The greatest day in October isn’t Halloween. It’s something that already happened. Yesterday, October 28th, marked the beginning of the regular season of the NBA. Defending NBA champs, the San Antonio Spurs, defeated the Dallas Mavericks with a close 101-100 victory at home.
It was an exciting game and it’s always great to see another season kick off with the ring ceremony as is tradition. But what I’m really interested to see this season is how things will play out for the Miami Heat with the loss of LeBron James, and of course for the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the return of their hometown star. LeBron is a bit of a polarizing figure- people tend to either think highly of him, or not. At this point in his career I think he has proven that he is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA.
The Cavs’ season officially kicks off with a home game against the New York Knicks tomorrow night. Kevin Love was taken out of practice yesterday, will he be back in the game? The report says he was removed as a precaution, so I imagine he’ll return by tomorrow. The even bigger question is, how will this new Cleveland lineup perform? They’re off to a good start with a strong pre-season, but the regular season games will only bring more pressure to this team as they figure out how to balance each other.
As for Miami, their season kicks off tonight at 7:30 EST in a match against the Washington Wizards. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will pick up the pieces of what is left of the ‘Big Three’ without LeBron. Stay tuned.
The NBA’s M.V.P. award is one of the most cherished awards in all of basketball and each season, it always raises the question; who’s that year’s best player. However, the true question is, is that the right question that needs to be answered?
Answered year after year by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from the United States and Canada, the NBA M.V.P. selection process is always a tough decision. Selected after a series of voting, awarded by points as such; first-place votes getting 10 points, second-place votes, seven points, third-place votes, five points, fourth-place votes, three points, and fifth-place votes, one point.
Once the points are then tallied up and accounted for, the answer to the question; who is the NBA’s M.V.P. of that season is then answered. Though, despite going through a points system selected by a wide-ranged and different-opinionated group of sportswriters and broadcasters are these writers and analysts making the right selections? Are they answering the right question of “who is that year’s NBA M.V.P.?”
M.V.P. or as it stands unabbreviated, Most Valuable Player means as it reads, Most VALUABLE Player. Though, despite being as clear as it’s written, this award, the NBA’s M.V.P. year after year always ends up being misinterpreted.
Winner after winner, at-least in past years always ends up being what seems to be that year’s “best” player instead of that year’s most “valuable” player.
For instance, in the current M.V.P. standings according to NBA.com, from numbers one to number five goes, LeBron James (Miami Heat), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), and Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs).
Now if the award, was selected as for what it truly stands for, Most VALUABE Player, then why is James, Durant, and Bryant ahead of other players such as Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and others who show true value.
Now, don’t get me wrong, James, Durant, and Bryant are all very valuable players as all three are certainly among the top five players in the NBA. However, they don’t fit the M.V.P. award as the award is given to the Most VALUABLE Player, not the most OUTSTANDING or BEST player.
So how do we determine who’s valuable and who’s not? You look at that candidate’s team and ask, if you take this player away (The candidate you are selecting for M.V.P.) would this team still be able to produce wins? Would this team still be able to make it to the playoffs, if they are in the playoffs or contending for them? Or would this team even be able to win games, without this player? Those three questions, based off of the definition of the M.V.P. award should determine the winner of the award each season.
So based off of that theory of the M.V.P. award, the player who should be this years 2012 NBA M.V.P. is Minnesota Timberwolves Forward, Kevin Love. Love averaged a double-double for the third consecutive year in a row now for the Timberwolves as he averaged, 26.0 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game.
Love, who missed eleven games this season due to different reasons, including the last seven games of the season which was due to concussion related problems, saw his Timberwolves struggle to win without him as during those eleven games; the Timberwolves went 2-9. As for the two games that they won, were against the Sacramento Kings (22-44), which they won by two (86-84) and the other victory which they won by 11 points (91-80) was against the Detroit Pistons (25-41).
Love did everything and anything in his power, game in and game out just to give the Timberwolves a win. However, even 51 points wasn’t good enough to fulfill that goal. As on Friday, March 23rd in a game the Timberwolves lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 149-140, in double overtime. Love who had 51 points, 14 rebounds, 7 three pointers, and a career high performance in points just wasn’t enough to get his Timberwolves a win.
So, the point that I’m trying to make here is, the Timberwolves finished 12th in the Western Conference with a record of 26-40. 24 of those wins came with Love; two of them came without him. Take Love away from the Timberwolves this past season and you have yourself the Western Conference version of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Love currently ranks sixth in the NBA’s current M.V.P. standings and most likely won’t win the 2012 M.V.P. award.
Despite, showing that he’s truly the leagues most VALUABE player it just won’t happen as the selected panel of voters just aren’t getting the true meaning of the award and that’s the player who serves the most value, not who serves as the best player. As for the panel they’re picking the best player in the league and there’s a difference between the most valuable and the best player, as proven with Love this season.
This won’t be the first time that the NBA will make the wrong selection for the M.V.P. award, which is why they should make a new award, called the M.O.P., the Most Outstanding Player. Which in that case, Bryant, James and Durant would be ahead of Love as for what order? Well that’s another story.