In light of the the antics by LeBron James in the clutch again last night and the Heat's mini-slump, I thought it appropriate to address the MVP race. So far the general feel is for Derek Rose to win the MVP award, with Lebron James as a close second and Dwight Howard a possible third. The fact that James is even in the top 5 so morbidly wrong, I don't even know where to start. First off, James's workings in the clutch have been horrid. Iso's, jumpers off of screens, pick and rolls, its all been tried for him and still no dice. An MVP is a guy you can count on to get you buckets when you need them the most and that sure as heck hasn't been James this year. Yes his stats are about the same as his MVP season, but this year he has Wade and Bosh both putting up nice numbers as well (with Wade leading by a long shot in the intangibles). Here's the lines all compared.
Lebron James:GP 61-MIN 38.4-PPG 26.2-REB-7.5-AST 7.1-FG% 49.3-SPG 1.5-BPG .6-TO 3.6
Dwayne Wade:GP 59-MIN 37.2-PPG 25.4-REB 6.7-AST 4.4-FG% 49.9-SPG 1.4-BPG .9-TO 3.3
Chris Bosh: GP 59-MIN 36.2-PPG 18.3-REB 8.2-AST 1.8-FG% 48.8-SPG .9-BPG .7-TO 1.7
Have we forgotton what MVP means? The Most Valuable Player in the league to their team. Lebron isn't even the MVP of his own team, much less the entire NBA. Wade is very close to James in all categories except for assists and that can be attributed to Lebron basically playing PG for Miami and always having the ball in his hands. Dwayne is the true heart and soul of this team and has put his ego and everything aside to let Lebron do what he does, and it hasn't worked. So why isn't the conversation for MVP about Wade and Lebron instead of just the latter? You can't forget about Bosh either, his stats aren't eye-popping like his teammates but they are very respectable and cannot be ignored.
Now hasn't the knock against Kobe Bryant all these years and arguement against him winning the award been too many good players on his team? He can't win the MVP because Gasol, Odom, and Bynum are too good. Well where is that arguement now? Tell me how Lebron is that much more valuable to the Heat than Wade, or Bosh who improves both James and Wade when he is on the floor. How is Lebron hogging the ball in clutch situations when it clearly should be Wade shooting, stopping the offense with his over-dribbling, and constantly turning his head and getting beat on D make him more worthy than his own teammate? Much less Derek Rose, who has put the Bulls on his shoulders and carried them to the second best record in the East this year. Can anybody say that the Bulls would be just as good without Rose? The answer is a resounding NO, but you take Lebron off the Heat and replace him with a servicable forward and in my opinion the Heat are even better then they are now. There wouldn't be any confusion as to who takes the clutch shots, Bosh would be used more in the post and there would be a marked improvement in the overall team play for Miami. Even Dwight Howard who has been carrying the Magic for the last month or so and Dirk Nowitzki who has been the heart and soul of the #2 seed Mavericks are more deserving than Lebron. If he wins this year, it will be proof of a massive bias and clear favoritism on behalf of the voters and the NBA in general.