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(21.1 ppg., 11.6 apg., 2.7 spg., 4 rpg.)
What a year for the MVP debate. You can make a strong case for 4 different players this season. Besse gave you some solid reasons to pick Kobe Bryant, LeBron James is putting up 30-8-7 numbers playing alongside the likes of Wally World, and a very washed up Ben Wallace, and Kevin Garnett has helped turn the Boston Celtics from worst to first in the Eastern Conference, the single greatest season turnaround, and 66 wins, which is good enough for the 3rd most all time in that franchise’s storied history. With all of that said I’m still going with Chris Paul.
Paul led the league in assists, steals, and still put up over 21 a game. Think about that, he averaged more dimes than Steve Nash, and came away with more thefts than Ron Artest. If that’s not enough, he got the New Orleans Hornets not only into the playoffs, but the #2 seed out West. In a division that had 4 50-game winners, it was the Hornets finishing 1st, ahead of the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks. Unbelievable. Paul also made David West into an All-Star and reminded the world that Peja Stojakovic is deadly from behind the arc. Four players all deserve this award. My vote (still working on getting a vote) would have to go to CP3. Great season in the NBA, great stories, great teams, great players, and he was the best. Other candidates: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett.
Defensive Player of the Year
The individual numbers: defensive rebounds 7.4 (12th), blocks 1.25 (25th), steals 1.41 (18th). These stats alone may not warrant the D-Player of the Year award, but what KG brought to Boston cannot be overlooked. He was not the only reason for this year’s turnaround in Boston, however, it started with him and his defensive intensity was infectious. The Celtics finished just behind the Detroit Pistons (0.2 points) to lead the league in points allowed per game. The C’s gave up an astonishing 90.3 ppg. One of the reasons for their 42 game improvement from a year ago is the defense. With the addition of KG the C’s allowed 9 fewer points a game from '06-'07 to '07-'08. Plus, KG has to win something this year right?
19.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.45 spg
He’s a 6th man? Technically, yes. In 74 games played this year, he came off the bench 51 times. He played over 31 minutes a game, and led the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in scoring. This one could be unanimous.
Other candidates: None
Rookie of the Year
20.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.4 apg
He was forced into an impossible situation this year with the Seattle Supersonics, and he made the most of it. He scored over 7.5 points more than any other rookie this season, while playing for a team where he was option 1-2-3. Sure, his rebound numbers look low considering he was Mr. Double-Double his 1 season in Texas, but he played shooting guard the majority of the year compared to power forward in college. He will be a long time dominant scorer in this league.
Other candidates: Al Horford
All-NBA 1st Team
Chris Paul - (21.1 ppg., 11.6 apg., 2.7 spg., 4 rpg.)
Kobe Bryant - (28.3 ppg., 6.3 rpg., 5.4 apg., 1.8 spg.)
Kevin Garnett - (18.8 ppg., 9.2 rpg., 3.4 apg., 1.4 spg.)
LeBron James - (30 ppg., 7.9 rpg., 7.2 apg., 1.8 spg.)
Dwight Howard - (20.7 ppg., 14.2 rpg., 2.2 bpg., 60% FG)
-The first 4 guys are no brainers. The C spot will be up for grabs with the likes of Howard, Amare, and Duncan. I give big Dwight the edge here for his monster numbers, and doing it with the worst point guard in basketball.
All-NBA 2nd Team
Amare Stoudemire - (25.2 ppg., 9.1 rpg., 2.1 bpg., 59% FG)
Paul Pierce - (19.6 ppg., 5.1 rpg., 4.5 apg., 1.2 spg.)
Tracy McGrady - (21.6 ppg., 5.2 rpg., 5.9 apg.)
Steve Nash - (16.9 ppg., 11.1 apg., 50% FG, 47% 3FG)
Deron Williams - (18.8 ppg., 10.5 apg., 3 rpg., 50% FG)
-Pierce deserves a lot more credit for the C’s success than he’s getting. Amare has been an absolute force since the addition of Shaq. T-Mac kept the Houston Rockets in the playoffs without Yao Ming. Nash and D-Williams had great seasons and still finished as the 2nd and 3rd best point guards in basketball.
All-NBA 3rd Team
Carlos Boozer - (21.1 ppg., 10.4 rpg., 2.9 apg., 55% FG)
Allen Iverson - (26.4 ppg., 7.1 apg., 1.95 spg.)
Tim Duncan - (19.3 ppg., 11.3 rpg., 1.9 bpg.)
Antawn Jamison - (21.4 ppg., 10.2 rpg., 1.3 spg.)
Manu Ginobili - (19.5 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 4.5 apg., 1.45 spg.)
-Duncan will probably be higher than 3rd team, but this is how I see it, along with his teammate Manu. Jamison and Boozer are 20-10 guys on winning teams, and AI continues to amaze.
Baron Davis - (21.8 ppg., 7.6 apg., 4.7 rpg., 2.3 spg.)
Carmelo Anthony - (25.7 ppg., 7.4 rpg., 3.4 apg., 1.1 BAC)
Dirk Nowitzki - (23.6 ppg., 8.6 rpg., 3.5 apg.)
Hedo Turkoglu - (19.5 ppg., 5.7 rpg., 5 apg.)
Stephen Jackson - (20.1 ppg., 4.4 rpg., 4.1 apg.)
All Rookie 1st Team