Friday, March 1, 2013

No Need to Debate, Hand LeBron the MVP

After LeBron James' recent Neo-esque performance against Sacramento (40 points - 11 in the second overtime - and 16 assists - 3 in the 2nd OT), I only have one thing to say that's been building up over the past 2 months.

Give him the MVP award. Right now. Unless he suffers a season-ending injury, there's no reason why he shouldn't win his fourth MVP award. Not writer burnout, not because there's a better candidate. None.

All respect to Kevin Durant, who's on pace to join the 50-40-90 club with the highest scoring average since Larry Bird in 1988. All respect to point guard extraordinaires Chris Paul and Tony Parker (who's having a career year driving the Spurs to the best record and just lit CP3 up with no mercy). But if you don't vote for James, you're either stupid or haven't been watching basketball this year.

For my fellow stat heads, some real numbers to ponder. If Neo James came out to help Miami get the NBA title, we're living in the Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions.

No. 3 - that's where LeBron is among scoring leaders (27.3)
No. 10 - that's where he ranks among assist leaders (7.3)
No. 3 - where he ranks in steals per game (1.9)
No. 7 - where he ranks in field goal percentage (a career-high 56.8%)
8.1 - his rebounding total which is a career-high.
.411 - his 3-point percentage, also a career-high.

Let's consider that field goal percentage. We do realize LeBron is playing on the perimeter and in the post right? We do realize he's shooting as efficient as big men while being chief facilitator and scorer right? We do realize he's currently shooting better than any guard or forward in the last 22 years right?

His 6-game streak of 30 points/60% FG was impressive but when you consider he shot 64.1% in February, that makes you lose your mind more. He's doing everything we've expected of him and yet, he's doing even more to surprise us. And that's where you throw the numbers out the window.

Watch how the Miami Heat play excellent defensive basketball following his cue. Watch how he takes things into another gear like he did against my Lakers. Watch how he's the best 2-way player in the game and proves it every night as scorer/facilitator/defender/shotblocker. Every time I've seen him this season, his hands are all over the game like it should be for a superstar.

He's the main reason why the Heat are head and shoulders above the Eastern Conference. He's been the conference player of the month every month this season after his historic February, he'll win it once again.

You just stop looking for words and watch in appreciation. We've run out of them and like his coach said in that link, he makes greatness look easy. I wanted him to morph into a killer who could control games in more obvious ways and he has.

I remember somebody saying that LeBron is on that Michael Jordan/Barry Bonds level where the only reason they didn't win more MVP's is because the media got tired of giving it to them. That'd be true this year. Durant/Parker/Paul would be worthy All-NBA First Team selections but unworthy MVP's because as incredible as they are playing, it's not on No. 6's level. They're playing for 2nd.

We should be honored watching him work the same we've watched any great player this season. And unless something changes in 2 months, we'll witness history as he's won his 4th Maurice Podoloff trophy in 5 years.

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