Apr 1 2011
The NBA season is coming to a close. Each team has about 7 games left and we are on the verge of a great playoff season. But before we get into the playoffs let’s recap this years Top 5 performers.
Here are my…
Top 5 MVP Candidates (ordered)
1. Derrick Rose CHI
Yes, a month ago I did say that Rose should not get not this year’s MVP award, but that was when it seemed that the Chicago Bulls had no chance of grabbing the #1 seed. Now that Rose has led the Bulls to an Eastern Conference best 54-20 and an astonishing 32-5 at home, I have to give credit where credit is due. But if they finish outside of 1, I will go with my #2 guy (talk about floppy).
Rose is averaging 25 ppg (7th), 7.9 apg (10th), 4.2 rpg, 1.0 spg and is the clear GO TO GUY in Chicago. He is the leader of this team, and he has the trust of everyone in that locker room. You especially know things are going good when even Michael Jordan has something positive to say about you and claims that you are the clear MVP favorite. When it is all said and done Rose will win the MVP, and what will be even more interesting then his season highlights, is if he can lead the Bulls to a championship. In the last 20 years only two star point guards have won NBA titles: Tony Parker (2005/2007) and Chauncey Billups (2004)
2. Dwight Howard ORL
Dwight is this years most VALUABLE player in its truest sense. If the Magic didn’t have Dwight they would not be a playoff team and Stan Van Gundy would be hospitalized. Howard is averaging 23.1 ppg, 14.2 rpg (2nd), 2.4 bpg (3rd), 1.3 spg, and 59.6 fg% (2nd). More so, Dwight single handily controls the defensive end of the floor . Using his length, athleticism, and determination Dwight Howard alters shots, grabs key rebounds, and has the lane on lock. If Dwight can stay out of foul trouble, opponents better hope their 3 and J game is on point because the lane will be closed.
Dwight also improved tremendously on the offensive end (maybe Patrick Ewing really did do something besides rock huge ice packs). Come playoff time it will be interesting to see how teams play Dwight. Will opponents double him? Or will they pull a good ole Doc Rivers trick (don’t bring help on Dwight in order to limit Orlando’s three bomb attack).
3. Lebron James MIA
If NBA games ended at the 46 minute mark (without players knowing) LeBron would not only be #1 on my list, but would win the MVP in unanimous fashion. But they don’t, and after seeing LeBron blow games like Lohan, I can not understand how some people claim that Lebron should win his 3rd MVP (consider Kobe only has 1). More so, he plays with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, so you know the Heat would be a playoff team regardless of LBJ. Now I know that Colin “Coward” Cowherd believes that LeBron deserves a 3rd MVP, but have you seen or listened to that guy? I do not know what it is with him and LeBron, but someone should check if he is trying to get in LeBrons mom’s pants.
Quit with my hating and on to LBJ: LeBron has played extremely well this year averaging 26.6 ppg (3rd), 7.5 rpg, 6.9 apg, 1.5 spg, and 50.7 fg%. He also anchors the most dangerous fast break attack , that come playoff time, if let loose; could make a serious run at a title. It should be interesting to see how LeBron handles the late game pressure, and if he is comfortable with giving the ball up to D-Wade in crunch time. But at the end of the day, does he really have a choice?
4. Kevin Durant OKC
Durant leads the league in points at 27.8 ppg, shoots a remarkable 46.3 % from the field, 36.3% from behind the arc, and 87.8% from the free throw line. Durant also grabs 6.8 rpg and averages 1.1 spg and 1.0 bpg. He is the best player on an Oklahoma City Thunder team that at 50-24 sits 4th in the Western conference. So why not higher on my list?
Well I would like to see Durant be more aggressive and do his best MJ at times. He is just too laid back. Also, for a guy who attempts the 4th most shots in the league I would expect Durant to average a little more than a measly 2.8 apg. He also happens to play with one of the most talented point guards in the league in Russel Westbrook. So Durant and 4 go well together, like me and a fat chick on Saturday night. Come playoff time we will see if Durant turns into to that aggressive play maker who takes games over. Because if so, the Thunder will go deep into the playoffs.
5. Amar’e Stoudemire NYK
I know what you’re thinking: what a biased Knicks fan? Well if you watch the Knicks pre-Carmelo trade you would know that the Knicks were all about Amar’e. Without this man for most of the season; the Knicks would currently be at Isiah Thomas’ house popping pills.
Amar’e averages 25.5 ppg (4th), 8.3 rpg, 50.5 fg%, and 1.9 bpg (8th). He also brings the energy to the Garden every night, and when he is on the Knicks respond. Come playoff time let’s see if Amar’e can gain his first half energy back, and be the dangerous complement to Melo that everyone in NY was wetting their panties about.
On the Floppy TOP 5 Bubble: Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge, Zach Randolph (believe it or not), Monta Ellis, Russel Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony
WHAT IS A “Top 5″ WITHOUT A
(Players who were suppose to have better years, but FLOPPED: Injury and Retirement Watch aside)
1. Joe Johnson ATL
This past offseason the Atlanta Hawks made Joe Johnson the highest paid player in the NBA with a six year, $119 million contract. In return Joe has paid them back with the worst season of his life. Looking at Joe’s stats, that hooters in the ATL must be getting real crazy.
Johnson’s ppg is the worst it’s been in 5 years at 18.5 ppg. His assists are as bad or worst than they’ve been in 3 years at 4.9 apg. His usual best stat, 3 point percentage is the worst it’s been in 8 years at 30.2%. He has also seen significant declines in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and steals. There only two things that Joe has more of this year than the previous: TURNOVERS and MONEY. Good move ATL. Have fun getting knocked out in the first round. There is always that hooters though.
2. Gilbert Arenas ORL
I used to love the Hibachi, Agent Zero,The Eastern Assassin, I mean how could you not. From 02-07 Gilbert tore it up, averaging 29.3 ppg in 05-06, and 28.4 ppg in 06-07. He also led the Wizards to their first playoff series win in 23 years, and even dropped 60 POINTS w/ 8 ASSISTS and 8 REBOUNDS against the LAKERS during that span. In 2008 Gilbert got a HUGE contract (6 year, $111 million) and the future looked bright. But then real knee injuries occurred as did fake ones. Real guns became a problem as did fake ones. Then his team claimed that Gilbert was healthy enough to play, but Gilbert didn’t think so. Then came the courts, probation, and a 1 month sentence to a halfway house.
After three wasted years, reports finally claimed that Gilbert was ready to get his life together and play basketball seriously again. So Gilbert came back, played in Washington and averaged a promising 17.3 points per game before getting traded to Orlando. At this point it seemed liked a resurgence would take place in Gilbert’s career, I mean he was only 29. But that didn’t happen, just like Gilbert’s lingering knee injury.
Currently, Gilbert is averaging career lows in every single category imaginable (points, assists, rebounds, steals, fg%, 3p% etc…) There is one category however, that is not a career low: ft% in the 32 games Gilbert played in 09. Granted the minutes aren’t there, but the percentages aren’t either. I think at 29 the Hibachi is burnt out…literally.
3. Danny Granger IND
This is a mystery, especially for a guy whose doesn’t depend so much on his driving ability as he does his arsenal from deep. Since having great years in 2008-2009, and 2009-2010 (averaging around 25 ppg), Danny Granger has flopped out. His fg% has tanked to 42% and Granger’s numbers across the board (points, assists, rebounds, steals) have all dropped since last year. He is even averaging less points (20.5) than some guido named Andrea Bargnani (21.8) who plays in Canada.
At the age of 27, and no priors in a halfway house you would think that Granger would have exploded in 2010-2011, but I guess the name Danny Granger wasn’t meant to be a star name in the NBA or did not look good on the back of jerseys. Sorry Danny Granger (wow I hate saying/writing that name).
4. Devin Harris UTA
With his promising talent, all around array of skills, and a league that has thrown him around like Sasha Gray, you would think that Devin Harris would want to prove someone wrong and up his game. But no, Devin likes being the Slut of the NBA, and has no intentions of bettering himself. You’d also think Devin would want to average around 20 points a game like he did in 08-09. NO. Or shoot over 42.2% like he had in 7 prior seasons. NO. Or even try to improve on a shitty 3 point percentage of 31%. No. No Devin is a whore, and when it is all said and done will probably end up in LA getting railed by Jack Nicholson.
5. Tyreke Evans SAC
Remember when Tyreke forgot who his back up was in Sergio Rodriguez? Well Tyreke may have also forgot how to play the game of basketball. After a stellar rookie season, in which Tyreke won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award, Tyreke is now the complete opposite of “Ballin” (Jim Jones voice).
Since his ROY season in 09-10, Tyreke’s averages have dropped; in points (20.1 to 17.8), assists (5.8 to 5.5) rebounds (5.3 to 4.8) and field goal percentage (45.8% to 41.3%). Oh turnovers have increased as well.
Well it is lunch time…time to invest in our economy…LESS GET IT…