Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:19 pm
An update on the MVP race
All Nash cares about is the win, but in the process of this winning his stats are faring rather well as well.
Steve has quietly upped his assists to that of his career high. His points are at a career high and his FG% is at an amazing .539, with his adj fg% of 63% leading the league. What most don't talk about is his record setting three point shooting. Right now, Nash is shooting 49.8% from the three point line on 5.2 attempts per game. Now that isn't leading the league, but it's certainly the best anybody has ever done taking that many shots. Nobody has ever taken 325 three point attempts and shot 49% from the three point line. Nash is on a pace for 425 attempts and is shooting 50%. The percentage he's shooting in the amount of shots he's taking is far more impressive than any fred hoiberg or tim legler number that was produced on 0.6 attempts per game or something like that. This is a demonstration that Nash may be the single best shooter in the NBA, between his #1 fg% among guards, #1 adj fg% in the NBA, top ten points per shot in the NBA, top twelve ft% in the NBA (he's having an off year), #2 ALL TIME career ft% (if you count ABA as part of somebody's career, which you should since the ft line is in the same place in the ABA), top 5 career three point % all time, and #2 three point shooter in the league this year.
Normally being the best shooter in the league, the best passer in the league, a 20 ppg scorer, and doing all the little things Nash does on a 65+ win team would be the clearcut MVP, however this year it's uncertain.
Nowitsky, who has improved his game dramatically without nash, is two games away from taking the Mavericks to their THIRD double digit win streak. They are on a pace to win just as many games as the Suns with arguably less supporting cast. The only problem is that Dirk's game isn't any different than previous years when he didn't win mvp... and Nash did. The raise in the Mavs' game has more to do with Josh Howard emerging as a force and Harris and Dampier having up years, being utilized just the right amount by the coach. One could argue that Dirk's game hasn't changed in three years so why should he win the MVP this year? (some would say he deserved it the last few years of course)
Kobe is a tricky one. There are a lot of people in the press who are dying to give Kobe an MVP and there are a lot of people who wouldn't vote for him if he took a team to an 82-0 record with Brian Scalbrine, Mike Dunleavy, Mark Madsen, and Adonal Foyle starting next to him. The Lakers are on a 53 win pace, about 15 less than the Mavs and Suns, but Kobe definitely has less help. Some think that when Odom comes back the Lakers would do better but I think that is counterbalanced by the fact that the Lakers have gotten lucky and should have about three less wins than they do.
I think if the Lakers win 55, Kobe likely gets MVP, deservedly or not, unless the Suns or Mavs break 70.....It will likely come down to whichever of the two teams has more wins. The people who don't want nash to get a third MVP because he doesn't belong in the same sentence as the other three peaters are a vocal minority
On a slightly different note, the spurs look to win about 61 games this year, based on their performance so far. They've had some close losses but are winning by a lot.