Why Derrick Rose should NOT be MVP (even though he’s going to be):
Derrick Rose is not currently leading and has never led the NBA in any single category at any point in his career. He’s not even in the top five in anything. He’s a very average defensive player, shoots a horrendous 43% from the field (has any MVP’s field goal percentage been this low?), ranks 11th in Player Efficiency Rating (how is an MVP not even top 10? Lebron was far and away #1 in PER last year. Look, PER isn’t the only way to calculate how good a player is, but an MVP should at least be top 10, right?), averages less than 8 assists per game, can’t even be in the top five in scoring to make up for it, and hasn’t won a playoff series in his life yet.
My last point is fairly controversial, especially since Rose has only been in the league for three years. But that’s my point. We don’t know this guy yet. If he really steps up when it counts. How far he can take a good team. Newsflash: playoffs matter. And from what we’ve seen from Rose in the playoffs, we shouldn’t really judge at this stage, because he was on teams with very low seeds playing a much better team. What does he do with a good team? Can he win a championship? Or does he falter and bow out in the second round? We, as fans, are very quick to crown new kings- “Yeah, LeBron’s the best player in the league, what’s new?” We want something fresh, something new, someone who’s “humble”, and “quiet”, and most of all, doesn’t hold one hour TV specials to stab his team in the back. I am completely okay with Rose winning MVP. I like watching him play. He’s exciting. Just not this year.
Now, there are several other points that people like to make about Rose. The first is his team’s record. Outstanding. I will give you that. It is, indeed, no small feat to jump from an eighth seed to one seed (can you imagine if Chicago had landed Wade or LeBron? Scaaaaary.) Much of it [the Bulls’ record] is due to Rose’s improvement over the summer; however, Rose’s play was not the only catalyst in Chicago’s turnaround. Over the summer, the Bulls acquired Carlos Boozer, a 20-10-ish guy, Kyle Korver (54% 3PT FG last year. 54!), and Tom Thibodeau as their head coach (architect of current Celtics’ defense). Now factor in all this, and you’re gonna get a pretty good team, right? Now this is where Rose defenders jump at me with the “but he didn’t have Joakim Noah or Carlos Boozer for half of the season” argument. Boozer and Noah weren’t injured at the same time. So if Rose lost one, at least he had the other. He also had Luol Deng (18 PPG, excellent defender). So Rose wasn’t completely “carrying” the offensive load for the Bulls the whole time. And he certainly didn’t carry the defensive load.
The other point people try to make is that no other player means more to his team. Um, no. Guys who mean more to their team: Lebron (not to his current team, but to his Cleveland team, as you can see from their 13 win record), Nash, Howard, Dirk, Kobe, Chris Paul, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Kevin Durant. If you took Rose away and didn’t replace him, then yes, the Bulls would kinda suck. But if you switched Rose with any other elite point guard, what would be the outcome? Take Steve Nash. You put Nash in Rose’s place and maybe he doesn’t score like Rose does, but he draws the best out of everybody, making Boozer and maybe even Noah an All-Star. And if the Bulls can hide Rose on defense, I’m sure they can do the same for Nash. Now switch Dwight Howard with ANY other center and that Magic team completely combusts. 36 win team, max. I guarantee it. Talk about value.
Dwight Howard completely deserves MVP. The argument before was that he doesn’t have an offensive game, but now he does. And he cannot be stopped, impacting both sides of the court for 23.1 PPG, 14.2 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 1.3 SPG, 60% FG, en route to what’s likely to be his third straight Defensive Player Of The Year award, and on top of that, he is starting to shoot better from the free throw line. 23 PPG is pretty good for a guy that has a score first point guard as his distributor, eh? I think so. Howard has lead the league the last two years in rebounds and blocked shots (a feat only accomplished by one other player in NBA history) and is the reigning NBA defensive player of the year for the past 2 years. Derrick Rose leads his team in points and assists, Dwight Howard leads the Magic in points, rebounds, blocks, steals, and shooting percentage. Dwight is by far the best at his position and Derrick Rose is in the conversation for the best point guard. Howard is top ten in four categories and top 5 in three. The only weak spot is is his record.
Admittedly, his team is not having a great year (for them). They’ll still probably win 50+ games and it’s likely that they’ll flip the switch in the playoffs. The Magic play in the Southeast division, where they face teams like Miami, Atlanta, and Charlotte. The Bulls play in the Central Division, where they play against competition like Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Indiana. Who has tougher competition? You would think the Bulls, right? If you just had a head injury. Look, we KNOW what Howard is capable of. He dragged the 08-09 Magic to the finals against the Lakers, and beat the 66 win Cavs, then last year they swept their first two matchups beating a solid Hawks team by an average of 20+ points. And now he has an offensive game? What?!!!! Dwight Howard is the better all around player, more consistent, and he’s been in the league 8 years with plenty of evidence to support his MVP case. He’s earned his spot. Rose? Not so much. He will still win it, but in my mind, Dwight Howard is the true MVP.