Sunday, January 22, 2006

81 points. 2 assists.

If the NBA season ended today, would Kobe get your vote for MVP?

Photo courtesy Noah Graham / Getty Images

8 comments:

Chairman said...

Kobe's not a player. He just crushes a lot.

-Chairman

Greg said...

Well, I guess I could take a crack at this one... I think voting for "Most Valuable Player" is always a subjective issue (which of course is why people like debating it).

How does one define the "value" of a player to a team? For me, I think I'd look at which teams are championship contenders. Then, from that group of teams, try to identify the player who seems to consistently have the biggest impact on his team's success. Under this definition, I wouldn't be able to vote Kobe MVP because of his team's 22-19 record thus far.

That being said, Kobe is undoubtedly the best offensive force in the NBA today. Given the current structure of Kobe's team, I wouldn't be surprised if No. 8 makes another serious run at 80 points in a game before the season's over.

P.S. When Wilt scored 100 points, he only had two assists as well. While it looks funny on a stat sheet, it does make sense. Stick with what works!

Westy said...

This year, and this year only, if Kobe keeps this up, I would probably vote for him as MVP. And I'm not a Kobe fan.
What he's doing is ridiculous. The Lakers would be TERRIBLE without him, and last night, for instance, would have lost.
Kobe's valuable in that, without him his team would be lost.

Chairman said...

Ordinarily, the "best player on best team" approach is the safe one, but how do you do that with Detroit ? Detroit's MVP is probably Billups, but his numbers aren't overwhelming.

Kobe is easily the league MVP - his competition is AI (whose team is worse), Nash (whose numbers are very good, not quite MVP good), Duncan (whose numbers are actually off this year), Dirk (like Nash, solid, not quite MVP - imagine them on the same team, oh wait), and of course LeBron (who will have to wait his turn, much like MJ did with Magic and Bird in the league).

And remember, Kobe already did this once this year, dropping his 62 in 3 quarters, on the 31-10 Mavericks... I really think that Kobe can single handedly carry the Lakers a round (maybe 2 if they can avoid San Antonio) in the playoffs. Look around the league - aside from AI, really, there's no one else who's close when it comes to that absolute killer focus from a team's lead player. As good as LeBron is, he still is a little too relaxed in crunch time.

-Chairman

Oneway said...

Great points made, all around. As Westy alluded to, Kobe's 81 deserves added honor because his team was down when he flipped the switch, and because Toronto hung around, Kobe had to keep pouring it on.

Good analysis of the competition, Chairman, although I think Chauncey may deserve MVP attention because his numbers are good and his team is the best in the NBA.

The MVP is very subjective. I believe high scorers on non-contender teams should be excluded normally, but considering the extent of Kobe's scoring, that may warrant an MVP trophy. If the Lakers make the playoffs and Kobe averages 36 PPG, he should be the MVP.

Westy said...

One of the better NBA blogs, True Hoop, adds their thoughts AND provides a link to video showing all 81 points here.

Chairman said...

People tend to view history how they want to (see today's WSJ on how different classes of Hindus are wanting to revise history texts in California). Plus, I think that people are haters (see Vince Carter)

Here's an interesting thought. It seems evident that Mr. Ron Artest (one of my favorite players, incidentally) is holding out for a trade to the Lakers. Maybe we'll see some sort of 3-way trade where the Lakers can end up with Artest.

And you know what? Given a couple solid role players, wouldn't it start to look a lot like Jordan/Pippen (with Artest being the slightly bigger, angrier, and much crazier version of Pippen)? They've already got a big white stiff out there with Mihm. Maybe Luke develops into that Kukoc role as 2nd passer and soft forward? Smush Parker can do the BJ Armstrong thing where they just need a fast little guy to run around with the other little guards out there. We'll see if Turiaf or Kwame can turn into a HoGrant sort of guy. And we'll see if Andrew Bynum becomes a player. But there are a lot of pieces. Just no #2, yet.

Maybe... Phil Jackson isn't just in it for the money and will have the Lakers back in the Championship picture next year, and make a legit run in 2 years. Sort of like the Bulls, back with the Celts and Pistons running the East back from 88-90? Where the Bulls were always interesting because of MJ, but had to wait their turn? Everyone wants to hate on Kobe, but really, how is this different from when it was just MJ under Collins, when he had a lousy supporting cast?

I'm just saying. Maybe.

-Chairman

Greg said...

Well, it looks like Artest will end up in Sacramento after all. However, Roland, I also had similar thoughts earlier in the week regarding the possibility of Artest going to the Lakers. I think the Kobe-Artest to MJ-Pip comparison is intriguing.

Honestly, if Phil Jackson thinks he can handle Artest's volatility in a manner reminiscent of Dennis Rodman, then I still think it's possible the Lakers could deal for Artest in the offseason.

For the Pacers, I think Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh are in a "win now" mindset (ie, win the championship within the next 2-3 years). For the Kings, they might re-evaluate things at the end of this season. It's possible the Kings will unload Artest at season's end if his stock goes up.

Just my two cents.

BTW, thanks for posting that video, Ryan. Enjoyed watching The Kobe Show. Although, I do think he traveled on one of those plays, so in my book he only got 79 points, which, of course, is not nearly as impressive. =)