The NBA’s 20 Most Valuable Players in 2010-11

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article contains a material error. The author failed to combine the Value Ratings posted by SF/PF Gerald Wallace as a Bobcat and a Trailblazer.  After doing so, it was discovered that Wallace posted a combined Value Rating of 15.0, which would rank him as the 15th most valuable player on the list.  BTW, Carmelo Anthony’s combined Value Rating was also checked, but just missed making the list.

Its done!  Its finally done!! 

After a month’s worth of labor, I finally completed 2010-11 Marginal Win Score Win Charts for each and every NBA team, with wins and losses attributed to each and every player on each team.  Its taken up every second of my free time, but it has been worth it. (unlike past seasons, this season’s charts will feature each player’s “Opponent Win Score per 48″, so that the reader can see clearly the source material for MWS).

Before I post those results, I first post my annual “20 Most Valuable Players” list — again, based upon Marginal Win Score.  

In past seasons I have used “Win Contribution” as my MVP measurement.  I have ditched that measurement because few understood it, and it did not adequately recognize the value contributed to a team by a 0.500% player who plays a lot of minutes.

This season I have replaced it with the statistic I simply call “Value Rating”.  Here is a glossary to explain how it and the other statistics are derived.  Value Rating is simply the sum of a player’s “Wins” plus his “Wins Above 0.500%”.   Unlike “Win Contribution”, “Value Rating” credits a player for both his overall productivity, and his “winning team” contribution.

By the Value Rating measurement, here are the 20 Most Valuable Players for 2010-11:

  NBA MVP   VALUE
1 D Howard Orl 33.4
2 K Love Minn 30.3
3 L James Mia 26.1
4 C Paul New Orl 20.9
5 D Wade Mia 20.5
6 Z Randolph Memp 19.6
7 K Durant OKC 19.5
8 B Griffin LAC 19.1
9 P Gasol LAL 18.6
0 P Pierce Bos 18.4
1 K Garnett Bos 17.8
2 R Rondo Bos 16.9
3 K Bryant LAL 16.8
4 A Iguodala Phi 16.5
5 L Odom LAL 14.6
6 M Ginobli SA 14.5
7 L Fields NY 14.5
8 S Nash Pho 14.4
9 A Horford Atl 14.3
0 C Bosh Mia 14.2

Dwight Howard is the Marginal Win Score MVP

I have been doing my Marginal Win Score win charts for four seasons.  In those four seasons, Dwight Howard has been the MWS MVP three times. He has been consistently excellent on both ends of the court. He simply dominates his position like no other player in the NBA. This season was the best of his career, as he posted a MWS of +6.00.  I haven’t calculated every NBA season, but so far the only other people to hit that number over an entire season have been Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Kevin Love.

Yes, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Playing on one of the worst teams in the NBA, Love turned in one of the best seasons in NBA history. He was spectacular on the boards, and the addition of the 3 point shot to his game made him an efficient scorer as well.  He will almost certainly win MWS MVP very soon.

Then you have the old stand-bys, LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade.  Those three have consistently finished high up in my rankings, save for a season a piece where Wade and Paul were injured and fell off the rankings completely.

You will notice that two rookies also made the rankings, Blake Griffin of the Clippers, and Landry Fields of the New York Knicks.  The irony is this season featured one of the worst rookie crops in living memory.  Yet those two turn in elite seasons.  I will be interested to see where Fields goes from here.  His collegiate numbers at Stanford do not suggest he can maintain his statistical brilliance, but we shall see.  Griffin will simply continue to rise.

Rose was No. 21

I don’t want to join in the bashing of Derrick Rose’s selection as MVP. Obviously, his achievement was driven by ESPN and the voter’s tendency to vote for the highest scorer on the team with the most wins.

Rose had an outstanding season for the Bulls.  Nevertheless, he missed my Top 20, placing number 21. 

No Mavericks, No Bulls

There are three players on my ranking from the shamefully deposed Los Angeles Lakers: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Kobe Bryant.  None of the three performed well at all during the Lakers debacle against the Dallas Mavericks. Especially puzzling was the non-performance of Pau Gasol.  He looked as though he wanted to be anywhere else but playing basketball.

Of the seven teams remaining, two — the Bulls and the Mavericks — placed exactly zero players on my MVP list.  Both teams won with depth, and a collection of above average, but not necessarily elite, players.  Perhaps that is the road forward for the Bucks.

I will be posting the entire NBA in the next day or so. In between I will also post my “20 Most Harmful” list, otherwise known as the “Bizzaro MVP” list.

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