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Kobe for MVP – Win or Lose?

Chuck - Red's Army June 14, 2010 Uncategorized 37 Comments

Via John Hollinger of ESPN.com:

While the Celtics deserve their 3-2 lead in the series, there's no
question who the best player has been over these first five games. That
point was driven home with a sledgehammer in Game 5 when Bryant scored
19 points in the third quarter only to find the Celtics' lead had
increased when he was done.

This continued a Finals in
which Bryant has had at least 20 points in every game, has had only one
game that possibly could be construed as somewhere close to ordinary
(Game 2), and has had a pair (Games 1 and 5) in which he was absolutely
spectacular.

For the series, Bryant is averaging 30.2
points per game; no other player is averaging more than 19. He's done it
reasonably efficiently too, with a 55.2 true shooting percentage in a
series in which the average has been 53.4. That's amazing considering
the difficulty of the attempts he's taken, especially in Game 5.

Bryant
has filled the stat sheet in various and sundry other ways, too. Bryant
leads all Finals players in steals, is second in assists and has yanked
down six rebounds a game. About the only quibble one could make is that
he's been a bit turnover-prone; of course, he's playing against the
league's top turnover-forcing defense, so this shouldn't come as a huge
shock.

Can someone please explain to me "true shooting percentage?" While I respect statistical analysis (Hollinger is the general of the stat brigade), the numbers don't measure "intangibles."

I agree that the Celtics don't have a clear cut choice for MVP, but it would be a criminal act to award the MVP to Kobe. A co-MVP scenario is a better alternative.

The last Finals MVP awarded to a player on the losing team?

There's an irony here, of course. I mentioned above that only one player
has won Finals MVP in a losing effort; it was Bryant's idol and mentor,
former Lakers star Jerry West. Wait, there's more. It came in the 1969
Finals … against the Celtics … against a veteran Boston team, in fact,
that had won only 48 games and was seeded just fourth in the Eastern
Conference at the start of the playoffs. L.A. ended up losing Game 7 at
home despite 42 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists from West.

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5cd064970c Count Istvan

    How does the a player from a losing team ever get the MVP? You f’ing lost how can you be all that valuable? If they win the series fine if not it’s should go to a Celtic player.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5cea40970c Josh

    Numbers don’t make you ‘most valuable’
    Not wanting to jinx, things but say the C’s win game 6 you really are going to give MVP to a guy who lead his team to a 2-4 record? Stats aren’t everything, Hollinger constantly forgets that games and championships aren’t won with mathematical equations and made up statistical categories to make their boy look even better.
    Seriously, I’m with you Mack, what the hell is a “true shooting percentage”
    Here is a thought – you take a number of shots, an amount go in the percentage of what you make seems like a true % to me.
    Unless he is counting free-throws and field goals together? But that is a stupid stat.

  • http://recognizethegame.com Rosef

    Pierce took full control of the finals MVP race with last nights performance. period.

  • jared

    Rosef, I agree Pierce gets it barring a stinker (which will not happen) tomorrow night.
    Hollinger is an idiot. Over reliance on statistics ruins the fun and less quantifiable but still important aspects of a great game. Basketball fans should take a page out of soccers book and be less obssessed with stats.
    Hell, someone tell Hollinger theres a sport out there thats got his name all over it. Its called baseball.

  • Double P Reppin the B

    If Celtics win Game 6 and Pierce has a big game then it’s Pierce, if Rondo has the big game then its Rondo. If Ray has another huge game it could even be Ray. Who knows but If the Celtics win then in absolutely NO circumstance should Kobe win. I don’t care if he puts up 50/10/10 the next game in a losing effort

  • Cliff Kensington

    True Shooting Percentage Formula=(Player’s Total Points)/[(2*(Player’s Field Goal Attempts+ 0.44*Player’s Free Throw Attempts)]
    All it does is weigh 2 pointer and 3 pointers differently, while giving credit for free throws. It’s a very good stat for evaluating a players shooting efficiency but an awful justification for getting MVP for a losing team. It’s so limited in scope and completely ill equipped to evaluate a few games. Like most good statistics, it needs a large sample size, i.e. a season. Hollinger is an ass hat who just tries stir up controversy. He’s Shank with a few acronyms.

  • larry

    let’s just win the series first.!then they can give the mvp to whoever they want..

  • TangRen

    TS% (True Shooting Percentage) is number of points divided by the sum of field goal attempts and number of free throw attempts times .44 and divided again by two.
    Calculating
    TS% = P / (2 ( FA + FTA * .44))
    FTA * .44 is an approximation of number of shots where the player gets fouled but doesn’t make the basket. Basically that’s part of calculating the number of possession where the player went up for a shot whether they got fouled or not.
    It normalizes shooting percentage for 3-point attempts and rewards players for drawing fouls for two shots and being good free throw shooters. Players get somewhat cheated on 3-point plays, technical foul free throws, and getting fouled on 3 point attempts. It’s a pretty good approximation of efficiency, but certainly not a decisive stat to look at.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/filipefurtado Filipefurtado

    True Shooting % is actually a pretty good stat: It takes FGs and then adjust it by his 3PT and FT attempts as well. So for example Pierce and Perk tied for the team best TS during regular season (61,3%) despite Perkins having much better FGs.
    That said Hollinger main argument is pretty bad. To any player to win the MVP while losing, he would had to give a truly amazing and memorable performance. Till last night Kobe was not even clear the Lakers best player in the series. He would have to be better than he was in the Suns series and he is playing well below that.

  • CFH

    The Celtics have been such a T-E-A-M, as Bob Ryan likes to say, that picking an MVP almost cheapens and belittles the way they’ve gotten to 3-2 this series.
    If the thought of Kobe Bryant getting another trophy named after Bill Russell didn’t make me physically ill, I’d almost be in favor of it.
    But since the thought DOES make me sick… can we just have 9-way-co-MVPs?
    Or, more likely, just give it to whoever has the biggest game in the clinching game.

  • O

    So using his logics, MVP would only mean shooting the most points with a high percentage?
    When a player demand the ball all the time and as a result, drive your teammates out of rhythm ?
    How valuable this is??

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    Yep, whoever goes off in game 6 (or 7?), including KG (games 3+5), gets the trophy.
    I also don’t think a player on the LOSING team should receive any award. But, I also don’t care, as long as we take home the real trophy.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5ebb21970c JD

    Yeah, nobody on the Celtics is a clear cut favorite for MVP over anybody else on the team. Whoever out of Rondo, Ray, Pierce, or KG has the biggest game in the clincher will win MVP, no question about it. All have had their ups and downs. If two or three guys have games that are close to equal (rare, but if it could happen to any team, it would happen to this one) then I think Pierce will win it over Rondo, Rondo over KG, and KG over Ray.
    No way Kobe wins if he loses, it won’t happen in this day and age, AS LONG AS its one of the “big 4″ who leads the Celtics to victory. If anybody else does (Sheed, Nate, Baby) and Kobe has a big game, then it could happen. But thats very, very doubtful.

  • DRJ

    A perfect end to this incredible season would be if the eventual Finals MVP REFUSED the trophy, saying that he could not accept it because you really can’t separate any single person’s contributions from the whole in this team, in this year.
    Let everybody share the MVP award — one award, 15 players.
    It would be a fittingly unique season’s end for a very unique bunch of guys.

  • chief

    How sweet would that be?!

  • Nora

    If you lose you were not the most valuable. Losing teams don’t have an MVP

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157053529f970b zippittyay

    MVP= CELTICS BENCH.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157053529f970b zippittyay

    Or DRJs suggestion….

  • thebleeptruth

    It’s quite possible, but I’m definitely against it. It’ll be a slap in the face if Boston wins the championship and then award the MVP to Kobe. If Kobe drops a triple double in either of the next two games, and ends up averaging 30-8-8, and loses Game 7 (IF there’s a game 7) by probably a point or two, only then should they consider giving it to him. All in all though, giving MVP trophy’s to a player from a losing team should never happen. Let’s make that moment in history an exception. And that was like when?? 1969?? I mean c’mon. Those were the early years of the NBA. A lot of things have changed. Awarding the MVP to Kobe if Boston win would be like awarding half an NBA Trophy to the Celtics, and put a dagger on the ideology of teamwork. Give the Boston Celtics its due.

  • rondo-is-love

    Hollinger apparently has a love affair going on with Kobe’s balls or something. This guy… he’s just ridiculous. Who the hell is he kidding?
    Kobe, on the stat sheet, has certainly looked Finals MVP-like because his teammates really haven’t been doing much else. You have to be kidding me.
    Points, that’s just a given that he’s going to lead his team in that category. He has the ball in his hands the most, he usually gets more shots than anyone, and he’s the best at scoring from anywhere on the court.
    Assists, who else do they have that can really facilitate? Yes, Gasol happens to be an excellent passer for a big man, but the ball isn’t in his hands as often as it is in Bryant’s. Gasol’s a good passer when he gets doubled in the post, leaving someone open at the three or when there’s a cutter in the lane–both of which don’t occur as often against this swarming Celtic defense.
    Rebounds, sure Gasol’s been excellent in that category as well, but Bynum hasn’t been able to contribute as much due to his injury. Who else is going to rebound? Artest should really be the next one in line, but I feel like he’s been much too focused on Pierce to even think about rebounding. Fisher sure as hell isn’t going to rebound well.
    Steals, again who else on their team would fill this category? Artest, once again, could be a stealing machine when he really truly focuses… and unfortunately for the Lakers, that’s something he really hasn’t been doing.
    God, I hate Hollinger. He bases everything purely on stats, as if there are no intangibles in this game. It really sucks that there’s no way for swarming defense to fill up a stat sheet the way any offensive plays would. How dare he even think to write that sort of idiotic trash. If people really thought Kobe should get Finals MVP, win or lose, it would be all over. Clearly his idea is NOT supported, thank God. Although… I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up awarding Kobe with the award. So typical.

  • Buckley

    If you read the whole thing, he says that the only way it actually could happen would be for the C’s to win in 7 behind someone like Tony, Perk, or Sheed (or Scal!) (ie not someone with a previous big game in the series) and for Kobe to blow up like West did in 69.
    I mean, I bleed green, but if that happened, and Kobe threw up a 42-13-12 in game 7, but we won without a big game from KG, Ray, Pierce, Rondo, or Baby, I’d say, “Fuck it, let him have it. We’ve got the one that counts.”
    Beyond that, I say, “Stop rising to obvious baits.”

  • PeaceSignMoose

    Lets win the series.
    But, seriously. Can we split the MVP between Paul Pierce and Tony Allen? Tony has been his usual “clown shoes” self on the offensive end, but has really made Kobe Bryant’s life a living hell on the other end of the floor.

  • Jake

    First we should win the tittle, then we can analyze all other trivialities ad nauseam.

  • KGHaTTR

    To be honest I agree that the losers shouldn’t have an MVP but it’d be fun watching Kobe have to go up, accept the award and do a speech after Boston wins.
    The guy is bleeding this series – he’d hate winning the consolation prize – would be a grin watching him have to speak while watching the C’s ham it up with the trophy…
    Still – we gotta win first….gonna be a haaaard close out…

  • Jake

    Wow, that would be amusing. Possibly the highlight of the series.

  • Perry

    How’s about giving the MVP to the Celtic fans who put up with ESPN’s slanted commentary?
    If it were up to these people even a Celtic title would not spoil their storyline. Fortunately for us they may be able to fix the ESPY’s, but not The Finals MVP. Really no surprise when you consider they are the network of Kobe and Lebron…pathetic!

  • cfanintx

    Hollinger just has something against the C’s. He said it would was going to take 7 GAMES to beat Miami, then we were going to get sweeped both by the Cavaliers and then the Magic and pick the Lakers to win in like 5, I believe. he just needs to get his head out of his @$$ and realize that the Celtics are championship caliber. Plus after game 3 he wrote an article that was titled “Why the Lakers will win,” which I did not care to read. He’s a celtics hater and he’s just desperately trying to find ways to take something away from the C’s, like a finals MVP trophy

  • Uncle Leo

    Stop being so sensitive. Hollinger has a job to do and that is to give an alternate opinion that doesn’t go with the usual sports talk cliche’s and use stats to back up arguments. Sure they’re misguided at sometimes but I don’t think this particular case is that ridiculous. Kobe is clearly the most valuable player in these finals. He’s their facilitator, scorer, best defender, and absolutely cannot have a bad game if they want to win. The Celtics have shown that they can have an off game from anyone of their important players and still win. So would that merit any of them winning “most valuable”, if they can have an off night and still win? Whatever, why is this an important issue again?

  • Shawn-cvd

    Obviously the Celtics should wrap this up first but as long as there’s discussion…
    This argument is a joke. PP got some rub and respect being the finals MVP in 2008. It shouldn’t be taken away from a worthy Boston player (Rondo, KG, Ray Ray or Truth again) for an egotistical prima-donna douche nozzle.
    If MVP stood for “Moistens Vuyabitch’s Pepe” that would be the only scenario that any Flaker should win it.

  • Shawn-cvd

    Sound argument. One could never fault Kobe for the Lakers’ glaring weaknesses. No depth at C or SF, Artest being an absolute bust, Gasol, Fish and Odom shitting the bed for games at a time. ETC

  • Mick

    “Awarding the MVP to Kobe if Boston win would be like awarding half an NBA Trophy to the Celtics, and put a dagger on the ideology of teamwork.”
    Well, if that’s the case, then why bother with an MVP award at all? Seriously, the “teamwork” award is the championship trophy. The MVP is purely individual.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157060540b970b Orb

    I had the same thought, team or nothing. I can see Pierce doing it, ’cause, well, he’s already got one. If KG pulls it out, he gets to keep it.
    I think you really have to look at who did what when. Gasol was the monster in the Laker’s wins in LA, not Kobe. And we started playing like the Cs when KG dropped 5 years somewhere over the Midwest on the flight to Boston.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    This may sound a bit Belichickian but shouldn’t we talking about winning the title before handing out hardware? There are two games left. Pretty much anything can happen, Rondo could go insane for two games, anything could happen on the LA side… This feels very premature

  • AMP

    Unless of course, Kobe shared it with his losing team.

  • thebleeptruth

    I get what you’re trying to say but the stronger point I’m driving at is reward teamwork and do it by rightfully giving it to the best player of that team. There isn’t a clear cut MVP for the Celtics at the moment but once the series is done and they’re champs, some one will stand out. Ultimately it shouldn’t even matter much to anyone who among the Celtics the MVP award goes to. Moreover, this Championship should be remembered for what the Celtics accomplished and not Kobe’s other worldy individual performance.

  • LAL

    2nd this comment. But still feel Kobe’s got the edge

  • depressedc’sfan

    pierce had a stinker tonight