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Friday, April 8th, 2011 at 9:18 am  |  200 responses

Post Up: What More Can I Say?

DRose leads the Bulls right through the C’s.

by Adam Figman | @afigman

Chicago 97, Boston 81

Even with a hold on the top spot in the standings, most seem to still t00 be thinking of the Bulls as some sort of fad, one that’ll be over by the time the Eastern Conference Finals rolls around. Last night might change that. With a hell of a statement game, Chicago rolled past the Celtics—who, it should be noted, are about as healthy as they’re gonna get—holding them to 81 points on 38.4 percent shooting from the field. Naturally, Derrick Rose took the forefront and led the Bulls with 30 (plus 8 assists, 5 boards and 2 steals), in a contest that might’ve also acted as his definitive Yeah, I’m the MVP moment. Luol Deng added 23, while Carlos Boozer scored 14 and grabbed 12.

Quick note on the MVP race before moving on: What else can we ask DRose to possibly do? I understand the argument that his team’s success stems largely from their defense, and not so much from their offense, where he’s absurdly dominant and his earned his reputation. But as the starting point guard, the dude is playing around 38 minutes a game, half of which he spends on the defensive end. Not to mention that the NBA is more pg-dominated than it’s been, maybe ever, meaning he’s often responsible for holding down the opposition best (or at least most important) player.

Anyway, after putting his squad on his back and carrying them right through one of the L’s toughest opponents, DRose used his post-game presser to respond to the stat-obsessed critics who still don’t see him as the MVP. Here it is:

Alright, maybe he didn’t. Either way, the Bulls now have a clear path toward the top seed in the conference, which they’ll clinch after winning any of their next four games. The first of those four comes tonight, in Cleveland. Hey, at least Cavs fans should’t be too humiliated—chances are they’ll be rooting for Chicago to take down that LeBron dude at some point during the next few months.

Portland 98, Utah 87

Perhaps the only heated seeding battle in the League these days is taking place out West, where the Blazers and Hornets are fighting for the right to not have to play the Lakers (the potential two seed) in the first round. Portland jumped ahead of NO by a half-game last night, defeating the Jazz relatively easily in Utah. Gerald Wallace led all scorers with 29, and though LaMarcus Aldridge had an off shooting performance (6-19 from the floor), he still provided 12 points and 11 boards. Devis Harris led Utah with 26 points.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Derrick Rose!!!!! People were actually debating who should start for the East All-Star team a couple a months ago, serious people? Serious? GTFOH.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Roserson looked good last night.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Rondo compared to Rose is just a joke.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    It was only one game, but Rose made Rondo look like a little kid last night….Respect

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    i remember when everyone laughed when he said “Why can’t I be mvp in this league?”
    including myself

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    yal member how rondo made rose look when they met in the playoffs? wonder how it works out if the two meet again this year

  • ThaWindy

    The Bulls are not going anywhere. Rose is the rain on Miami’s parade and might be a thorn in the Spurs or Lakers side. Before you say what the Bulls and DRose are not, think about what they are and what they have done. Then hate. Good game. C’s looked like that just ranned out of gas at the end. Loved how the Bulls played full 48mins of D(cuz it wins championships), even during garbage time! Let the Bulls fans have our fun today. Havent said this in a while…just in case you forgot..DRose Youngest MVP in NBA History… Youngest Finals MVP!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Stepfan

    I dont understand Rondo. I have a love hate relationship with this guy. He plays the passing lanes well but can’t stay in front of anybody. When you blow by him all he tries to do is reach. Rose was below the foul line….the ultimate sign of disrespect, and yet he still wouldn’t take the jump shot. I understand he can dominate a game without scoring but it comes a time when you need to work on your game. Mainly your jumpshot. Rose knew his weakness was shooting. And what does he do over the summer…oh work on his jumper. I like Rondo and I like how the Celtics play but he has to stop relying on his all-stars cause to be honest without them he would just be a mediocre point guard. Rondo go work on your GAME.

  • HAMMER

    Actually im looking 4ward 2 a Blazer/Laker 1st round matchup. Lakers will win it, but its gonna b a tuff, entertaining series. Especially when Lakers come 2 Portland. Lakers seem 2 always have a tuff time winning up here

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lightsout

    @c_cantrell: I think they both looked really good in that 09 series, and I think it’ll be the same this year. the bulls came out far more prepared than the celtics, and they played much harder as well. didn’t help that the celtics were missing easy shots, which led to defensive complacency. can’t wait to hear everyone’s knee jerk reaction to this game.

  • RobbieJay

    shoutout to Devis Harris….

  • JTaylor21

    Rose fans are really some annoying people.
    Shut up about nobody respecting him.
    On every site defending him like y’all are f*cking or something.

  • JTaylor21

    Also, since when does 25/8 equate into dominance?
    Wilt’s 61-62 season was dominant, The Big O’s first 5 seasons were dominant, Jabbar’s 71-72 season was dominant, Moses’ 81-82 season was dominant, Bird’s 84-85 season was dominant, Magic’s 86-87 season was dominant, MJ’s 88-89 was dominant, Hakeem’s 89-90 season was dominanat, you see where I’m going with this.
    Rose is having a great season but a dominant one, far from it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    co-sign JTaylor21

  • Joblo

    Its ok to b mad jtaylor I’m sure alot of people felt like you in the 90′s

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    the people dissing rose fans are twice as annoying.

  • Jono

    LeBron’s 08/09 & 09/10 seasons were dominant. Shaq’s 99/00 MVP season was dominant. Rose’s stats this year are good in a year where other stars stat’s are watered-down, except for Dwight (4th in whatever conference kinda rules you out though). Rose is the MVP this year because the best player is mucking around in Miami, the 2nd best player is resting-up and has 3 7-footers playing with him and the 3rd best player loves techs more than Rasheed. This is gonna be the only year DRose wins it so cherish it Bulls fans cuz it ain’t gonna last.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    During that interview last night KG really stroked the Bulls and Rose. smh

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    ^haters gon hate

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    ^haters gon hate

  • JTaylor21

    I knew it wouldn’t take long for the MJ comparison. Forget getting past the first round phase and jump straight to the winning chips phase. Bravo rose fans, bravo!

  • bashmo

    ayo J, you should include the 09-10 campaign from Lebron, and CP3′s 07-08 season in there too. But CP didnt win league MVP, which in my opinion he was robbed of, but oh well.

    Anyways, Rose is playing like a beast. I am not completely sold on this bulls squad though. And I dont think Chicago can on the road as often as it could. In a series between Celts and Bulls, if Boston wins just one in Chicago, the series is theirs.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Those Sixers in 2001 almost won a chip. Only Shaq could stop Chuck that year. BTW, what’s with all the Rose hate? smh

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    @airs – jtaylor hates anything not lebron james. if its not lebron james, he’ll be on here talking about how he hates it and its supporters. So don’t waste too much time trying to respond to him. He won’t agree with anything you say unless you’re saying lebron is cute.

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    im not hatin on rose, im just sayin he is not as “dominate” as you guys would like to think.. he is a very good player, not a dominate player.. and like JTaylor said, he is sure as hell not having a dominate season

  • T-Money

    chicago’s defense ain’t nothing to mess with. wow. as far as d-rose, chicago fans are making me turn sour on the guy even though i find him electrifying. breathe easy, guys. it’s NOT absurd to think that dwight, bron or kobe do more for their team. i mean, rose is extra nice but he’s top 5 in the league. stop acting like he’s head and shoulders above everybody else.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    He had a dominant game! All that stuff Rose did last night and you 2 feel compelled to log on here and talk about Rose not being THAT great? But its ok because you start your sentence with “I’m not hating but…”. You guys are the definition of haters…you don’t like seeing other people happy. It makes you mad. HATE

  • JTaylor21

    Look here comes Rose’s bottom broad, ready to defend her daddy.

  • Jono

    @ORGANGER4EVER It’s not hate bro, it’s the truth. At the end of the day, it’ll take a brave man to take the bulls over the celtics, heat and lakers. The Bulls have 3 players in Booz, Deng and Rose who are scores and I’m not sure that’s enough to take down Boston over 7 games and no way they’re beating the Lakers like that.

  • JTaylor21

    Looks like Rose’s bottom broad has arrived, ready to defend her daddy’s honor.

  • dsleepy

    @TheWindy: i loved it too. but of course they played D for all 48 min. You think Thibs would let them not play D just because it’s garbage time? No D = no minutes. Love their discipline.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Bashmo, I was going to say he missed Chris Paul’s back to back dominant seasons. Statistically, he had the best two seasons since Magic (For a PG).
    Rose is special. He plays hard, he plays smart, but can still improve in that area. Certain things have happened for him to win the MVP, but that is not some thing he should be punished for. He has been the Most Valuable Player this year, whilst others have been coasting, hurt, or their teams have not been quite good enough.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    To tell you the truth, Rose has played well enough to win the MVP. No hate. Dwight Howard will just have to settle for the Magic getting to the ECF’s by going through the Bulls in the 2nd round.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Rose had a dominant game last night, and I think he has had a dominating season. Not as dominating as others in previous years, but dominant none the less.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Who’s Rose’s bottom broad? Just askin.

  • Scott

    HAHAHAHAH^^^^

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    wow. Slamonline: where immaturity happens.

  • Scott

    The laughter was at Orlando beating Chicago in the playoffs.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    lemme just say this,
    never once have I, nor do i think “most” of us bulls fans here, ever said anything towards anyone else personally. not ever.
    i don’t come here to attack people’s beliefs or what player or team they support, and damn sure don’t do it out of some kind of weird spite others have towards fans. so what is it about people being fans of a certain player/ team that rubs people in such a bad way? so much so to resort to calling them “bottom broads” and idiots.
    this is ridiculous

  • JTaylor21

    Well if you don’t walk the strip nightly for roses there’s no need to worry.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    Who do you all have on All-NBA this season? For me it’s: 1st team – Derrick “The Horns” Rose, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwight Howard. 2nd team – Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire, Kevin Love and Russel Westbrook. 3rd team – Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Lamarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    Amen airs. Rose has a dominant game, probably locks up the MVP (not by a wide margin, but I think its safe to say its his after last night’s game), and the Bulls blow out their main eastern competition, and people are mad that Rose & Bulls fans are singing his praises today. If you can’t be happy for the guy or the team today, after last night’s performance, then when can you be happy for them? Jtaylor – you let me know when its ok to cheer for them…when my cheering will just be considered being a fan and not a rose peddler.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    jumpman, Westbrook is better than Paul now? Kevin Love will not make second team All NBA IMO. The guy looked out of place at the All Star game, for all his great stats.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Rose is really good. But still not top 5 in the league. So Bulls fans remember where your at and be happy with it, and everyone else GTFO with all the hate. Seriously ya’ll sound like a buncha sad lil girls when u talk about D-Rose. He can’t do this, he doesn’t do that stfu. Respect to Rose for hella improvements in the off season.

  • slamfan4life

    Drose was DOPE

    Bullss baby!

  • Scott

    Jumpman, I would put Aldridge on the second team and where is Ginobili? By the way nice list for the most part.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLkX97Wc6VU Desert Storm

    In other news, Doc Rivers was diagnosed by the medical team in the Boston camp with “coach’s erectile dysfunction.” Congrats Bulls fans. But don’t forget fans voting factor, vote away.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @AllBall: Personally, it’s hard to say that Westbrook is better than Paul. But, he has certainly had a better season. Westbrook’s 21.8 & 8.2 for a divison winner stacks up better than Paul’s 16.3 & 9.8. Honestly I think Paul’s season is more on par with Nash’s than Westbrook’s. Also, gotta disagree on Love. He may not make 2nd team, but he’ll at least make 3rd.
    @Scott: In regards to Aldridge, I think that’s fair. Personally, it was hard for me ahead of STAT who has a much higher scoring average or Love who has a much higher rebounding rate. As for Ginobli, he may be an omission but I don’t feel bad about any on my list. Will be an interesting selection.

  • http://slamonline Allenp

    Where is NBK?
    Son, you have to explain to me why you are so high on Rondo defensively? From where I’m sitting, Paul, Williams, Westbrook and Holliday are all superior defenders to Rondo. They don’t get blown by consistently. Hell, when he puts his mind to it, Devin Harris is a better on-ball defender than Rondo.
    Last night was sickening, if you’re a Celtics fan. Rondo couldn’t hit a jumper, totally stopped looking for his shot and allowed Rose to emasculate him on national television. That’s what happened, he was straight punked.
    And Shaq better come back quick. It’s sad that hte Celtics title hopes rest on Shaq, but without Perkins, that’s what it is. Jermaine is completely done, and KG can’t play proper defense AND worry about protecting the rim every time Rondo’s man blows by him. Plus, K.G. doesn’t have that foot speed or hops anymore to be the guy to cut of Rose’s drives.
    Jeff Green is only good for scoring over bench players. Big Baby is not a good defender, despite the charges, and is negated on offense by length. With Rondo and Jermaine O’Neal on the floor, the Celtics basically concede two offensive positions, and gain NOTHING on defense. At least with Perkins, you gained on defense.
    Shaq would have been a huge difference last night, because Noah can’t handle Shaq’s girth, and he straight bullies him in the paint. But, without Shaq or Perkins, the Celtics are in serious trouble. Hell, Miami is probably feeling a lot better about their chances after watching the Celtics last night.
    Oh, and so Bulls fans don’t get upset, Chicago looked great on defense, and Rose looked OUTSTANDING on offense. Dude is ridiculous from the free throw line extended to the rim, like I said in my Game Notes when he played the Hornets. And in the open floor, he’s bananas. I like that he’s getting more swagger in his game, and letting it show. His team thrives on that.
    Boozer is a problem. Yes, he can get a double/double, but if y’all are really depending on dude, I feel bad for the Bulls. He is a liability now, just like he was a liability in Utah. He cannot be the second best player on your team.

  • http://Nba.com GP23

    Luol Deng needs respect !!!! Dude is playing incredible lately. He is the MIP for sure.

  • T-Money

    1st – Wade, Kobe, Bron, KD, Dwight
    2nd – Rose, Deron, Dirk, Melo, Gasol
    3rd – Westbrook, CP3, Griffin, Amar’e, Duncan
    Def – T. Allen, Thabo, Iguodala, Mbah a Moute, Dwight
    Rookie 1st team – JWall, Landry Fields, Griffin, Monroe, Cousins
    Rookie 2nd team – IDGAF

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    There is more to OKC being a division winner than Westbrook’s 21/8 average, we both know that. If they were in the Southwest, they would be 3rd, as NOH are right now. Durant also plays a huge part in OKC’ success. I think CP has had the better season, looking at the talent level on that squad, and the numbers.
    CP is better than Russ in every statistical category, besides scoring and a 0.4 difference in rebounding. Russ also leads the NBA in tovs at 3.9. CP would cut his own hands off before he let him self turn the ball over that much.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @GP23: How is Deng the MIP for sure? He is average exactly the same amount of points as last season (17.6) and less rebounds per game (7.3 to 5.7) and for all of that he is playing more minutes per game.

  • Scott

    Deng is not most improved. Ever hear of Aldridge, Gordon, Lowry, Love, Westbrook and Wright all got him beat.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    T-Money, Deron?! He was traded mid season, yes his assists have gone up since going to NJ, his scoring and % have both dropped dramatically. He has also missed a lot of games. I do not think many people will have Deron 2nd team.

  • T-Money

    danny ainge vastly underestimated how OTHER teams perceived perkins. he was the anchor, guys didn’t like to bang bodies with him. you could hear in the comments of players from LA, MIA, CHI and ORL after the trade: relief. Everyone just feels a tiny bit better about scoring in the pain vs Boston now.

  • http://slamonline Allenp

    T-Money
    You got the MVP as second team All-NBA? Interesting.

  • paul

    Jeez, the haters really are amazing. Rondo is no scrub. He’s one of the best players in the league, and Rose left him beaten and gasping for air. Rose is the best player in the league right now. Anyone who thinks that Chicago would be where they are right now without him is full of cheese.

  • Scott

    T-Money, Rose second team? Really?

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @AllBall: Fair enough, it’ll be interesting to see how the selection goes.
    @T-Money: Good Lists! I left Deron off due to games missed, but his numbers are outstanding. Also Griffin may be my biggest omission. Good call!

  • T-Money

    allball: actually, i should have probably flipped deron and cp3. / rose would have a case for MIP if we didn’t have such a narrow definition of the award. / doug collins or thibs will win COY since the definition seems to be coach-whose-team-did-way-better-than-we-thought-it-would

  • Scott

    Manu can’t get no love. The best player on the team with the best record can’t get any respect.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    im worried about booz in the postseason. and i still can’t take his howling

  • T-Money

    allenp, scott: yeah, i thought about this one and i just couldn’t justify leaving off wade or kobe. in my opinion, they had better individual seasons than rose even though he was more valuable to the bulls than they were to LA and MIA.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Paul
    What kind of cheese? Smoked gouda? Brie? Feta?

  • T-Money

    scott: define respect. did he have a better season than any of the guards i listed. i see the all-nba teams as an individual award based on this season and this season only. i almost threw monta in there. on the low, he’s balling this year but very respectable shooting percentages.

  • http://Nba.com GP23

    Rose himself even said Luol Deng is his MVP vote. I know he may be bias, but talk about being humble. Its cool how he gives props to his teammates more than himself. A class act !

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I would probably have Wade second team with Paul. Then I would have to decide how much to penalize Deron for his injuries. I think he’s third team, and Westbrook has to wait another year. Four turnovers is ridiculous.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Just because your team wins a bunch of games doesn’t automatically mean you should garner individual awards. Right now Manu is averaging just shy of 18 points per game, and 5 assists. How are those all-NBA numbers? That’s ridiculous. You could easily argue that Tony Parker is having a better year if you consider his shooting percentages.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Actually, I will say that Tony Parker IS having a better year. Tony Parker gets no respect from the masses.

  • Scott

    Yes, Manu had a better season then Williams. Utah was a preseason top 4 team out west but that didn’t happen thanks to Williams running Sloan out of town. How did Wade or Bryant have a better season then Rose this year?

  • JTaylor21

    Booz has to be the most annoying player in the L.
    Dude’s always cursing and crying about fouls on every drive even before he hits the floor.
    Also, I’m still waiting for the day thunder strikes his blasphemous a**.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    and dammit! i have to admit i chuckled at jtaylor’s last post.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    well i meant the one @11:09. but i do agree with the last one as well.

  • Scott

    Just because you put up stats on a garbage team you shouldn’t gain individual awards either. Case in point Monta Ellis.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    Fun Fact – Turnover leader has made an All-NBA team 6 times in the last 10 years and have either been named to either 1st or 2nd team 4 times. Also for everyone complaining about Westbrook’s 3.9 topg and keeping off because of it. Howard and LBJ are averaging 3.6 each. Just saying.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Scott
    That is bogus. Utah sucked because Kevin O’Conner apparenly didn’t get the memo that Al Jefferson plays no defense, and starting him alongside Paul Millsap and a listless AK47 is a recipe for disaster. He aslo thought that he could replace both of his two guards with Raja Bell. Even with that, the Jazz were the hottest team in the league out the gate, and Deron was putting up MVP numbers. In fact, I don’t know who had them as a top 4 pick, since almost every list I saw had L.A., Spurs., OkC and Dallas as top four teams.
    If Jerry Sloan says Deron Williams didn’t run him out of town, why does nobody believe him? Is Sloan suddenly a liar? Did he stop being a straight shooter?
    Anyway, Manu isn’t on Deron’s level. Anybody who thinks differently is a fool.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    manu’s game is nice, no doubt. but he can’t control or impact a game like deron.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jumpman
    Westbrook actually could still make the team as third team. The guards who are definitely better than him, in my opinion, are Rose, Kobe, Wade, Paul and Deron. That leaves one slot for him.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He would have to duke it out with Rondo.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @AllenP: Fair enough. It’s just that IMO Westbrook has had better seasons than Paul and Deron despite them both being better players.

  • T-Money

    scott: no offense but that’s so stupid. monta is not “putting up stats on a garbage team”, he’s balling. there’s a difference. that’s why stupid writers declared that kobe “improved” when he started winning titles again even though his peak unfortunately happened when he had smush at the point. his “improvement” was pau gasol. you’d switch monta and russ westbrook tomorrow and you’d barely see a difference in the two teams (monta can be a scoring 1, he just can’t play that role with curry on his team). a player shouldn’t be penalized because his team is not very good unless he’s part of the reason why his team is not very good. it’s a case by case thing.

  • Scott

    Talent wise Williams is light years ahead of Manu. However, I can’t see how you put Williams on all-nba team when he missed close to 20 games.

  • T-Money

    better examples of phony stats would be kevin martin and david lee. these guys just don’t impact the game that much. k-love doesn’t have empty stats per se but he does steal secured rebounds from teammates and he doesn’t come out on shooters or help on slashers to have a better chance at defensive rebounds (he’s not alone in this: camby and booz are notorious for doing that too).

  • T-Money

    rondo has a very specific skillset that fits with what boston wants from the pg position. i don’t think he’d be nearly as relevant on other teams. could be wrong though.

  • Scott

    T-Money, you can’t just switch Westbrook and Ellis. Westbrook is a top notch defensive guard. Ellis not so much. Ellis is horrible on the defensive end.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    So no one else has NBA assists leader Steve Nash (.495%/.394%/.910%) on any of the three teams?

  • JTaylor21

    I think CP and Rondo round out the 2nd and 3rd team PG spot which unfortunately leaves out Westbrook. Rondo for all his struggles last night is still BOS’s best player and ranks 2nd in APG/SPG. CP is the best PG in the L and the biggest reason NO is back in the playoffs.
    Russ is having a great season but I think Rose, CP, and Rondo make the all-nba teams.

  • ThaWindy

    Now that Rose out played Rondo last night its funny how Rondo all of a sudden is not that good on D. Everytime Rose kills one of yall so called better than Rose pg’s yall change yall tune.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Can Donnie Walsh get the MVP? Make it happen, Run’n'Gun

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    I’m worried about Boozer in the playoffs too.
    I think his contract is gonna hurt us in the long run.
    The Bulls REALLY needed that low-post presence though.

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    westbrook should make all nba ahead of both rondo and paul IMO.. i honestly feel that he should be second team

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    ^^^ He shouldn’t be. Imagine CP together with Durant. We seen it at the All Star game (although that is not the best setting). Going way back to what T-Money said about pecking orders when the stars get together during All Star weekend, it was clear that Paul and Durant were second in command to Kobe on the West side.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I think Manu gets on an All NBA team before Russ. I don’t know if he should, but i’m pretty sure he will.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    ^^^ I don’t think he should either, I think Russ should be 3rd team, I will feel he will have been slighted if he is not included at all. Deron has only played 65 games, and in NJ his shooting is at 35%! and 27% from 3! I know he has had great assist games, but Russ has played all year, and played pretty great.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    I think Russ would deserve 3rd team over Rondo simply because Westbrook’s been more consistent whereas Rondo has kind of had an up and down kind of year.
    Anyone think Loul Deng should make an all-defensive team?
    He’s putting up too similar numbers from last year to be considered an MIP candidate, but he has improved defensively tremendously.
    I think he should make one of the teams.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    So you would place Russ above guys like Rondo and CP, why is that?
    He beats them in scoring but both guys are better in almost every other important category. Don’t get me wrong I love Westbrook but he doesn’t deserve 2nd or 3rd team over CP or Rondo.

  • JTaylor21

    1:08 was me. Damn you Slam!!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    Update – Rondo averages 10.5 points per game. Also, he shoots .548% from the line. He is an outstanding player. But that’s a deal breaker on this sort of stuff.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    CP clearly deserves to get in over Westbrook. He got NOH in the playoffs alone.

  • bashmo

    Westbrook hasnt had a better season than CP necessarily, the fact is that he puts up 22 and 8.2 assists on a 50 plus win team with the leading scorer in the game, an incredible feat. HOWEVER, CP on the other hand has been playing injured on a bad knee, and with much less talented pieces than OKC, and still has the Hornets in the thick of the playoffs. And to top that all off, efficiency is something we should consider. From the field and from downtown, CP3 is a much more efficient player than Russ, and racks up more steals per game. CP does not shoot the ball much at all in comparison to past seasons. Its tough on choosing where to put both.

    My First Team:
    Rose, Bryant, James, Nowitzki, Howard
    2nd Team:
    Paul or Westbrook, Wade, Melo, Durant, Stoudemire or Gasol
    3rd Team:
    Paul or Westbrook, Williams or Ginobili, Pierce, Stoudemire or Gasol, Horford(Only because of how weak the Center position is.)

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    I’d put Russ over Rondo, but not CP.
    If the All-NBA teams follow a traditional PG, SG, SF, PF, C format (which It really doesn’t) then I think Rose should be 1st team, CP 2nd team, Westbrook 3rd team.
    Rajon Rondo has had an inconsistent year, and Deron Williams has been battling injuries.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    AllBall wouldn’t New Jerseys %’s for the season coupled with his huge assist numbers, and the fact that he had Utah as the 6 seed in the west before he got traded actually help his case? I mean its hard to get double digit assist games on a team that can barely hit 40% of its shots, and he averaged like 12 in a New Jersey uniform. New Jersey also was a much better team post trade, and Utah was much worse. I would have Williams over Westbrook too.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Should Blake Griffin make an All-NBA team?
    Statistically, he’s a top 3 PF this year.
    But that’s just based on strictly stats.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @Enigmatic: Great question. I left him off, but couldnt be mad at anyone for including him. Assuming Dirk, LBJ and Durant are locks for three of the six forward spots; that leaves Melo, Gasol, STAT, Aldridge, Love and Griffin to fight it out. Personally I think Gasol and STAT will make it as F/C leaving three spots for the other 4. So will Griffin make it over Aldridge, Melo or Love?

  • JTaylor21

    Enigmatic, probably not even though BG deserves to. There are quite a few “veteran” PFs that are having great seasons for him to get in, with veteran being emphasized because if he wasn’t a rook, he would be in without a doubt.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    no I don’t have him on one – and that’s the third time i’ve gotten someone elses info today. Slam this is becoming a real problem.

  • T-Money

    à propos of nothing, wtf happened to ben gordon?

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Partly injuries, partly being in a crowded back-court, partly having a sh*tty coach and partly him not giving a sh*t cause he got his money are all reasons for BG’s decline, in my opinion.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Richard Hamilton, John Kuester and Rodney Stuckey…
    It wasn’t AI’s fault. Lol.

  • ThaWindy

    ^^agreed

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com just bcuz

    all i know is…everytime D.ROSE steps on the court he really believes he is the best player on the floor. whoever disagree so be it!! but half the battle is won because he really does believe that sh*t

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    nbk, I don’t no what Jersey numbers you are talking about. I was talking about Deron himself shooting 35% on fgs and 27% on 3fgs. Russ/Deron for 3rd team is a toss up, but I will go with Russ because he has played more games.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    and because you hate deron

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Hate may be a bit too strong. With out bias either way, is it easy to say that one should clearly be above the other? IMO arguments can be made for Deron and Russ, but, like I said, I will take Russ for his consistency, having played every game so far.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I give Deron the edge because he’s clearly the superior player, and before the trade drama, was having the better overall season.
    It sucks that people forgot how dominant dude was out the gate. It was only when Al Jefferson proved incapable of learning the offense or defending, that things went south.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    hmmm Without Bias…That would be a good name for a Lenny Bias documentary…Thanks for the idea AllBall

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Seriously, I am not forgetting how he played, or how well the Jazz were doing. He was a POM and strong MVP candidate. How ever, since the new year, he tailed off before having a mini resurgence in Jersey. If he makes the 3rd team I will not be questioning that decision.

  • Scott

    No doubt Williams was having a great start to the season but Westbrook has played great the whole season. I’m not saying Williams isn’t a top 15 player cause I believe he is just not this season.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Nah the Jazz started really falling off when Deron was traded. Before that, they probably could have made the playoffs had they kept Deron Williams. Having a player like Al Jefferson is always a plus.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    my bad I thought you were saying New Jersey as a team has been shooting that bad. Either way, you can’t discount a guys season cuz he got traded. For the Year Deron Williams put up 20 and 10, to Russel’s 22 and 8. Deron put his numbers up as the best player on his team. All of their other numbers are literally equal. So I personally give the edge to Deron because he was the focus of the opposing team all year, plus his none of his assists came from Kevin Durant. I just can’t put the second best player on a team above the best player on a different team if their numbers are even. There is an obvious separation in responsibility and opposing team attention.

  • Riggs

    They will not beat the C’s in the playoffs and you can bank that. 4 Game sweep.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    they went 7 games with them 2 years ago, when they were much worse. and were playing against their CURRENT head coach. that logic is broken

  • Scott

    99.9% of the league would be the second best player if they played for Oklahoma.

  • Scott

    Does somebody actually think Boston is going to sweep Chicago in the playoffs?

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    20/10/4 for the season. I may be exaggerating Derons drop off.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Scott what would happen if the rest of the league is on Oklahoma is irrelevant. The point is, its pretty doubtful Russel Westbrook would have had as good a season had he been the alpha dog. He may have put up better per game stats, but his efficiency would have been even lower, and Oklahoma or whatever team, surely would have barely made the playoffs if at all.

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    Danny Ainge, why? Why? WHY???

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think Deron and Russ have different roles and responsibilities and I think Deron has been the better player for the year. When Russ was killing with KD out, Deron was also killing. Deron has gotten injured and traded, but he changed the whole culture in New Jersey, which nobody thought possible and that was without a single good wrist.
    Anyway, six guards can make All-NBA.
    Rose, Wade, Kobe, Paul, Westbrook, Williams.
    Easy.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    I still think Manu gets in. Coaches love San Antonio. Tim Duncan might even make a team.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    @Scott – FOr an example, look at Monta Ellis’ stats, 24PPG, 6APG, 2Stls, 3.5RPG, but his team is a doormat. He’s not in the conversation, even though his stats say he should be.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Do you think Manu should make it over those six?
    I would put Monta on there, it’s not his fault that David Lee was injured and overrated, or that Steph was injured, but I’m not convinced Monta makes his teammates better.
    I think the other six all do at least a decent job at that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    I definitely don’t think Monta deserves to be in that conversation. And I don’t really think Manu does either, but I know the coaches always put a player from the best team in there. So if it has to be one of the Spurs I would say Manu or Parker. But no if I was voting I would leave him off.

  • Scott

    nbk, Allenp kind of already made the point. The short time Durant was injured Westbrook was playing at a top ten level. I think Westbrook could handle being the alpha dog and get Oklahoma a six seed or lower.

  • Scott

    nbk, agree 100% about Ellis I don’t think he should be mentioned at all for the all-nba. What about Rondo he has got to be in the discussion for third team?

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Williams was better then Westbrook during that stretch, at the beginning of the season. Westbrook leading a team to the 6th seed in the west this year is an absurd idea IMO. He is out of control with the ball, doesn’t pace the game well, and his shot selection is questionable. He doesn’t have a skillset like Derrick Rose, actually he has only been playing the PG position for 4 years, so what he has done is pretty amazing, but that doesn’t make him better then Deron Williams. Maybe in the future

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Rondo is a weird one for me, at the beginning of the year he was possibly the best PG in the league, the way he was controlling every aspect of Boston’s games. But since Christmas he has just been a good PG, I wouldn’t put him on any of the top teams. Mainly because when Rondo did go down, Pierce stepped in, played the point, averaged double digit assists, and the Celtics kept on winning. It kind of hurt Rondo’s impact from my POV. I still think he gets on a defensive team, as much as Allen would disagree.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Just explain to me why you like him on defense so much. I respect your opinion, tell me what I’m missing because I just don’t see it. He looks good against inferior comp, but against top notch guards, he’s just reaching and waving.
    Holliday plays defense. Westbrook, except against Andre Miller and Rose, plays defense. Deron, Paul, they play defense.
    Rondo appears to be playing defense, but he’s just being pesky. Rose was assaulting him WAY too easily. WAY too easily.

  • Scott

    3 and 1 without Durant is a very small sample size I will give you that. A team of Westbrook, Ibaka, Perkins and Harden would conted for a low playoff seed out west.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    To be fair, not one point guard has been able to slow down Rose this season, with the exception of Kirk Hinrich, who besides being a criminally underrated defender, has also guarded Rose more often that anyone else in the NBA, albeit in practices.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Allen – Let me start off by saying that I don’t like him nearly as much as I did when we had our first conversation. He has fallin in love with that reach from behind, poke the ball away move. I rip into kids and teammates when they do that lazy crap, so first of all i’m angry with Rondo as a defender. But he does get steals (which will get him All-Defense Votes) – I like Rondo during the playoffs, he is a good situational defender, and he understands the strengths and weaknesses of every player on the floor. He will trap and swarm the right big men, and as doc says he understands their defensive system and plays as well in it as Kevin Garnett.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Oh and he’s a full court pest, when motivated. Idk what happened, but starting with all those assists at the beginning of the year may have screwed up his defensive effort. He was talking about averaging 20 assists, when a player starts talking about averaging any kind of statistics it immediately sets off a little alarm in my head. I think all the success at the beginning of the season may have hurt Rondo defensively, because after physical gifts like athleticism and length, defense is about effort.

  • jimmer

    Rondo I just don’t get. He seems to have an incredible basketball brain; at times he has made me think it is one of the greatest the NBA has seen. He has huge hands and the physical gifts to do crazy things, yet he seems to have disastrous confidence issues. He just drifts or switches off completely. The mechanics of his shot are fine – anyone see him nail about 13 straight 3′s in a game of h.o.r.s.e with Durant last year? At times its like he steps on the court and he has a fatal panic attack about shooting the ball, and his focus just goes all over the place. Never seen anything like this. Ever.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jimmer
    Nick Anderson at the free throw line.
    But, I saw Rondo nailing jumpers against the Spurs and thought “Uh oh, if he does this in the playoffs, it’s curtains for everybody.”
    Then he can’t hit the side of a barn against the Bulls. So strange.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Rose has been doing that to literally everyone for the past few weeks allen. He gets by just about everyone WAY to easy. He has more moves with his dribble then any player i’ve seen since Rod Strickland. Its not even that he has a go-to move, he has so many different things he can do, plus he is so coordinated with his dribble he always has a counter for everything the defense does. Honestly, what Rose does with the ball as a PG off the dribble is what you try and teach every kid serious about the sport, learn how to counter everything, if thye stop this, then you have that. Not many guys have to many counter’s, Kobe has endless amounts of them, but they are predicated on scoring, Rose is similar, except his goal is to get in the lane.

  • jimmer

    @Allenp Those were big free throws… I think Rondo would go into cardiac arrest in the same situation, or more likely just put the ball down and walk off down the tunnel. Don’t get the kid. just don’t get it. Its like if he can’t kill you with the things he can do, he can’t be bothered to do anything else. And then he forgets to do the things he can do.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Nbk, that’s something that’s been overlooked when people talk about Rose’s improvement through the years.
    He’s always been a great ballhandler, but if you look back to his year at Memphis and his rookie year, he didn’t have nearly the amount of moves he has now.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Matic you know how I feel about Rose’s improvement, he should be the shoe-in for MIP, in my opinion.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Benjamin (Concord)

    Durant should win MVP for how he has taken a step back to make room for Westbrook’s growth while still leading the nba in scoring, he also improved his D and rebounding?
    John Hollinger (12:35 PM)

    “Taking a step back” .. haha. More like his point guard won’t give up the rock. I’m real interested to see how the Westbrook-Durant dynamic plays out, let’s put it that way. (ESPN – John Hollinger Chat)

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Just wanted to point that out because, Westbrook actually gets more possessions then Durant. And he only shoots 2 less shots. 17 shots for 22 points. 8 assists to 4 turnovers. That’s not All-NBA. Thats not even that good. (i’m not saying Westbrook isn’t a good player, but he is definitely overrated.)

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    nbk, I was already feeling under the weather today.
    You quoting Hollinger really makes me wanna puke even more though.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    ya’ll can hate hollinger all you want, ima respect everyone that gets paid to specifically cover the NBA. His life is dedicated to knowing more about the league, and every player in it then any of us here. I don’t take what he says as truth, I read what he says and use it to come to my own conclusion. So when he said Westbrook doesn’t give up the rock, I took that as, wow there must be proof, which there is, I showed it to you in the very next comment. I didn’t quote anything Hollinger said regarding stats.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    I had OKC finishing 2nd in the West at the beginning of this year. So from where I’m sitting that team didn’t live up to expectations, and there isn’t really an obvious reason why.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Derrick Rose’s career PER is 19.4, which according to Hollinger’s scale makes him a “Solid 2nd Option”. LOL
    His PER this year is 23.7, which according to Hollinger means he is a “Bonafide All-Star” but well below being a “Weak MVP Candidate”. LMAO
    nbk, you’ve said yourself there are basketball journalists who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, like Skip Bayless.
    While I won’t say Hollinger is an idiot on the level of a Bayless or Cowherd, you gotta admit, the guy is feeling himself waaaay too much just cause so many other journalists and fans are buying into his mathematical formula, which is basically all a PER is.
    I’ll take the word of an NBA coach, executive or player over any journalist though.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    Dizzil04 (Chicago (MVP-Town))

    Hey Ric, I can’t stand people who say Westbrook is just as good as Rose. I think personally, he is a little immature still and relies totally on speed. To me it seems like Westbrook wants to be the Durant of that team and that causes him to do too much. Rose has a much more developed game and understands how to take over and impact games. He also doesn’t have an MVP type player on his team to share the load. There really is not much of a comparison right now, agree?
    Ric Bucher (1:29 PM)

    Physically, Russ is comparable. But when it comes to decision-making and organizing a team, it’s not close right now. I watched the other night as Rose closed the Suns’ game with five points, a dime and almost singlehandedly forcing a 24-second violation by smothering Nash for 20 seconds. The Suns finally took the ball out of Steve’s hands for the rest of the game, which is extraordinary. At the same time, I saw Eric Maynor, Russ’ back-up, use the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter to build an 11-point lead. Russ came in and gave half of it back with poor decisions, although they hung on to win and he did hit a key jumper to ice it. This is where, again, I don’t see how stats capture what a guy is doing. It’s not just how much he does, it’s when he does it — time and score, as they say in the L.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    I never said there are basketball journalist who are idiots. Which there probably are. I said a journalist like skip bayless who act like they know about basketball but have no background in it are idiots. He has written a couple basketball articles, (a couple about the Bulls apparently, one about Quentin Richardson when he was in college I believe) but he’s a football guy, he covered High School FOOTBALL in Dallas, even wrote BOOKS on the Cowboys. I said journalists don’t necessarily have control over what they cover. Its a job, you don’t choose what your boss tells you to do, that’s why they are your boss.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    So, you’re saying you agree with Enigmatic on Hollinger?
    Cause he trusts stats way more than the naked eye.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    but the guys that work for espn’s NBA department are clearly only involved in the basketball aspect, and they got there somehow. (except Wilbon, I don’t have much history on Wilbon, but he doesn’t seem to know that much about the NBA, just got his NBA on ABC gig through PTI right?) – Hollinger, Bucher, Sheridan, Stein all have respectable basketball opinions. I disagree with them often, but I respect their opinions. – Regarding how hollinger rates people based on PER, he doesn’t even really believe that, if he did he would say Kevin Love is an MVP candidate, but he doesn’t he realizes he’s overrated from PER because it doesn’t exactly nail down the defensive end. He even said it in that chat I quoted, from today. Chris (USA)

    Why doesn’t Love get any, ahem, Love for MVP? He’s 4th in PER!
    John Hollinger (12:13 PM)

    Because of his team, obviously, but also because he’s a lousy defensive player, so his PER does overstate his value.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    I do think Hollinger push’s PER a little to hard, but what company doesn’t push their product? Gotta read between the lines and not buy into everything he says. Like his whole middle of the season crapshoot about how “LeBron is clearly the MVP” – he was doing that to bring attention to his statistic, but he backed off, admitted it isn’t perfect, and said he had Dwight as MVP. His reasons for not having Rose there are sound, except it seems like his perspective is coming from someone who doesn’t watch any of the 30 teams play. Just sees highlights and reads recaps. He has Rose as 6 in MVP right now I believe, behind Howard, James, Bryant, Wade, Paul.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Hollinger also states the Bulls could trade Rose for Russell Westbrook or Steve Nash and not suffer “virtually no drop-off”.
    Riiiiight. No disrespect for Nash and Russ, but they couldn’t have led the Bulls to nearly 60 wins.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    *and suffer “virtually no drop-off”.

  • Scott

    I’m too lazy to look but does hollinger have Rose 6th in PER or 6th in his MVP list?

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Enigmatic, I think Paul slowed Rose down when they played in NO. What did he have, 23? and he shot almost 50%, but he was not out there dominating. He actually got loose for a couple of buckets when the game was out of reach, or maybe it was a bucket and a FT. Either way,

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Either way, I disagree with you*.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    AllBall, of course your boy slowed Rose down.
    All season long alls you kept saying is Paul is efficient, Rose is not.
    So Rose gets 23, 6 and 4 on 7/15 from the field.
    Paul gets 15, 6 and 2 on 3/10 and somehow Paul slowed Rose down.
    Riiiiiight….

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    He said that about Nash and Westbrook? That I would disagree with 100%

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    No way you knew those statistics off the top of your head right? So 23 was right!
    Like I said, from watching the game, I think Paul slowed him down. How many turn overs did Rose get compared to Paul? I think he doubled him up. Anyway, all I am saying is, I disagree with your statement “No one PG (Besides Hinrich) has been able to slow Rose down”.
    Rose got off for a couple of buckets when the game was out of reach, if I remember right. The Bulls won that game because they out rebounded them by more than 20, and the Hornets missed 10
    + fts in the 3rd quarter. I have not even looked at the statistics since the night of the game, but I know that is what happened.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Enigmatic, I think you might have mistaken my comment for me saying that Paul won the match-up. He clearly did not (although it was not as one sided as the Statistics you posted show). Rose won the match-up, and the game, how ever, CP did as good a job as I have seen a guard do this year, in terms of controlling Rose on penetration and screen rolls.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    What bothers me so much about this year’s MVP coronation of “The Derrick Rose Story” is not so much that it’s a mistake — we’ve had bad award votes before and will have them again — but that it’s the same mistake, for the fifth time in 11 years.

    This is an inherent risk in the MVP selection process. When you ask people whose life’s work is to seek out and tell great stories to vote on this award, we shouldn’t be surprised when they turn out to vote for the best story rather than the player who is most valuable.

    Guards especially make for great stories, because they’re natural underdogs. Height, obviously, is a huge factor in this game, so we’re completely fascinated when smaller players can play at a high level. Generally, what they do is a lot more captivating than watching a 7-footer methodically dunk on people’s heads, even if the latter is a much more effective way to win basketball games. We don’t like rooting for Goliath.

    Put a guard on a “surprise” team and the impact doubles. Everyone looks for The Cause, and all roads lead back to the guard. Jab in an IV and let the confirmation bias flow through your veins, and soon even the negative plays become proof (“Look at the shot he almost made!”). This usually happens only with perimeter players, by the way. A miss on a double-clutching drive after a sweet crossover can be spectacular, in a way that a missed jump hook simply cannot.

    A brief history of Voting the Story

    As a result of all our fun with guards and their compelling stories, the three dominant big men of the past decade — Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan — were shafted out of three MVP awards and nearly a fourth. Ask how this happened and you’ll get a lot of embarrassed shrugging, and yet we’re headed down that same path again.

    So we’ll end up with “The Derrick Rose Story” as this year’s MVP — just as we ended up with Allen Iverson winning in 2001, and Steve Nash in 2005 and 2006, and Jason Kidd’s second-place finish in 2002 (which I include here because we only narrowly averted the greatest award travesty in league history, when one of the greatest players of all time had the best season of his career and nearly lost the award to a guy who shot 39.1 percent).

    And make no mistake, the voters are pulling the lever for the story, and not the player.

    How do we know that? Actually, we can prove it. Even if we presume that the stats somehow didn’t adequately capture the value of Iverson, Kidd or Nash, we have a smoking gun that the vote was for the story and not the player.

    Believe it or not, the voters told us. Actions speak louder than words, and their ballots in other seasons are Bose speakers blaring out that they voted for the story.

    Neither Nash, Iverson nor Kidd had their best seasons the year they won (or nearly won, in Kidd’s case). In fact, each had a dramatically stronger case in other seasons. What they lacked was the storyline.

    Check out the evidence:

    • Kidd is the most egregious example. In 2001-02, he almost won the award, receiving 45 first-place votes. The next season, the Nets traded two starters for a declining Dikembe Mutombo but made it back to the 2003 Finals anyway because Kidd had by far the best season of his career; compared to his first year in New Jersey, he added four points to his scoring average, shot better and took on a dramatically larger offensive role. If Kidd was the real MVP in 2001-02 (on a huge number of ballots), and the stats were somehow missing that, then surely he was even more valuable in 2002-03 and should have cruised to the trophy.

    You know how many first-place MVP votes Kidd got in 2003? Bupkus. Zilch. Zippo. Kidd had only 31 total points, for a ninth-place finish that put him right behind Detroit’s Ben Wallace. If people weren’t voting for the story in 2002, as opposed to the player, explain that one.

    • Nash is an equally strong example. As everyone knows, he won the MVP in 2005, sporting a player efficiency rating of 22.04 while joining with a dominant power forward to lead a 62-win team. What few people realize is that two years earlier, he had teamed up with a dominant power forward to win 60 games and tie for the best record in the West; he had a better PER that season (23.51) and played more minutes. For his efforts he received one fifth-place vote.

    The difference between those seasons, obviously, was that in 2004-05 Nash was a great story, because he had just joined a 29-win team that surprisingly rose to first in the West. The 2002-03 Mavericks were already good, so his performance there was deemed a minor event.

    • You can do this exercise with several other Nash seasons. For instance, Nash won the MVP with a PER of 23.29 in 2006, leading a 54-win team in the conference finals. In 2009-10, Nash had a PER of 21.25 and led a 54-win team to the conference finals. He finished eighth and didn’t get a single first-place vote. Nash also finished a distant second behind Dirk Nowitzki the year he had his best statistical season, 2006-07, and won 61 games. Again, it sure seems like the story was the dividing factor between these seasons, and not the player.

    • Iverson outperformed his MVP season in both 2004-05 and 2005-06; he had a comparable PER in more minutes in the former and a better PER in more minutes in the latter. He didn’t come close to winning in either season, finishing fifth in 2005 and getting just a single fifth-place vote in 2006.

    (Side note: If you don’t like PER, you can use any other measures and get the same answers, which shouldn’t be a surprise, since PER is essentially a summary of all the other statistical categories.)

    What’s the explanation for this other than that the voters went for the best story instead of the best player? Did all three of these guys suddenly become crappier leaders or lose their clutch mojo in those other seasons?

    No — they just weren’t hot stories.

    The burden of proof

    The same thing is going to happen this season with “The Derrick Rose Story.”

    Let me emphasize that Rose is indeed a very valuable player, and that what he and the Bulls have done this season is undeniably a great story. It does not, however, make him more valuable than every single other player in the entire league, and the evidence for this is abundantly clear to anyone who cares to look for it. Sorry, but if you want me to build the pedestal that high, I’m gonna need some more concrete for the foundation.

    This part gets Rose fans terribly upset, but it’s really basic: There is a glaring lack of evidence that he is as valuable as has been claimed. It’s not just a question of one selected number or another not supporting his case. It’s that none of the numbers do.

    I’m not cherry-picking stats to support some covert Rose-hating agenda. I literally cannot find a single shred of data, anywhere, to support the idea that he’s the most valuable player in the league.

    Rose already has an uphill climb in any logical debate — his status as the front-runner rests uneasily beside the fact that he’d be the fourth-best player in the state of Florida. This is where people point out that “Most Valuable” and “Best” aren’t necessarily the same thing, and that’s correct.

    But it does shift the burden of proof. If you’re going to tell me that Rose has been more valuable this season in spite of those facts, you better bring a hell of a lot more to the table than, “But watch him play!” (For the record, I’ve seen him in person four times this season and countless other games on the tube.)

    Digging for proof

    This always gets people screaming and yelling about those infernal statheads, as though it’s some kind of horrible imposition to ask for actual hard evidence to back up an MVP vote.

    “Nobody has carried a greater burden than Rose,” it’s been said, and in an extremely narrow sense that’s almost true — only Kobe Bryant has used more possessions. Carrying the burden well, on the other hand, hasn’t been his strong suit, as his middling true shooting percentage attests. More obviously, there are greater burdens than handling the ball for 20 seconds on every trip. Dwight Howard, for instance, carries the burden of being his team’s entire defense and absorbing vicious beatings on offense, but it’s tough to package that in a highlight reel.

    “Rose won without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah,” it’s been said, and certainly the Bulls did just that. However, even when those players were out, the Bulls outscored opponents when Rose was off the court, suggesting they were far more than the one-man band that’s been depicted. None of the Bulls’ other players are big stars, and this throws people, but Chicago’s depth and defensive ability have carried it this year.

    And finally, there’s the idea of his indispensability — it’s the “they’re nothing without him” approach. If that’s the case, the Bulls should perform much worse when he’s off the court than they do. Certainly, it’s the case with most other stars. The Heat are 10.49 points per 100 possessions worse without LeBron James this season; the Mavs, 16.68 points worse without Dirk Nowitzki; the Magic, 6.95 worse without Howard, and the Lakers, 6.20 worse without Bryant.

    Rose’s Bulls? They lose just 1.49 points per 100 possessions. When he’s off the court, they still outscore opponents by 6.78 per 100, which roughly translates to a 55-win team.

    Now, that first measure does understate Rose’s impact, because he’s played a lot of minutes with guys like Keith Bogans and Kurt Thomas. You can get more scientific by adjusting for the players Rose players with and against, as basketballvalue.com does, and the difference becomes a more respectable 8.60. But that isn’t the biggest difference in the league, or even close to it. Howard benefits from the same math — Orlando is 12.36 points better per 100 possessions with him on the court after said adjustment.

    Yes, these stats are notoriously noisy. But as I noted above, “The Derrick Rose Story” doesn’t have compelling evidence to start with; this is another plank of non-support.

    Other arguments similarly fall flat. “Look at Rose’s impact on the Bulls’ winning,” you say. Well, Chicago has certainly won a ton, and they’ve done it with a suffocating defense than ranks first in the league.

    Rose? He’s arguably been the least important part of that equation. While I’d argue the stats undervalue his defensive improvement this season, it’s a bit jarring to find out that the Bulls actually give up dramatically fewer points the second he exits the game.

    As for the argument that Rose was the catalyst for the defense anyway, because of his buy-in to coach Tim Thibodeau’s approach … I agree that was a necessary condition for Chicago’s success. But has it really come to this? Are we really giving out an MVP trophy with “actually tried on defense for a change” as a key bullet point in the résumé?

    If Rose is indispensable, however, we might also try to remove him from the Bulls entirely and see what happens. The equation everyone tries to make in their head is what I call the “bad backup” test, which holds that since Rose would be replaced by C.J. Watson while LeBron James would be replaced by Dwyane Wade, then Rose must be more valuable.

    In this test, there’s no reason to focus on just the team, however. A better version of this test will lead you directly to this year’s true MVP:

    Whom else in the league could you replace this player with?

    That’s really what we want to know, isn’t it? If you could trade the player tomorrow and replace him with somebody just as good, it’s hard to make a case that he’s the single most valuable player in the league, right?

    In Rose’s case, it’s pretty apparent that you could replace him with Russell Westbrook and suffer virtually no drop-off. They both use an equally large chunk of their team’s possessions, and use them almost exactly the same way in terms of shot-pass decisions and spots on the floor. Rose shoots more jumpers and Westbrook takes more free throws, but by and large you’d get the same results.

    Not a fan of Westbrook? Fine. You can try the same exercise with Nash, or Chris Paul, or Deron Williams, or even Wade, who despite being a 2 has a lot of similar attributes to Rose. One can argue for days whether Rose is a bit better than these players, and if so, by how much, but we’re talking about small change here. And it’s not just that there’s one particular player you could replace Rose with and suffer only marginal decline; there are several such players.

    Now, let’s try the same exercise with another player.

    Who could replace Dwight Howard?

    Anyone?

    [Taps foot]

    Got a candidate in mind yet?

    [Looks at watch]

    No, I mean from this season, not 1995. Try again.

    [Crickets chirping]

    Still waiting …

    The conclusion is obvious, isn’t it?

    Dwight Howard is the most irreplaceable player in the league.

    This is the ultimate reason not to vote “The Derrick Rose Story” for MVP: Every argument put forward for him works better for somebody else, and in particular works better for Howard.

    This last one is the most damning, however. Put Westbrook, Paul or Williams in for Rose and the Bulls might slip a couple of games. Might. Put any other player in Howard’s position and the Magic immediately turn to sawdust. It’s not just that he’s second in the league in PER and seventh in adjusted plus-minus; it’s that no other center can touch him in either category, and the one who is closest (Andrew Bynum) has played half as many minutes.

    Unlike “The Derrick Rose Story,” Howard’s case has more than just raw emotion to support it. The Magic are third in the NBA in defensive efficiency — ahead of Miami, Milwaukee, the Lakers and Dallas, among others — even though nobody else in their top eight is even an average defensive player. An Orlando team that often plays Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson at the same time still gets elite defensive results because Howard so completely controls the paint behind them.

    Offensively, Howard’s fingerprints are everywhere, too — not just with the dunks, but with the fouls he draws that put opponents in the bonus and hand his teammates easy freebies, and the clean 3-point looks that come without his ever touching the ball. It’s not always pretty, but it’s hugely valuable.

    So why have the Magic not won more games than the Bulls? Because, to borrow everyone’s favorite line about Rose, Howard has played the entire season without Boozer and Noah, and Luol Deng. Any of these three would be the second-best player on the Magic. Compare the benches and you’ll get a similar laugh riot; the Bulls have arguably the league’s best backup center, for instance, while the Magic don’t even keep one on the roster.

    Unfortunately, the momentum is probably too far gone at this point. We like great stories and we don’t particularly enjoy rooting for Goliath, so “The Derrick Rose Story” will win the MVP trophy when it should probably finish sixth or seventh, and Howard will end up in the same shafted company as Shaq, Garnett and Duncan before him.

    But let’s not kid ourselves. In the end, this vote says a lot more about us than it does about either Rose or Howard.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Holy f*ck that’s a long a** comment.
    My bad, y’all!
    nbk, just google “Truth About the Derrick Rose Story”, unless you actually don’t mind trying to read that comment.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I tried, it was too long. Read my two prior comments and reply if you get chance.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    AllBall, I still think Hinrich and Holiday did the best jobs on Rose, individually.
    As a team, I think the Warrios played the best team defense on Rose this year, believe it or not.
    But Paul was better than most, I’ll give you that.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    I read it Matic, i just got home from work so I’m on my phone, who wrote that? And what do you feel about it?

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Not who, when did hollinger write that? I know it’s hollinger, commenting while settling in at home made me a little absent minded

  • Manu

    enigmatic ur an idiot….jkidd took the worst team in nba history 2 ever make a finals to back2back nba finals…idiot idiot idiot

  • Manu

    allen iversons top 30 all time…AI took a bunch of scrubs n aging mutombo to the best record in the league behind LA and to the finals and made aaron mckkie the 6th man of the yr…iverson deserved it over shaq in 01 by a mile…not even close

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Manu, I copied and pasted an article by John Hollinger that I disagree with nearly 100%.
    Do us all a favor and try to keep up or don’t post on here ever again. “idiot idiot idiot”.
    nbk, he wrote that on March 31st.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Paul slowed him for the first half. Then rose took over. There were no garbage stats he just killed in the second half and played better defense.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Yeah I don’t much respect that POV at all. Statistics totally disregard a players impact on his teammates. Which is why Nash deserved that second MVP IMO, and why Kidd got absolutely shafted that second year when he finished behind Ben Wallace lol. That’s why I like Hollingers PER and respect his opinion, but don’t really agree with it. As I’ve said for a while, Rose is my MVP too. But if you took him and Dwight off the same team is he literally more valuable, probably not. Is that the deciding factor? F*ck no, that’s supportive evidence for Howard but Orlando is already a worse team, the logic is sound that they would be even worse without their best player then Chicago. And that’s where hollinger fails, he fails to recognize that it’s not that these guys are the “best player” it’s that they put their teams over the top while carrying the vast majority of the weight on their shoulders. Nash did it without Amare (on offense), Iverson (on offense) and rose (on offense) – trend! – coincidentally having that much defensive attention on you also really hurts efficiency – another place where hollinger fails, and the root of most of my arguments – why rose is MVP, why nash’s second was deserved. And the opposite being try for why – Kobe Bryant is overrated by so many people (laker fans primarily), why russel Westbrook is overrated, why David west is overrated and so on.

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    I mean, there’s no denying Howard is extremely valuable to his team, perhaps even more valuable than Rose is to the Bulls.
    But not THAT MUCH more valuable.
    And if Rose gets penalized for this, that and a third, shouldn’t Howard be penalized for at least getting T’d up so damn much, costing his team games?

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    And can someone please explain to me the logic behind typing “ur an idiot”?
    How is that supposed to prove you’re intellectually superior to someone when it simply proves you can’t even spell “you’re” correctly?
    But I digress….

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Oh yes Dwight’s technical thing, if Allen is around I oh him an ” I see what you mean, my bad” cuz he said Howard has a negative effect on his teammates, and it’s really true. Saw that the other night. I still have him as a close second cuz I really do think Orlando is horrid and he’s really pulling a LeBron by getting them to 50 wins. And he’s putting up his offensive miners on like 14 shots a game, that’s 3 less then Russel Westbrook. And he’s the leading scorer on Orlando, as opposed to playing with the leading scorer in the whole entire league

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    I really like nbk’s point there. no sarcasm. “That’s why I like Hollingers PER and respect his opinion, but don’t really agree with it. As I’ve said for a while, Rose is my MVP too. But if you took him and Dwight off the same team is he literally more valuable, probably not. Is that the deciding factor? F*ck no, that’s supportive evidence for Howard but Orlando is already a worse team, the logic is sound that they would be even worse without their best player then Chicago.”

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    So we’re back at square one.
    Agreeing on Rose for MVP.
    Agreeing on the importance of Howard to the Magic.
    And disagreeing on whether Hollinger deserves our respect or not. LOL

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    my all-nba teams? not that anybody cares
    1st-paul/deron,wade,lebron,durant,dwight
    2nd-rose,nash,kobe,melo,dirk,aldridge(i should probably have kobe on the first team..but whatever
    3rd-rondo,westbrook,griffin,amare,gasol

    I would put rose over paul/deron but he turns the ball over more..and despite his improved defense is not as good as they are defensively. also they shoot better from 3, and are more efficient. and have had more injuries

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Gotta have 2G 2F 1C – this year will e 1st team – Rose Kobe(orWade) LeBron Durant and Howard. After that 2nd and 3rd are opinions. Atleast that’s how I see it

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Wow my bad dat, I read your first team wrong. Btw u already got some respect by being a non-bias bulls fan from me

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    I do however think your discounting how much Chicago relies on Rose. Williams and Paul are betterore efficient players, but they aren’t carrying the load for the best team in their conference. They dont/wouldn’t even have homecourt. And winning is king

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    PER does not assess intangibles which is it sucks because basketball is as much about intangibles as any stat.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Warning this bird vs magic documentary.
    1. If Bird was black he would have bee called a thug.
    2. The boy could play.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    So magic choked the first time he faced Bird in the finals then beat himbthe next two tlee as payback. You never hear it told like that.

  • BostonBaller

    Hey hey hey family, First of all I’m sure that anyone who actually knows hoop did NOT laugh at the cover or statement that rose made in SLAM about being MVP. I know I didn’t. Secondly, at the time yes I was not sure who would start in the ASG as pg but said it didn’t matter. At the time BOTH pg’s were playing outstanding ball therefore it was not a joke to think RR could start instead of DR. Wow, how short are the memories of those who want to make a point. Yes, DR is playing like the MCVP and RR certainly isn’t playing well at all but do you think he lost all of his game over a few months and will never play well again? lol. I look forward to a battle in the playoffs just like last time where RR was dominate and so was DR.

  • BostonBaller

    BTW, I think w/out the allstars RR would score a lot more than he does now and still get his assists. If DR was on the C’s he’d have a lot more assists and his scoring would be down. Therefore that lame excuse of RR being mediocre w/out the “big 3″ is laughable. He went nuts in the playoffs w/out KG there and while both Ray and PP struggled during huge stretches.

  • BostonBaller

    Bird was indeed straight up Mobster on the court and Magic was down right Gangsta with a smile. It was simply electric every time those two faced each other regardless of how the stories are told/twisted. Magic’s Showtime vs Bird’s Beattown. I’m not sure how many of you are old enough to have seen these match ups live but nothing now even comes close to that true rivalry. NOTHING.

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    westbrook should be 2nd team all nba ahead of paul, williams, rondo, and nash.. he has a far more successful season than all four of these guys

  • http://philosopher.vision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    My guy, the BostonBaller.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    i feel you bostonballer…i’m actually not old enough to have seen those matchups though. and i agree rondo is gonnna come back hard at rose. but
    personally i think outside of that system…with less efficient and experienced players rondo wouldn’t be nearly as good. imho
    @nbk I’m actually a heat fan…but i really like derrick rose’s game. I saw a little bit of homie at memphis, and really became a fan of him when he took it to rondo in 09.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    pierce and allen spreads the floor for him, he cant shoot etc etc we’ve heard all heard the arguments…outside of defense and rebounding there’s not that much rondo does better than rose(i think rondo does have slightly better court vision, but that’s only because NOBODY guards him on the perimeter so obviously he can see the floor better)

  • BostonBaller

    WZUP Philosopher?? I was at the game Tuesday night and it didn’t feel right, the whole atmosphere was wrong. I still prefer to watch games at home. I hate the luxury boxes the most, they are so generic to the game. lol

  • BostonBaller

    WZUP Philosopher?? I was at the game Tuesday night and it didn’t feel right, the whole atmosphere was wrong. I still prefer to watch games at home. I hat the luxury boxes the most, they are so generic to the game. lol

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