Phoenix Suns
STAT is strutting his stuff for the 9-5 Suns. With a stellar 23.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game, Black Jesus is definitely leading the 4th place (in the West) Phoenix Suns. And happy 26th birthday, Amare! Stoudemire will be flirting with the top 10 for the rest of the season, but if him and his team keep this performance up, he might even crack the top seven. Or six. Or five. Or four. I'm stopping there, but STAT is looking to be big for the rest of the year.
Runner-Ups (in no particular order): Carlos Boozer, Jose Calderon, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Brandon Roy, Danny Granger, Steve Nash, Derrick Rose (yes, he is), Pau Gasol
This is an intriguing story line, obviously. And who knows? Maybe we'll find Rajon Rondo at the top of this list in a few weeks. But this was just my take on it so far, just my stream of consciousness taking over, this wasn't my good writing. It's unedited, y'all. As always, if anyone has a request for my next piece, hit me up in the comments section. I'm out like the Raptors this afternoon. Peace!
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