If you haven't heard, I'm also writing for a new NBA blog called Crossover Chronicles. In one of my latest pieces, I tackle the MVP debate and explain it's not just stats that matter in the voting. There's an entire pacakge that needs to be considered… which is why Derrick Rose will win.
Stats can support whatever argument you really want to make in this MVP debate because there are a lot of worthy candidates. I can cherry pick a few stats that show Derrick Rose does, statistically belong in the same realm as these guys. His clutch numbers are astounding, showing he raises his game to another level when his team needs him. He’s fifth in the league in APER (Alternate Player Efficiency Rating, which HoopData describes as PER adjusted for actual assisted and unassisted FG’s as opposed to using estimates. Slightly more accurate than PER), at 26.34… slightly behind Dwight Howard’s 26.53.
And honestly, Derrick Rose just needs to be in the same team picture statistically because he’s got it locked up everywhere else. While he’s winning games and making the highlight reels, Dwight Howard has served TWO suspensions for technical fouls. I’m sorry, but that matters. If a player is that valuable, he needs to be on the court.
While Rose was leading an upstart squad to places no one expected them to be, LeBron and his heavily hyped Heat spent stretches scuffling through their schedule. Yes, that matters too. Because when you do achieve something you weren’t supposed to achieve, it inherently increases the value of everyone involved in that achievement. And when you don’t meet your goals, even if the bar is really high, it does cause a bit of disappointment.
Of course, any of those three guys could win and it would be totally legit. As much as I dislike LeBron now, he's put together a pretty amazing statistical season and Dwight is just a monster. Maybe Dwight will get rewarded for this season next year… but right now I think Rose has all the elements for an MVP.