Monday, April 30, 2007
Das 2007 NBA MVP?
According to most published reports, the National Basketball Association is expected to announce sometime next week that Dirk Nowitzki will be the 06/07 Most Valuable Player. Really? The case for Nowitzki in the minds of those who voted for him is simple: the Mavericks won a NBA best 67 games, and Dirk was the leading scorer and rebounder on that team. Presumably, a vote for Nowitzki meant that that voter subscribes to the belief that the best player on the best team is deserving of the award. However, I feel that this logic is unfounded. Allow me to break down some of many reasons why Dirk Nowitzki is not an MVP caliber talent.
1. When covered by other seven footers Dirk uses his superior foot speed and pump fake ability to impose his will on these slower defenders. However, as Golden State is proving, when covered by smaller, more athletic defenders, his speed is negated and he lacks the ability and/or willpower to punish them in the post. An MVP should inflict his will upon any/all defenders a la a Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, or Steve Nash.
2. Calling out your teammates publicly in the press and declaring a series over if your team fails to win a game in which you would not technically be eliminated is a big no-no. An MVP leads by example and takes the blame for his teams' shortcomings.
3. He is Baron Davis's bitch. All kidding aside, have you watched this series? If you had not watched a regular season game all year, who would you think the MVP is?
4. The Mavericks 67 regular season wins albeit impressive, were won without ONE significant injury all year to any of their core players. Couple this with the fact that the Mavericks just seemed to play harder than their competition on many nights (they seem to lack that extra gear for the playoffs), and that Phoenix and San Antonio had 61 and 58 wins respectively with significant injury issues-the larger number of wins is quite deceiving.
5. The guy has openly admitted to getting nervous shooting last second free throws and reciting David Hasslehoff lyrics in his head to calm his nerves. Seriously, do you think MJ was humming Wham's "Wake me up before you go go" when he drained that shot on Bryon Russell to beat the Jazz?
(note to editor: if the Mavericks recover from their current 1-3 hole and advance to the next round, please delete this entire column and revoke my blogging privileges).