## Kevin Love dominating NBA MVP Race

I just finished calculating as many of the big producers in the NBA as I could to figure out who is the NBA’s Most Valuable Player so far.  By a landslide, it is Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Of course, as always, I used my derivation of the Win Score metric, which I call Marginal Win Score.  Here, however, I use my new “charting” system which people seem to like more because it shows all the work.  The chart features each player’s Win Score, each player’s Opponent Win Score, and then the corresponding Marginal Win Score, which is calculated as follows (MWS=WS-OppWS/2).  (The player’s Win Score stats come from basketball-reference.com; the Opponent’s Win Score stats come from the observations provided by 82games.com)

MVP CALCULATIONS

Once I have the player’s MWS, then I can calculate the player’s Winning Percentage (W%= MWS  /48 * 1.621 + 0.1  /48 * 19780  /82), and based on each player’s number of “Player Games” (Player Games=Player’s Minutes / (Total Team Minutes /#games played), then I can tell you how many wins and losses I attribute to each player (W__L: Player Games * W%).

I then rank each player’s “value” based on the number of wins the player has produced “greater than .500%” (W>0.5%= Wins – Losses / 2).

Below is my Excel Spreadsheet rankings.  As you can see, Fu Manchu Stan Love’s Kid is having a season in the sun, a season I can only refer to as “Bill Russellesque“.  I say that because I have never encountered a “modern” (post- ABA merger) player whose MWS was ever better than the MWS posted this season by Kevin Love.  It is even better than the rate of win productivity posted by Bill Walton in 1978, just before he famously broke his foot.  As Jalen Rose said a few weeks ago on ESPN, “Kevin Love is puttin up THROWBACK numbers.”  Indeed he is.

You will notice also that two rookies made the chart:  Blake Griffin and Landry Fields.  Each is, at the moment, in a deadheat for Rookie of the Year, with each having produced +3.1 wins above .500% so far.

 WS OpWS MWS W% W__L W>0.5% K Love 21.69 9.24 6.22 1.558 8.5__(-5.4) 6.9 D Howard 17.91 6.57 5.67 1.464 7.2__(-2.3) 4.7 L James 13.15 4.26 4.45 1.257 7.2__(-1.5) 4.3 C Paul 15.11 5.78 4.66 1.293 7.1__(-1.6) 4.3 D Wade 12.33 3.49 4.42 1.256 6.6__(-1.4) 4 P Gasol 17.24 9.81 3.72 1.141 6.8__(-0.8) 3.8 R Rondo 11.85 1.51 5.17 1.379 5.4__(-2.1) 3.7 M Camby 18.67 9.27 4.71 1.299 5.6__(-1.3) 3.4 P Pierce 11.36 3.79 3.78 1.145 6.0__(-0.7) 3.3 S Nash 12.87 4.32 4.28 1.231 5.6__(-1.0) 3.3 B Griffin 16.42 9.64 3.39 1.078 5.9__(-0.4) 3.1 L Fields 13.89 6.16 3.87 1.161 5.5__(-0.8) 3.1 A Horford 17.17 10.82 3.18 1.051 5.8__(-0.3) 3 M Ginobli 12.15 5.02 3.57 1.111 5.5__(0.5) 3 Z Randolph 16.44 10.01 3.22 1.051 5.4__(-0.3) 2.8 L Odom 16.25 10.44 2.91 0.999 5.5__0.0 2.7 K Garnett 18.23 10.07 4.08 1.195 4.7__(-0.8) 2.7 C Bosh 12.54 7.33 2.61 0.949 5.5__0.3 2.6 K Humphries 18.11 10.84 3.64 1.121 4.3__(-0.5) 2.4 K Durant 10.78 5.46 2.66 0.959 5.2__0.3 2.4 J Kidd 10.62 5.19 2.72 0.969 4.9__0.1 2.4 K Bryant 8.94 3.88 2.53 0.941 4.9__0.3 2.3 D Williams 10.08 5.75 2.17 0.869 5.1__0.8 2.1 Jsh Smith 13.71 9.71 1.99 0.849 4.7__0.8 1.9 E Okafor 14.66 10.28 2.19 0.879 4.4__0.6 1.9 C Anthony 10.13 5.41 2.36 0.911 4.0__0.4 1.8 D Nowitzki 14.95 9.89 2.53 0.941 4.0__0.3 1.8 K Martin 9.21 4.97 2.12 0.869 4.2__0.6 1.8 T Duncan 16.76 12.09 2.34 0.899 4.1__0.5 1.8 T Chandler 17.59 12.26 2.67 0.959 3.9__0.2 1.8 R Allen 9.55 5.95 1.79 0.809 4.5__1.1 1.7 M Barnes 11.35 5.33 3.01 1.021 3.3__(-0.1) 1.7 A Kirilenko 9.43 5.47 1.98 0.839 4.0__0.8 1.6 A Miller 8.98 5.25 1.87 0.819 4.2__0.9 1.6 T Parker 9.36 5.65 1.86 0.817 4.2__1.0 1.6 D Rose 8.96 6.18 1.39 0.739 4.1__1.5 1.3 J Noah 16.58 12.65 1.97 0.839 3.0__0.6 1.2 P Milsap 14.11 11.47 1.32 0.729 3.9__1.4 1.2 A Bogut 12.59 9.76 1.51 0.761 3.0__1.0 1 J McGee 14.54 11.91 1.32 0.729 2.9__1.1 0.9 E Brand 13.53 12.02 0.76 0.639 3.4__1.9 0.7 G Wallace 9.03 7.45 0.79 0.641 2.7__1.5 0.7 13.54 7.67 2.94 1.004

### 6 Responses to “Kevin Love dominating NBA MVP Race”

1. Shareef Says:

Are you talking about something other than the MVP they give out after the regular season? Because Kevin Love will be lucky to make the All Star Team!

• tywill33 Says:

Yes. My analysis has nothing whatsoever to do with the arbitrary, politically driven award given at the end of the season. Kevin Love has no chance to win that award. No chance.

Here’s how stupid the criteria for that award can become. Last season on the Scott Van Pelt show I heard the otherwise intelligent Van Pelt describe his criteria for NBA MVP voting: “…which NBA player would you least want to check.” Um, by that criteria I would have to cast my vote as an equal between every player in the NBA — with some obviously being more equal than others, as Orwell once wrote.

When I refer to the NBA’s MVP I am just generally looking at which player — by my criteria — is contributing the most “win value” to his team.

• arturogalletti Says:

I chortled. You made Diet Coke fly out my nose.

• tywill33 Says:

Which point induced the spit take? The Scott Van Pelt comment? I could not believe when I heard him say that. That’s actually how he chooses between MVP candidates! SVP thought bubble: “Gee, I could probably hold Kobe to 45 points, but damn… LeBron would probably get 50 some on me… so, okay my vote goes to LeBron!”

2. the hammer Says:

How are you not a voting member for the MVP? I wish you could do some analysis on how Love can get 15 rebounds a game without his feet ever leaving the floor. I can see those numbers come down this season as he is starting to get a bit too comfortable firing threes. It’s tough to get an offensive rebound when you are waiting for a pass in the corner.

We have reached a point in the NBA where anyone can score, especially in the regular season when no one plays defense. Kris Humphries had a 30 point game this year!! Who is Kris Humphries? exactly (although I think he is dating a kardashian). Not everyone can get 20 rebounds a game because no one cares enough to get 20 rebounds a game in the regular season. Love wants the rebounds, but I don’t think he would score such a high “win value” in the playoffs. Everybody seems to crash the boards a bit harder in the playoffs. Not that the wolves have to worry about playoffs.

NBA players get paid to score. If you can get 15 to 20 pts a game, you are going to get a team to pay you.

Basically, I guess that it comes down to effort and incentive. Some people will do what is in their best interest and some just want to win.

Watching Love play is a breath of fresh air; which is necessary because jonny flynn is stinkin up the court. The wolves will be interesting with another lottery pick and ricky rubio coming next year.

• tywill33 Says:

Great points!

Is Flynn doing shitty? I know he was last season.

As for the rebounding without leaving the floor, its all technique. Last season I counted “below the rim” rebounds in a series of NBA games. 93% of all rebounds were gathered below rim level, and a very high percentage were “carv out” rebounds, meaning the player got the rebound with gum stuck to his shoe.

That’s why girth and technique and desire have so much to do with rebounding. Much, much more so than leaping ability. (Height counts, though, too).

Also, I read an article on Love’s ability to “see” where a rebound will land before it even touches the rim… in much the same way a good centerfielder can “see” were a ball will land off the sound of the bat and the trajectory of the ball.

I wish I could remember where I read that.