Race to the MVP Mailbag: Week 5
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Dec. 8, 2006 -- Two days a week, I can be found at my local YMCA giving guys twice my age the business on the court (you’d be amazed at how easy you can score when the 60-year-old person covering you has no interest in playing defense).

As I watched the Suns and Nets turn Continental Airlines Arena into their own personal pickup game at the Y on Thursday night, I got the same feeling.

With the exception of the one-on-one match-ups I play against my son in the backyard, the Phoenix-New Jersey game was the most entertaining display of basketball that I’ve ever watched.

From Steve Nash’s career-high 42 points to Phoenix making big play after big play to keep its eight-game win streak alive to the Nets setting a franchise high in points to Jason Kidd tying Wilt Chamberlain for third with 78 career triple-doubles, the Suns’ 161-157 double-overtime win had it all. For hoop junkies, it was like a basketball dream come true.

"I think we can go home and turn on Classic NBA," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It will be on there already. That's the best game I have ever seen."

And before the scoreboard operator could catch his breath, the e-mails began pouring in about the game.

Steve Nash deserves the MVP but it should be a joint MVP between Nash and Shawn Marion. Marion does everything on the floor - offense, defense, rebounds and steals. Look at last season at his stats and he is the only forward that rebounded like a center.
- Abe in Phoenix

Steve Nash is the best there is in this day and time.
- KK in Texas

What do you think about Nash's performance in that awesome game against the Nets? Do you think he deserves to get a boost in the rankings for that performance?
- Andre in Philippines

I know that Steve Nash is the two-time reigning MVP and in order to get the vote again he is going to have to put up some pretty impressive numbers, but after his performance against the New Jersey Nets he better move up the list. If it was not for him the Suns would have lost before going into overtime, and if it was not for him they would have lost in overtime!
- Heath in Arizona

What! Steve Nash is only ninth in the Race to the MVP rankings? Are you kidding me? Did anyone watch the Suns and Nets game? Steve deserves to be at the top of the list.
- Sam in Arizona

You must be outside your mind if you think that Steve Nash is ranked lower than No. 1. Do you even watch basketball? The reason the Suns win is because of Steve Nash. Wow you must have some sort of condition that keeps you from being smart because that is the stupidest thing I've ever seen.
- Brendan in Arizona

As fun as this was to view, I can't believe there have actually been three games where the teams combined to score even more points.

Time to respond to your e-mails.

Will in Canada: I really think that you should include Chauncey Billups in the ranking as well. He was brilliant during the Pistons' eight-game winning streak and putting up great stats not to mention the fact that he has been able to carry the team without Ben Wallace. He finished 5th in the MVP race last year and I see him in about the same spot this year if the Pistons stay excellent.

Brooks: Will, you're right, Chauncey has been doing his thing. After a slow start, the Pistons have bounced back and he is probably the biggest reason why. He is going to have to take his play to the next level this season in order to keep pace with the other MVP candidates though.

Matt in Toronto: If the Magic keep it up, Dwight Howard should be given serious consideration for Most Valuable Player. He is tough on the glass and dominates the paint which is the main reason why Orlando is so good defensively because they don't have great perimeter defenders.

Brooks: Thanks for pointing out the obvious Matt. Just joking, good point about the Magic perimeter guys. Judging by the fact he won the Eastern Conference Player of the Month, he is the beast of the east right now.

Quinn in Sweden: Lebron James: why are people putting heat on him? Feels like the 90's again, when people were "tired" of voting for Michael Jordan as MVP and for some odd reason Karl Malone and Charles Barkley ended up "stealing" one each from him. No one can claim that any player meant more to the team than MJ did for the Bulls.

Brooks: You didn't watch much hoops back in the day did you Quinn? As great as MJ was, Malone and Barkley definitely deserved their MVPs. The Mailman and Round Mound of Rebound redefined the power forward position even though neither one of them ever did win a ring.

Joel in Canada: Man, you're still going to get laughed out of the office for putting the Booze man at No. 1. No disrespect to his game, but he's not an MVP. He's one of four very important pieces (please don't try to say that is similar to Nash in Phoenix because it's not.) Like Shaq says, "I have a microwave too, and what comes out hot doesn't stay that way for very long."

Brooks: Carlos Boozer has been hot for five-plus weeks so maybe he has a special kind of microwave or something. Boozer isn't the only Jazz player who is shining right now, I just feel like he is shining brightest.

Ben in Utah: I just wanted to say that I am very impressed with you not being biased towards the Jazz. I feel like even though Utah has been playing amazingly well this season, most NBA.com staff has kept a negative outlook on Utah. So thanks for not being like Charles Barkley!

Brooks: Whoa, Barkley left TNT and works for NBA.com now and nobody told me? Race to the MVP has one rule and one rule only, no Charles Barkley bashing.

B in Canada: I am by no means a Clippers fan but it has to be some kind of oversight that Elton Brand doesn't land in the top 20 for the Race to the MVP. I mean come on, look at his numbers.

Brooks: I looked at his numbers and they reminded be why Brand doesn't crack the player rankings. He is having a down year by his lofty standards. Last year he averaged 25 points and 10 boards. This year he's at 19 and 11.

Luke in Houston: Nice rankings, but where is Jason Kidd? His numbers are unbelievable! The only guy that comes to mind when I see his stats is Oscar Robertson.

Brooks: Kidd is No. 18 on the list now but after putting up 38, 14 and 14
I believe the Race to the MVP committee will probably move Mr. Triple-Double up a little bit.

Bobby in Michigan: I can not believe Dwyane Wade was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. What did he do to earn that?

Brooks: Did you not watch Wade own the 2006 Playoffs and Finals? Those performances separated him from all of the other great athletes of 2006. Here, read this and then apologize to D-Wade.

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