Thursday, January 31, 2008



1)Chris Paul
2) LeBron James
3) Kobe Bryant
4) KG
5) Dwight Howard
6) Caron Butler

Chris Paul has to be the media favorite right now. Not only is he having one of the best seasons in the history of the NBA point guard (his PER blows away Nash's MVP seasons) but he also is leading the Hornets to the top record in the Western Conference. Paul is a phenomenal rebounder, passer, scorer, finisher. And, what separates him from LeBron this year is how he has turned David West and Tyson Chandler into surefire all-stars. Granted D. West has been pretty good for a while, but Tyson has double his scoring average since coming over from the Bulls.

LeBron on the other hand has played nearly flawless basketball. He has even started playing defense this year which is crazy to see. He won't get as many votes as he should because the Cavs are pretty bad, but this is the first year it's actually inspiring to see LeBron play. No longer feels like he's putting on an act. What separates Paul from LeBron is - I just can't help but think that Paul is building great players around him just by his presence and passing - something LeBron just is not capable of doing.

Kobe isn't rebounding, assisting, or scoring as much as he has in the past. However, he got a lot of shit for scoring too much, and this year he really is trying to let the game come to him. He also has been showing consistent defensive effort this year which is impressive.

KG, Dwight, Caron - all three of these guys are great all around players for overachieving teams; but just can't quite stand up to the first three.

Rookie of the Year:
1) Al Horford
2) Joakim Noah
3) Sean Williams
4) The Durantuala
5) Yi Jianlain

Horford has been the most complete player in the draft. Thirty minutes a game - a block, a steal, an assist, 10 points, and 10 boards on 48% shooting. No one has shown the complete game, and the commitment to doing little things to help his team win like Horford has. He should be the clear-cut favorite right now.

If Joakim would be getting as many minutes as Horford his numbers would be just as good. On a terrible underachieving Bulls team, Noah has been the lone bright spot. He is their best rebounder, defender, and the only big man other than Joe Smith who can actually finish around the hoop. He has all the makings of the next Horace Grant (worse shooter, better shot blocker). Also, has there been a better story than the one of Joakim having a meltdown on a coach after a game and being suspended by his team. Yeah, I know most people are sick of hearing him be called a "great competitor" but in a league and regular season where players so rarely give a shit; it's refreshing as hell to see Noah play.

Sean Williams - ferocious shot blocker and rebounder. Already better than Ben Wallace.

Yes, Kevin Durant is making me look bad. Granted, he has been asked to do more than any of these other 3 guys combined, but he has really dissapointed me. For this reason I am being extra harsh on him. His 19.5 ppg will probably net him ROY honors. But, Kevin, can you really only get 4 boards and 2 assists a game? And, maybe most shocking. . HE'S SHOOTING 28% FROM THE 3 POINT ARC! Durant was one of the best shooters I had seen in college. Period. (He is still shooting 87% from the stripe to attest to this), so how is he shooting so poorly? And how did he stop rebounding? Chris Paul had better rebound numbers as a rook.
With that being said, I blame PJ Carlesimo and the Sonics coaching staff more than anything else. Honestly, how do you play Durant at the 2? How? You have a 6'10" brilliant post player who was a nasty rebounder and finisher around the hoop and you have him being hassled by 2 guards and small forwards all day 25 feet from the hoop? It's unbelievable. They really REALLY need to look at how the Celtics used Larry Bird. Like Bird, if Durant has a flaw in his game, it's his lateral quickness and the fact that he is not a brilliant ball handler. That's it. Durant was a great post passer at Texas, a great finisher near the hoop and a phenomenal spot up shooter. He shouldn't have to pull up after a pick by Nick Collison and shoot over Fabricio Oberto. For this, I'm not even blaming Durant; because the Sonics really may be killing his career.

Repeat it with me:Durant is a power forward; Durant is a power forward; Durant is a power forward.

If I had to pick a team to take on the aliens from Space Jam:
Criteria: 9 rotation players and 3 bench guys who would only see spot duty.

G: Chris Paul
G: Kobe Bryant
F: LeBron James
F: Kevin Garnett
C: Tim Duncan
6) Dwyane Wade
7) Dwight Howard
8) Steve Nash
9) Gerald Wallace
B) Michael Redd
B) Allen Iverson
B) Marcus Camby

Coach of the year: I never give two shits about coach of the year. But, more and more I'm thinking that other than Phil Jackson, Nate McMillan is the best coach in the NBA. He is doing the same shit in Portland that he had been doing in Seattle - making a team far more than the sum of their parts and actually letting young players win starting jobs and make contributions.

Comments welcome.


At 1:09 PM, Blogger D. Bickel said...

chris paul is awesome. even as a kobe fan, cp3 is the mvp.

also, on lebron's game winning drive last night he did the patented lebron travel... definitely took 3 steps. i watched it on dvr 5 times in slow motion to confirm this.

also, how badly are the hawks kicking themselves for drafting shelden williams over brandon roy (mind you, they could have had cp3 instead of marvin williams, which is probably worse, but anyway...)but does shelden williams even do anything?

their team could be:

Brandon Roy
Joe Johnson
Marvin Williams
Josh Smith
Al Horford

& if they had also taken cp3 over marvin they could have:

brandon roy
joe johnson
josh smith
al horford

hmmmmmm. isn't that just a younger version of the phoenix team we're seeing now. although i guess they don't have anyone comparable to amare. horford's not the athlete amare is, but still....

is that not an awesome young nucleus... anyway, i digress.

a name worth mentioning in rookie of the year, and this is someone who hasn't done much to date, but i watched him last night vs the hawks and he was awesome and is someone who i think is gonna break out in the second half of this season, al thornton. he's really good.

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Bootsy said...

First, I like how your criteria for picking players is who would be best suited to beat the aliens from Space Jam. That's excellent.

Second, I like Tough Juice as much or more than the next guy, but putting him 6 on this list is a little generous. I didn't realize before this season the type of passes he was capable of making, and his scoring has always been there, but he's not exactly taking over games either. To be on an MVP ballot you should be the best in the league at something, and he doesn't have any best-in-the-nba type skills.

I mean, having watched exactly one quarter of one Suns game this year, I still think you've got to put Nash above him. You're right that Butler is a great all-around player on an overachieving team, but he can't hang with more than just those three guys you have above him.

I haven't watch hardly any NBA on TV this year, so I can't really comment on Paul, but does anyone else remember how picking the Cavs to be a lottery team this year was the chic preseason prediction? LeBron has clearly established this year that he won't be going to the lottery for the next ten years, even if he's forced to run every 2 on 1 with Chubbs. Leading the Hornets to the top of the western conference is pretty ridiculous, but so is averaging 30/8/7 on the Cavs.

And Bickel, great point on the Hawks making bad draft picks--I'm sure no one has heard that storyline the past few years. And Shelden Williams is too busy doing his brontosaurus impression to do anything else, so get off his back.

Can we get a damn post about the Shaq trade? This is a time for bold proclamations to be placed on the record...


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