Below I have calculated the Win Score and Opponent Win Score per 48 minutes for the most marginally productive players in the NBA. I then translated those numbers into Marginal Win Scores, and then into wins and losses produced for the player’s respective teams. After that I ranked the players according to the number of “Wins above 0.500%” they have produced so far (W>0.5%= Wins – Losses /2).
At the end of the season I will contend that the player who produced the most wins above 0.500% for his team ought to be declared the most valuable player in the NBA. Of course, it won’t happen unless by coincidence. My definition of “MVP” has nothing to do with the actual MVP voting which is better characterized as “the best player on a winning team”. My definition is not meant to measure the best basketball player. It is meant to measure the most productive player, which is altogether different.
Love and Howard
Quietly, two players in the NBA are having historically awesome seasons: Kevin Love of Minnesota and Dwight Howard of Orlando. Each has produced around +10.5 wins above 0.500% for his team. Each is well above the +6.00 MWS that marks a truly historic season. Love’s season, though, has been strange, in that his team is well below 0.500%. That is a measure of the talent surrounding him.
Howard is the Wilt Chamberlain of his generation. He has won two of the last three Marginal Win Score MVP’s. His basketball skills may be rudimentary, but he is very, very productive. And unlike most players, defense plays a significant role in Howard’s win production. He consistently holds his opponent centers well under the Win Score per 48 average for the position (12.34). He and Rajon Rondo are, in my opinion, the best defenders in the Association, if you define defense as “preventing one’s opponent from producing beneficial statistics for his team”. For most players, defense accounts for only 25% of their wins, or thereabout. For both Howard and Rondo, defense accounts for nearly 43% of their wins.
Near the bottom of the rankings, I threw in a bunch of players who don’t deserve to be there, but who are constantly mentioned in MVP discussions. Players like Derrick Rose of Chicago, Amare Stoudamire of New York, and Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas. Stoudamire is not having that great of a season because his defense is terrible. Rose and Nowitzki are both having fine seasons, but neither is anywhere near the MVP award by productive standards.
The top rookie is now Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers. He has put some clear blue water between himself and Landry Fields.
Every season one player pops up into the top 20 and then disappears in the following seasons. Examples include Troy Murphy, Samuel Dalembert, and Joel Pryzbilla. This season that flash in the pan player appears to be Kris Humphries of the New Jersey Nets.
The 2010-11 NBA MVP Race