Iím Not Doing That
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March 25, 2008 -- While sorting through my weekly I-canít-believe-someone-actually-wrote-that-to-me e-mails, I ran across this pleasant one from Rob in Ohio:

ďMo, every week you try to tell us why so and so should be the MVP this season. You know what would be interesting, why donít you tell us the reasons why so and so are not the MVP of the league this season.Ē
At first I thought, ďWhy the heck would I want to do that?Ē

The name of this column/blog/article is ďRace to the MVPĒ not ďRace to the Not Going to be MVP.Ē

What good would it do for me to point out that any chance Dirk Nowitzki had of repeating as MVP went out the window when the Mavs lost in the first round of the playoffs last season?

Or that word on the street is Manu Ginobili not Tim Duncan is the real heart and soul of the Spurs this season.

Or that Phoenix's Steve Nash is no longer even the first or second best point guard in the West.

Or that because Tracy McGrady led the Rockets on a 22-game winning streak doesnít mean we can look past what he did the rest of the season.

Or that Utahís Deron Williams might deserve to be the Player of the Month for March, but he has way too much ground to make up in the race.

Or that no matter how good his stats are, Paul Pierce wonít get any credit for Bostonís big season because he was there last year when the team stunk.

Or that Orlandoís Dwight Howard, who has been the best big man in the league this year, doesnít make anyone around him better.

Or that not only is Kevin Garnett having a down year statistically by his standards, but he also gets to suit up with two other all-stars on a nightly basis.

Or that LeBron James is putting up big numbers in the East and that the Cavs simply donít win enough.

Or that the Lakersí Kobe Bryant didnít shoot to the top of the MVP list until Pau Gasol arrived.

Or that the Hornets Chris Paul Ö isnít Kobe Bryant.

No way Iím writing that, Rob.

  • E-mail your feedback or talk about it in the R2MVP open forum.

    Biggest drop of the week: Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks (-5).
    Biggest rise of the week: Antawn Jamison, Wizards and Allen Iverson, Nuggets (+4).

    Race to the MVP - The Top 10

    1. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers | Team Record: 49-22
    28.3 6.2 5.3 1.9 0.5 .463 .839
  • Last Week's Rank - 1
    Who needs Pau Gasol? Bryant has been doing his best Tracy McGrady impersonation lately, leading his team to four wins in five games while the Lakers big man in the middle is sidelined because of injury. On Monday, he once again showed his toughness missing just a minute of play after suffering a cut that required stitches, under his left eye.

  • 2. Chris Paul, New Orleans | Team Record: 47-21
    21.5 3.9 11.2 2.7 0.0 .498 .859
  • Last Week's Rank - 2
    Thanks to Paul's nightly heroics, the Hornets have the top record in the wild, wild West for now. Last week he averaged 25.7 points, 10.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game en route to being chosen Player of the Week for the second time this season.

  • 3. LeBron James, Cleveland | Team Record: 40-31
    30.8 8.2 7.3 1.8 1.0 .486 .715
  • Last Week's Rank - 3
    My fantasy basketball regular season just came to an end and James was the No. 1 player (followed by Superman, CP3 and KB24) using our scoring system, by a lot. Last week he passed Brad Daugherty as Cleveland's all-time leading scorer. It has taken James 381 games to score 10,443 points, while it took Daugherty 548 games to total 10,389.

  • 4. Kevin Garnett, Boston | Team Record: 55-15
    18.8 9.6 3.5 1.4 1.3 .534 .787
  • Last Week's Rank - 5
    With KG leading the way, the Celtics made the feared trip through the Texas Triangle seem like summer vacation. Garnett and Co. became the first team since the Kings in 2001 to sweep Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The highlight for Boston was ending the Rockets' 22-game winning streak.

  • 5. Tracy McGrady, Houston | Team Record: 48-23
    21.9 5.1 5.7 1.0 0.5 .434 .676
  • Last Week's Rank - 6
    McGrady's performance Monday night against the Kings may go a long way towards helping him quiet detractors who say he misses too much time because of injuries. Despite twisting his left ankle and spraining his left shoulder, he stayed in the game and helped Houston get the victory. Even better news for Rockets' fans, he expects to be in the lineup Wednesday against the Timberwolves.

  • 6. Dwight Howard, Orlando | Team Record: 46-26
    21.1 14.4 1.3 1.0 2.3 .598 .593
  • Last Week's Rank - 4
    When Dolph Schayes won the rebounding title in 1951, he was 22 years and 303 days old when the regular season ended. Howard, who currently leads Denver's Marcus Camby by 0.9 of a rebound per game for the league lead, will be 22 years and 131 days old when the season is over, making him the youngest rebounding champion ever.

  • 7. Paul Pierce, Boston | Team Record: 55-15
    20.1 5.4 4.7 1.3 0.5 .455 .844
  • Last Week's Rank - 7
    I'm not saying that Pierce is more valuable than Garnett, I'm simply pointing out the stats. Boston is 6-1 without Ray Allen in the lineup and 7-2 without Garnett. Pierce hasn't missed a game all season.

  • 8. Deron Williams, Utah | Team Record: 46-25
    19.4 3.0 10.3 1.1 0.3 .511 .796
  • Last Week's Rank - 8
    If Williams can increase his scoring average by 0.6 points, while maintaining his current assists per game pace, he could join Paul as the first players in over 15 years to average at least 20 points and 10 dimes per game for a season.

  • 9. Steve Nash, Phoenix | Team Record: 47-23
    17.5 3.4 11.3 0.6 0.1 .516 .903
  • Last Week's Rank - 9
    Quietly, Nash has guided the Suns to seven wins in eight games, proving that the Shaq experiment may work afterall. Is this the season that Nash has his three-year streak of leading the league in assists per game broken? He currently leads Chris Paul by 0.1 per game.

  • 10. Tim Duncan, San Antonio | Team Record: 47-23
    19.6 11.5 3.0 0.8 1.9 .497 .733
  • Last Week's Rank - 11
    The Spurs have notched three victories in a row. In those games, Duncan appears to be getting ready for the playoffs, posting three straight double-doubles.
  • On the Outside Looking In (averages - last week's rank)
    11. Allen Iverson (DEN): 26.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 7.3 APG - (15)
    12. Amare Stoudemire (PHX): 24.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.3 APG - (13)
    13. Antawn Jamison (WAS): 21.8 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.5 APG - (17)
    14. Baron Davis (GSW): 22.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 7.8 APG - (12)
    15. Dirk Nowitzki (DAL): 23.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG. 3.6 APG - (10)
    16. Chauncey Billups (DET): 17.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 7.0 APG - (16)
    17. Carlos Boozer (UTA): 21.5 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 2.8 APG - (14)
    18. Carmelo Anthony (DEN): 25.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 3.3 APG - (19)
    19. Hedo Turkoglu (ORL): 19.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.9 APG - (18)
    20. Manu Ginobili (SAN): 20.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.6 APG - (20)
  • Dropped out: None.

  • Running the Floor

    Since the NBA started giving out the award in 1956, only 11 players have been named Most Valuable Player more than once. They are:

    Six Times
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1970-71, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80)

    Five Times
    Michael Jordan (1987-88, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1995-96, 1997-98)
    Bill Russell (1957-58, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1962-63, 1964-65)

    Four Times
    Wilt Chamberlain (1959-60, 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68)

    Three Times
    Larry Bird (1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86)
    Magic Johnson (1986-87, 1988-89, 1989-90)
    Moses Malone (1978-79, 1981-82, 1982-83)

    Two Times
    Tim Duncan (2001-02, 2002-03)
    Karl Malone (1996-97, 1998-99)
    Steve Nash (2004-05, 2005-06)
    Bob Pettit (1955-56, 1958-59)

    Race to the MVP Weekly Leaders
    Training Camp: Kevin Garnett, Celtics
    Preseason: Kevin Garnett, Celtics
    Week 1: Tracy McGrady, Rockets
    Week 2: Kevin Garnett, Celtics
    Week 3: Dwight Howard, Magic
    Week 4: Dwight Howard, Magic
    Week 5: Dwight Howard, Magic
    Week 6: Dwight Howard, Magic
    Week 7: Kevin Garnett, Celtics
    Week 8: Kevin Garnett, Celtics
    Week 9: Kevin Garnett, Celtics
    Week 10: Kevin Garnett, Celtics
    Week 11: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
    Week 12: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
    Week 13: Chris Paul, Hornets
    Week 14: LeBron James, Cavaliers
    Week 15: LeBron James, Cavaliers
    Week 16: LeBron James, Cavaliers
    Week 17: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
    Week 18: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
    Week 19: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
    Week 20: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
    Week 21: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
    Line of the Week
    Lamar Odom, Lakers
    OT Win vs. Warriors, March 24
    23 points, 21 rebounds, five assists, five blocks, two steals