Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Just because the three most popular awards - MVP, Defensive MVP, and Rookie of the Year - are all completely obvious in 2010, doesn't mean I can't go through the other main awards and talk about a pretty exciting 2010 season and what should be a highly entertaining 2010 playoffs. Firstly though, some thoughts on the most important award ...


The unanimous pick is LeBron, and it's not even close. He put up a disgusting 29.7 ppg, 8.6 apg, 7.3 rpg, 1.6 spg, and 1.0 bpg, along with 50.3 FG%, and a league-best 61 wins. He is the 2010 MVP 100 times out of 100 and there can't be any debate. Roubding out the top 10 are, in my opinion:
2. Kevin Durant
3. Dwight Howard
4. Dirk Nowitzki
5. Steve Nash
6. Carmelo Anthony
7. Dwayne Wade
8. Deron Williams
9. Rajon Rondo
10. Chris Bosh

The only debate when it comes to LeBron's 2010 season is where does it rank among the all-time great statistical seasons. You'll hear the impassioned voices of nutjobs like Stephen A. Smith try to convince you that 29-8-7 constitutes the greatest single season of all time, which is of course nonsense considering Oscar Robertson's 30-11-12 in 1961.

You could say that basketball was "much different" back then, and that LeBron could have averaged a triple-double against white guys in short shorts like Oscar did. Maybe true. But surely basketball hasn't changed that drastically since 1987 when Larry Bird averaged 30-9-6 or 1981 when Magic went for 23-12-6. Never mind Jordan's numerous seasons throughout the 90s, like when he averaged 32-8-8 in 1989 or his 37-5-5 in '87 or 32-7-5 in 93. Oh, and each of those seasons he averaged just about 3 steals. He also had a 35-5-6 and a 33-6-7 and a 31-6-5 and a 30-6-6 and ... well, you get the point.

So even though LeBron has the body of a steroid-infested linebacker and essentially plays point guard every night, his rebounds + assists numbers are only slightly better than MJ, while his scoring numbers don't even come close. Even Kobe's 30-7-6 from '02 or his 35-5-5 in '05 are comparably as great of seasons as the 29-8-7 LeBron just totaled.

If you take a very simple equation of Points+Rebounds+Assists, LeBron's 2010 season would total 45.6. Which is admittedly fantastic.

But Bird topped 46 twice and Jordan did it five times. And Oscar did put up a 53, and Kareem had a 56, and Wilt had a 78 in 1961, if you want to get technical.

More recently, Shaq had a 47.10 in 1999, Kobe had a 45.2 in 2005, and Hakeem went for 41.3 back in 1990 while average 4.5 blocks.

The point is: LeBron's 45.6 is great, but let's not get carried away.

Especially when you consider that the Points+Rebounds+Assists method favors LeBron in a big way, as those are by far his three most dominant stats. Yeah he got 1.5 steals and 1 block and shot 50%, but that's actually not very good when you talking about all-time good. Like I said earlier, Michael averaged almost 3 steals throughout his entire career, and so did Magic. And all Wilt did was average something like 15 blocks a game. And not to mention all those guys shot higher than 50% from the field. Bird shot 91% from the line and 41% from downtown and 52.7% from the field in '87. LeBron isn't close to those percentages, and guess what - he never will be.

To put it bluntly, LeBron's shooting percentage is garbage in comparison to the all-time greats.

Yes, he's the 2010 MVP, and he is so by a mile. But for the love of God, he's no Michael Jordan.

Moving on ...

Defensive MVP - Dwight Howard (by a landslide)
Rounding out the top 5...
2. Gerald Wallace
3. Josh Smith
4. Rajon Rondo
5. Andrew Bogut

Rookie of the Year - Tyreke Evans, Sacramento (by a moderate landslide)
the top 5 ...
2. Stephen Curry
3. Brandon Jennings
4. Marcus Thornton
5. Darren Collison

Coach of the Year
1. Scott Skiles, Milwaukee. He won 46 games with a rookie point guard, a lousy Charlie Bell at the 2 position, an injured Michael Redd, a bunch of cast-offs and random internationals (such as Carlos Delfino and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) playing integral roles, and a goofy Australian as his 'star' player. If Bogut didn't get hurt, they were on pace for 50 wins and the chance to upset Boston in round one.
2. Nate McMillan, Portland
3. Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City
*Brooks won the award on Wednesday, but I think he's getting too much credit for Durant's emergence
4. Larry Brown, Charlotte
5. Mike Brown, Cleveland

Most Improved Player

Always the most subjective award in sports, because it depends if you're talking about a guy who jumped from no where to good, or a guy who went from good to unbelievable. Under any circumstance, I think the choice has to be Kevin Durant.

He turned the corner from "Best Player on a Horrible Team" to "Star Player on a 50 Win Team," and that's a jump that 90% of alleged superstars aren't able to do in the NBA. He not only did it, he did it unselfishly, playing great defense, shooting high percentages, and winning the scoring title without being a ball-hog. He went from a borderline All Star to a top 5 player in the league. He's probably not going to win Most Improved Player, but he should.

2. Aaron Brooks, Houston
3. Kevin Love, Minnesota
4. David Lee, New York
5. Brook Lopez, Nets

Most Dissappointing Player

A pretty heated battle between Philly's Elton Brand, who was supposed to recover from a major injury and have a comeback season, and the Raptors' Hedo Turkoglu, who was supposed to join Calderon and Bosh and create a playoff team in Toronto. Other applicants would include Rasheed Wallace, Ben Gordon, and Emeka Okafor. But taking top honors is going to be gun-toting Gilbert Arenas, for being the biggest idiot in professional sports in 2010. Oh, and Yao Ming probably deserves consideration too, just for being Yao Ming.

Comeback Player of the Year

Got to be Zach Randolph. He may have actually been a top 15 MVP candidate. A brilliant and wonderful renassaince season for Z-Bo.

All-NBA First Team

Kobe, Wade, Durant, LeBron, and Dwight

Second Team

Nash, Rondo, Carmelo, Dirk, and Gasol

Third Team

Deron Williams, Amare Stoudemire, Gerald Wallace, Chris Bosh and David Lee

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