The rule says that the ballots should be in before the Playoffs since the awards refers to Regular season play. While I don’t agree with that I understand everyone should have an equal chance to the awards, so be it.
My nominations for MVP of the 2010-11 NBA season are:
Derrick Rose (PG Chicago). Rose led the Bulls to 60 victories (their best since the Jordan era) while scoring 25.1 PPG (7.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds). He was the best scorer and the best passer on his team while being a solid defender (though there’s still room for improvement here). Without him the Bulls would have been a sub-.500 team. He’s that good. Rose in the lineup makes a 20-win difference for an “average team” in the League right now.
Dwight Howard (C Orlando). The only leading center in the League now (23.1 PPG, 14.1 Rebounds and 2.4 blocks). He’s so much better than the rest of his peers that you can’t even mention them (Jefferson, Chandler, Lee, Okafor and Co.) in the same sentence. Howard won Defensive player of the year award (the third in a row if I’m right) on a team that changed shape during the season and is solidly built around him.
LeBron James (SF Miami). Since the “I’ll take my talents” total fiasco of last Summer LeBron has been able to perform and focus on his on-court stuff. Eventually he was as good as advertised for the Heat (26.6 PPG, 7 assists and 7.5 rebounds) and a triple-double threat every night. He even avoided any problem with Wade.
Kevin Durant (SF Oklahoma City). Portland might end up being forever remembered as the team that blew it big time twice! Sam Bowie in ’84, Greg Oden in ’07 while they could have picked Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant. While not at Jordanesque level, Durant is that good, a player that can change a franchise for a decade. Kevin scored 27.7 PPG to league the League for the second consecutive season and did it with tremendous class. He even was in the top 10 SF list for rebounds and blocks.
Chris Paul (PG New Orleans). He did not have his best season (15.9 points and 9.8 assists along with an excellent 2.3 steals) compared for example to the 2008-09 year but what I just wrote about Rose can be true for CP3 as well: without him NOLA is at best a 30-win team.
I didn’t include Kobe, Dirk nor Wade on my list as none of them deserves the award while having solid-to-good season. My idea of the MVP is about the player making the most difference for his team.
So, after all is said and done the NBA MVP for the 2010-11 season has to be no. 1 from the Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose. Who’s yours?
Luca, the Steve Fan
PS Can I make a special mention to Steve Nash? Where would the Suns be without him is a question I wouldn’t like to answer.