And The Winners Are...(NBA 2.1 of 2)
Boston/Atlanta- Where Deja Vu Happens...
Before breaking down that series...or massacre. Out West, honestly, I think every team has a legitimate shot to win it all. Seriously, that's how stacked this conference is this year. I mean, if Denver rolls around mid-June and for the first time in their respective careers Iverson and Melo are holding that trophy, I will not be surprised. Okay, I will be, but not as much as say Atlanta playing a seventh game in Boston early next month. Get me? Good. Okay, before I do that, I need to get to my MVP and Coach Of The Year awards. For me, I don't do it the way the NBA does it. Giving it to the best guy on the best team, just cause. (See Nowitzki, Dirk last year ahead of Nash, Steve) Coach Of The Year, same bit. I base it off of, if I take Player/Coach A and put them on this team, subbing in an average Player/Coach in his place, does this team still run the way it did this year? For Coach of the Year, the following folks deserve your applause...
Doc Rivers, Boston
Byron Scott, New Orleans
Stan Van Gundy, Orlando
Rick Adelman, Houston
Envelope please? (Gets envelope from lovely Grimey assistant with the double Ds and the blonde locks.) Ladies and gentlemen...your Grimey Coach of the Year is...
Doc Rivers. What? But you said Byron deserved it in your previous columns! I know and he does, but after reading the Sports Guy's column, something hit me. Until this year, Doc hasn't done or been much as a coach. Hell, coming into this year before being handed KG by McHale and getting Ray Ray, I had even money on Doc being fired before the year ended. Now, it's even money that in June, millions of people will be second guessing themselves for doubting his ability to coach. Okay, I get he has the Boston Three Party. But think about this people, before Opening Tip, what else did they have there? Nothing. Doc coached the other 9 on that team to play well above what the name on the back of their jersey said. Byron to a lesser extent, validated why J-Clown was a moron for running him out of Jersey. He had virutally the same chemical makeup of the two teams he guided to the Finals earlier this decade, only with a better 4 in West and a much, much, MUCH better PG in CP3. More on them later.
Now...for MVP. I base MVP on this premise and very little else. It's not about being the best player on the best team, because that "best team" can do without you and still be pretty good. More or less, it's all the intangibles I factor into the mix that get ignored. And even though LBJ played out of his mind this season, he won't be on the final cut. If you're not able to get your team anywhere ABOVE 4th place in a JV caliber conference, you're not an MVP to me. You're just a really good player on a fairly good team in a sucky conference. Now, for my list which is kinda obvious all told...
Chris Paul, NO aka CP3
Kobe Bryant, LAL aka Kobe Bauer (I don't think I ever explained why he has the last name Bauer. I based it off of obviously, Jack Bauer of 24. I forget which season, probably the last I actually watched, but when he bit someone's neck out to escape a situation...on top of all the other kick assery things he does, I had to give him that moniker.)
That's it. Just two. KG just BARELY misses the cut for this reason. MVPs have to be that guy who can win you a game with the game and your season on the line. KG, to me in any event, just doesn't have this in him. Maybe he proves me wrong, but to this point in his career in spite of the lights out year Boston had...he doesn't make this list. These two guys, to me, are going to be the reason their teams are actively contending for a title instead of PRETENDING. I had a lot to think about here, watching them both during the year and I'm going to go out on a fairly sturdy limb and say if Kobe doesn't win his first NBA MVP this year, he'll probably share it with KG. Which of and within itself is doing an injustice to the man I'm giving this thing to...
Chris Paul. Why Paul? Well, consider this. A) He's playing in a town that was ravaged by a natural disaster a few years ago and a President that got help there too little, way too late. As a result of a town that's forced to rebuild from the ground up, I think you could've given away tickets to games this year and still not gotten a full house. B) Did I mention he's playing in the toughest conference on the planet? No? How about the toughest division? No? Oh. Well, I just did, you should pay attention. Still, I'm giving this to Paul over Kobe because MVPs don't cry, bitch and moan about the teammates they have. They go out and play with them, through thick and thin. Hence why I didn't even bother mentioning LBJ's name. LeBron's walked out on his team and all told, as much as I can empathize with his frustration and all, no Grimey MVP walks on his team. Nor does a Grimey MVP speak ill of his mates in the media.
I hate that I didn't get to see more of NO this year, but thankfully, I will this April and May because I truly believe Chris Paul will snatch the reigns of 'Best PG Ever' away from Magic before it's all said and done. I'd go as far as to say he's the second best behind Nash and that has me really hoping for a second round NO/PHO matchup so we can see these two go head up. Still, I look at Paul's situation inside and out this year and can't help but marvel at how well he handled himself and this team. Sure, people will swoon over KG reenergizing a once thought to be dead franchise. That's swell, but Paul did something bigger to me. He got a city that had next to no hope, a reason to have some about one of their franchises. Yeah, the Saints had a rather spirited run to the NFC title game two years ago and then crash landed back to reality a year ago. These Hornets are here to stay in my mind. Byron Scott has proved he can coach and here's the single biggest reason I think Paul's most deserving of this award...
You take any PG off of any team, anyone and I don't see the Hornets doing what they did this year. Not Nash, not Parker, not J-Clown could've gotten NO to 56 wins and a division crown. Come to think of it, I don't think the Hornets even won a division crown in Charlotte. Ever.
Alright, this ran kinda long so I'm gonna split this up yet again.
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