I’m watching what looks like its going to be an entertaining Game One of the 2010 NBA Finals. You know its a big game if the network wastes time showing the introductions. Hey, does anyone know the answer to this: When and why did the NBA adopt the tradition of mentioning player’s colleges (and now increasingly, high schools) when they introduce them? I don’t think they do that in any other sports. I thought of it because I was thinking how weird it would be to be in your mid-30s like Kobe and Garnett and still be introduced by where you went to high school. High School Prom seems like two lifetimes ago.
The NBA’s 20 MVPs by Win Contribution
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I just completed my win production calculations for every NBA team (using Marginal Win Score per 48). I have also transposed them onto win charts for every single team and will post the link to all of them in a couple of days. I’m taking my time because this season I want them to be uniform, easy-to-read, and professionally presented. So I’m taking a little time to clean up the appearance.
One of the main “overall value” statistics I keep is what I call “Win Contribution”. In simple terms its just takes the player’s marginal statistical production and playing time and translates them into a numeric expression of the impact that player had on making his team a winning team, with a .500% player making a Win Contribution of +0.000.
A couple of days ago I listed the NBA’s 20 “Most Harmful” players. The 20 on today’s list are obviously the polar opposite. Interestingly, though, they have a somewhat similar positional makeup, with 6 players having a power forward emphasis (3.6 to 4.5); 5 players having a center emphasis (4.6 to 5.0); 4 having a point guard emphasis (1.0 to 1.5); and only 5 playing a perimeter position (1.6 to 3.5). With that said, 3 of the top 5 most valuable players have a perimeter emphasis (Durant, James, and Wallace).
By the way, like the “20 Most Harmful” list, this is the third consecutive season I’ve done the “20 Most Valuable” list, and the second time in those three seasons that Dwight Howard has ended up in first place. Howard was tops two seasons ago (Click Here to see the 2007-08 list), and third last season. LeBron James has also been in the top 3 every season, finishing third twice and first last season (Click Here to see the 2008-09 list).
Here are some other, Bill Jamesian random observations about this season’s list, and how it relates to the lists of the last two seasons:
MVP List mainstays along with Howard and James
Besides Dwight Howard and LeBron James, the other players who have made each of the three MVP lists so far are: Jason Kidd, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, and… surprise… Lamar Odom.
We missed you this season
Players who made the last two lists but missed this one are: Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant. Injuries played a role there.
Welcome Back, Fellas
Players who made the first list, had off years and missed last season, but returned this season with a flourish are: the ridiculously productive Marcus Camby, both Jazz stars, Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, Steve Nash, Chris Bosh, and Manu Ginoblli.
Seems like so Long Ago
Players who made the first list and haven’t come close since: Jose Calderon (who was terrible this season), Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups, Amare Stoudamire, and Antawn Jamison.
This Season’s Troy Murphy and Joel Pryzbilla
Last season saw the brief debut for three players who had crazy productive seasons but whom no one would usually recognize as valuable (Murphy, Pryzbilla, and Paul Millsap). This season’s surprises are: Zach Randolph and Samuel Dalembert.
Supervalue Players whom fans refuse to accept as such
Three players whose value is really unquestionable, but whose value “SportsCenter Fans” of the NBA will always question anyway are: Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, and Lamar Odom.
Kevin Durant, the Spectacular Spider-Man
Thus far there has only been one player who has made both a “20 Most Harmful list” and who now makes his resounding debut as Number Two Most Valuable: Kevin Durant. Maybe Seattle coffee just didn’t agree with him.
Players who cemented themselves in 09-10
Players who made their debut last season and then made a return appearance to show it wasn’t a fluke: Gerald Wallace, Rajon Rondo, and Pau Gasol. I think we’ll be seeing those three on the list for a while to come.