MVP Race 2017

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Who is your pick for the 2017 MVP?

Russell Westbrook
12
60%
James Harden
5
25%
Kawhi Leonard
2
10%
LeBron James
0
No votes
Other
1
5%
 
Total votes : 20

MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:28 am

The 2017 season is in its final weeks, and the ballots will soon be all cast. Who's your personal pick for MVP, and is it the same person you think will actually win?

I'm going with Russell Westbrook, on both counts. The Thunder could actually still win 50 games, and even if they don't, will probably end up less than ten games worse off than they were last season, despite losing both Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. Westbrook has been carrying them all year, and he's on pace to do the unthinkable, averaging a triple-double for an entire season in the modern era. He's had some clutch performances, and been huge for them all year. Awarding the MVP to a player on a team with less than 50 wins is rare - it last happened in 1982 with Moses Malone - but given what he's done this season, and how he's carried the Thunder, I don't think it would be inappropriate for Westbrook to be another rare example. Indeed, I'd say it would be well-earned.

Speaking of close MVP races, the battle for the 1990 MVP is an interesting one to look back on, especially due to the anomaly of the player with the most first place votes ultimately missing out on the award.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby NovU on Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:37 pm

Westbrook's triple double season indeed is incredible. Looks like Harden's almost equally impressive season is being shadowed. Harden has efficiency but Westbrook has slightly more numbers in pts and reb.

OKC had three of the today's best in their young era. Damn... What if they were able to keep them all? What if... That what if lingers in my head. What monstrous team they would have been. Might as well been 3 team conference with GSW, SAS, and OKC.

That said, Westbrook is also my pick. I never imagined triple double avg season would be possible in modern era.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Sauru on Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:13 pm

westbrook needs to get the award this year.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:21 pm

If Westbrook misses out because of the Thunder's record - again, I don't think he should, but let's face it, it's a possibility - who would you give it to? I think I'd say Harden, followed by Leonard.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby NovU on Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:35 pm

I think it should be noted that Rockets' record is just as much amazing. It wouldn't be so without Harden.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Valor on Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:50 pm

Andrew wrote:If Westbrook misses out because of the Thunder's record - again, I don't think he should, but let's face it, it's a possibility - who would you give it to? I think I'd say Harden, followed by Leonard.

Leonard's performances are more impressive I reckon. Harden has better stats but it is D'Antoni's offense after all.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Lamrock on Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:16 pm

You could make a case for any of the top four guys. I lean towards Harden myself. Like Westbrook, he puts up extremely gaudy stats and gets a lot of triple doubles. I'd take Harden's superior efficiency over the extra couple rebounds Westbrook gets to average a triple double. His defense isn't very good but neither is Westbrook's.

Is it fair to knock Westbrook for the Thunder's record? Maybe not, but that's just how MVP goes. Can't retroactively give Kobe the 2006 MVP. It's worth noting that Russ is only able to play hero ball to such a degree because of the lack of talent around him. Maybe it's a stupid argument, but it doesn't matter because I don't get a vote.

Kawhi has the textbook MVP resume, but given Westbrook and Harden having historic seasons as well as far more charisma, I don't see the media giving it to Leonard this year. I wouldn't mind him winning it, given his play on both ends of the floor. However, he's nowhere near the playmaker Harden, Westbrook or LeBron are.

LeBron is LeBron. He's great as always, and while there's nobody I'd take over playoff LeBron, he hasn't had quite as impressive a season as the other three.

If I had a fifth place vote, I'd give it to Rudy Gobert, because he's that good
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:27 pm

Lamrock wrote:It's worth noting that Russ is only able to play hero ball to such a degree because of the lack of talent around him. Maybe it's a stupid argument, but it doesn't matter because I don't get a vote.


I get where you're coming from, but to me that's kind of like the old "he puts up good stats on a bad team" argument. He has more opportunity to play hero ball than others might, but he also pulls it off and against the same competition as everyone else. There are other stars on talent-thin rosters who don't have eye-popping numbers and aren't carrying their teams to records as good as the Thunder's. Speaking of better records, couldn't similar logic be applied to the MVP candidates on teams with more wins than the Thunder, ie. don't they only have better records because they have superior teammates?

In terms of efficiency, what metric are we using these days? I'm just wondering, as Westbrook is actually leading the league in PER.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Lamrock on Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:45 am

Valid points. I'd have Westbrook as my second place vote but I'll take gaudy stats on a mid-50's win team over gaudy stats on a mid-40's win team in the MVP context.

My favorite (admittedly dated) efficiency metrics are true shooting percentage and win shares.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby NovU on Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:54 am

Don't forget the ORtg. Anything over 120 is godly, over 15 is definite superstar, over 110 is a rocker. Harden's is at 116 and Westbrook at 112 at the moment.

Westbrook's PER is nice but he has historical 41.8% usage rate compared to modest(?) Harden's 34.3%. I don't think I've seen that number before. More the use of possession, more you will create something which pads your PER.

Still Westbrook's triple double avg is nice. My heart says Westy but my brain says Harden, for the MVP.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:45 am

Harden's definitely a worthy candidate, and I agree that it always looks a little better when the MVP is from a 50+ win team, as that's tradition. But hey, it has happened before, and we've also seen an entire starting five be named Player of the Week before, so we're seeing a change in the way we think about these things.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby air gordon on Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:35 am

NovU wrote:Don't forget the ORtg. Anything over 120 is godly, over 15 is definite superstar, over 110 is a rocker. Harden's is at 116 and Westbrook at 112 at the moment.

Westbrook's PER is nice but he has historical 41.8% usage rate compared to modest(?) Harden's 34.3%. I don't think I've seen that number before. More the use of possession, more you will create something which pads your PER.

Still Westbrook's triple double avg is nice. My heart says Westy but my brain says Harden, for the MVP.

I am curious of what Lenard's numbers would be if he had same usage as those and also afforded the luxury of not being the defensive juggernaut

Big O didn't win the mvp the year he averaged a triple double. Just saying
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:01 pm

Well, the year The Big O averaged that triple-double, Wilt also averaged 50.4 ppg and 25.7 rpg in 48.5 mpg, incredible and historic numbers in their own right.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Sauru on Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:25 pm

Andrew wrote:Well, the year The Big O averaged that triple-double, Wilt also averaged 50.4 ppg and 25.7 rpg in 48.5 mpg, incredible and historic numbers in their own right.


he didnt win the damn award either. how the hell do you go for 50/25 and not win MVP?
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:05 pm

Bill Russell, that's how.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Phil89 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:12 pm

Westbrook is now tied with Oscar on 41. He only needs 16 total assists in the final 5 games to confirm the triple-double season (Y)

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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Phil89 on Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:11 pm

Westbrook may well have sealed the MVP against Memphis tonight. 45p/9r/10a/5s (tied career-high 8 threes). Clutch three pointers to win the game again.

Seventh time this season that he has been an assist or rebound short of a triple-double.


Amazing stats aside, I think it's more impressive that he has dragged this OKC team to within 10 wins of their total from last season, despite losing Durant and Ibaka.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:37 pm

Phil89 wrote:Amazing stats aside, I think it's more impressive that he has dragged this OKC team to within 10 wins of their total from last season, despite losing Durant and Ibaka.


I agree. The fact that he's also done something historically significant at the same time seals the deal for me.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby NovU on Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:39 pm

Had a brief discussion with Gobert for MVP crowd the other day. Westy's teammates regressed to let Westy shine outright that includes Kanter, Oladipo, etc. But Gobert is a team booster and the best big man in the league, tremendously helping Hayward look like a max player.

I kinda see the point though. Other superstars are conscious enough about team effort, great example being LBJ.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:03 pm

I don't know about that. That seems like it's selling Hayward a little short.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Jackal on Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:44 pm

Not to mention selling Westbrook short. The guy is literally carrying that team. Without him they would be lottery bound.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Phil89 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:51 am

Harden has been amazing this season, but how can you deny Westbrook now?


He has history by himself now with 42. It's ridiculous to think that he could have theoretically reached 50 for the season with all those games where he only missed out by the odd assist or rebound.

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He got the record in style too. His third 50-point triple-double of the season, super clutch again. 50p/16r/10a (17-32 shooting, only 2 turnovers) and the game-winning contested three.

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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:17 am

I can't see him not winning it now. The only real argument against him is the unofficial tradition/requirement of the team winning at least 50 games. However, there's the historical precedent with an all-time great in Moses Malone, and the Thunder aren't that far off 50; indeed, they can still finish 48-34. Going back to what I said before, to achieve something so historically significant from an individual standpoint, while carrying the team so often in the clutch and finishing less than ten games worse off despite losing Durant and Ibaka...it's an incredible performance, a standout season, and a sign of how valuable he is to the team. Very worthy MVP credentials.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby benji on Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:02 am

Sauru wrote:
Andrew wrote:Well, the year The Big O averaged that triple-double, Wilt also averaged 50.4 ppg and 25.7 rpg in 48.5 mpg, incredible and historic numbers in their own right.


he didnt win the damn award either. how the hell do you go for 50/25 and not win MVP?

The players voted for the award until 1980 when it switched to broadcasters and sportswriters.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Dee4Three on Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:54 am

Russell Westbrook was the best player in the NBA this season, the fact that the Thunder almost won 50 games, after losing Durant, while battling injuries from Kanter and Oladipo.... it blows my mind. You take Westbrook off that team, and they maybe win 15 games, maybe.

He did everything for them, and the players on his team gush about him, they love him. You can tell they consider him a great leader, how can you not follow a guy like Westbrook who wants to win so bad, and lays it on the line every single night, taking no games off?

If he doesn't win it, I will be a sad guy.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby I Hate Mondays on Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:15 am

Meh, even though Westbrook will win the MVP this season, I am cheering for Harden. Sure, people enjoy good scenarios. "Look at him and what he can do without Durant. He is carrying his team. He broke the record!!" etc. etc. He averages a triple-double, that's outstanding (even though half of his rebounds this season were allowed by his bigman teammates. They know what was going on, the historic figures Westbrook was going for, so they'd often step away from a rebound to let Russel grab the board). Put Harden in his exact same spot, the outcome might've been the same.
Even though Harden plays for a team with a totally different feel for the game, his stats are very, very similar. He's only two boards/game shy from averaging a triple-duble by himself. That's because he know his role and lets other guys do the boards work. He lead a team to the 3rd place in the WC. He leads the 2nd best offense in the NBA right now (the Thunder are at the 16th spot). I do agree with the beard, even though I am no bandwagoner. Winning is more important. At the end of the day, hero-ball teams have 0 chances in the playoffs. Smart offensive playsets(while still mantaining a high usage rate for the best player on the team, just not hero ball) have better chances.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Phil89 on Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:59 am

Or maybe his teammates just know how good he is at setting up transition scoring opportunities when he gets the ball in his hands quickly. OKC are 3rd in the NBA for fastbreak points this season.

Besides, Westbrook doesn't need any help to get rebounds. Guy is an insane competitor for his size.

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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby air gordon on Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:01 am

So really- how many of the rebounds Westbrook's teammates gave him? And howany turned into miscommunication and the opponent got the rebound instead?

Or how about rebounds from missed free throws? Should we discount those?
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Dee4Three on Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:16 am

Donovan said he likes Westbrook getting the rebound and starting the break, he is unstoppable on the break.

Not even counting stats, lets forget stats for a moment. Lets say his stats were exactly the same as Harden, Westbrook is still my MVP. Him leading THAT TEAM to almost 50 wins, with the injuries they sustained (Oladipo missing 16 games, and Kanter missing 11 games), is amazing. The current Rockets roster without Harden is still formidable, they have so many good pieces.

Westbrooks all out leadership and effort, in my opinion, is unmatched this season. Harden is a fantastic runner up, and had a great season.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby I Hate Mondays on Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:28 am

air gordon wrote:Or how about rebounds from missed free throws? Should we discount those?


Yeah those were awesome. I should've left the rebound part out of my statement. Still in for the other part of my post.

Deep4three, I get you man but that's just my opinion. I see Westbrook as a terrific player, but I think Harden could've done the same things in his spot, with the same injured teammates. Carrying a bad team to the playoffs is irrelevant for legit MVP voters. (see Anthony Davis a couple of years ago).

Phil89, you probably want to punch me right now, lol. I've been discrediting Westbrook in the same threads you post since the beginning of the season. Sorry man, I have to see Westbrook carry his team in the playoffs vs. the Rockets, that's the only way I'm keeping my mouth shut for good. Bonus, will change my profile pic and use a Westbrook pic as a tribute if that happens.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Dee4Three on Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:42 am

That is where we differ.

I think if you swapped them, the Thunder would not be nearly as good. Harden is surrounded by many veterans (Ariza, Nene, Ryan Anderson, Lou Williams, Even Eric Gordon now), all of those guys play important roles on the team. I think the veterans take to Harden much better, he has guys around him that have been around awhile, know how to handle him, and just flatout know how to play.

Taj Gibson didn't come to the Thunder until later in the season, but he is really the only veteran presence on that team that logs a decent amount of minutes. Even Steven Adams is only 23. I think Hardens demeanor and play style wouldn't have fit as well in OKC if you swapped them, as in, I don't think they are a 40 win team with Harden.

So, not only do I think Westbrook deserves it because I legit think he is the best player in the league, but I think if you swap places, the Thunder do worse, and Westbrook still wins 50 with the Rockets.

Again, Harden was awesome this season. But I think Westbrook on ANY team with his energy, and leadership, would be a very good team.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Dee4Three on Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:57 am

I also want to mention Westbrooks intensity on Defense. When you watch both play, Westbrook is making plays on the defensive end, which fires his team up in a big way. If Westbrook gets beat, it's not because of effort or him getting lost.

I love Westbrook on both sides of the ball, I can't say the same for Harden.

Harden on defense is basically the NBA 2K17 defense for most of the game.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Stress Fracture on Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:46 am

If Westbrook wins this year, you gotta have to wonder why Harden didn't win it in 2015. Except the triple double average, he literally dragged Houston to the 2nd seed that year with key players missing bunches of games.

Call me a homer or what, but it is just like that.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby DaCrispy on Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:49 am

Jimmer Fredette!!!!!! Didn't specify which league :lol: :lol: :lol:
Jimmer Fredette is making it back to the NBA!!!!!!

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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Phil89 on Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:00 am

I Hate Mondays wrote:Phil89, you probably want to punch me right now, lol. I've been discrediting Westbrook in the same threads you post since the beginning of the season. Sorry man, I have to see Westbrook carry his team in the playoffs vs. the Rockets, that's the only way I'm keeping my mouth shut for good. Bonus, will change my profile pic and use a Westbrook pic as a tribute if that happens.

Not at all. The point of this forum is to debate and discuss stuff like this.

It just kinda annoys me when people feel the need to criticize Westbrook in order to argue Harden's case for MVP. Fact is they both deserve it this year. Co-MVP would actually be really cool (if possible).

Btw I'd have no problem if Harden wins it. I just personally feel that Westbrook deserves it more.


Stress Fracture wrote:If Westbrook wins this year, you gotta have to wonder why Harden didn't win it in 2015. Except the triple double average, he literally dragged Houston to the 2nd seed that year with key players missing bunches of games.

Call me a homer or what, but it is just like that.

I agree, that's a valid point.

But it's unfair to use that as an argument against Russ winning it this year. It's not his fault the voters did what they did in 2015.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Andrew on Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:25 am

Stress Fracture wrote:If Westbrook wins this year, you gotta have to wonder why Harden didn't win it in 2015. Except the triple double average, he literally dragged Houston to the 2nd seed that year with key players missing bunches of games.

Call me a homer or what, but it is just like that.


Harden definitely had a case in 2015, but as you noted, he didn't have an historically significant season numbers-wise. It's definitely a factor, as it emphasises just how much Westbrook did for the team this year, how such an impressive all-around effort led the Thunder to the record they've managed. Also, while key players for the Rockets did miss chunks of the 2015 season, it'd still be fair to say that their roster was better than this year's Thunder squad.

Beyond that though, all eyes were on the 67-15 Warriors, and Stephen Curry's step up from "guy who can really shoot" to "guy who can carry a team to a great record"; the best in team history, until they went 73-9 the very next season. It's unfortunate for Harden that his strongest MVP bids have come in seasons where another player has done something really impressive and has a strong case for MVP themselves.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Phil89 on Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:03 am

Cool to see Oscar Robertson at the game in OKC tonight. He gave his vote on the MVP (or maybe he was just playing to the crowd lol) :wink:

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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Phil89 on Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:17 pm

Do we really have to wait until June 26th to find out who won? That seems pretty ridiculous.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby air gordon on Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:44 am

More money opportunities for the league

I do wonder how much better Westbrook would be if he was afforded the spacing harden has

No slight on harden of course. Its more a selling point for Westbrook. Aside from dipo, there isn't much shooting out there. Lol kinda reminds of Dominique Wilkins storming down the lane while lane cloggers like tree Rollins, Kevin Willis, and cliff Levingston are getting out of the way
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Phil89 on Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:51 am

Enes Kanter wrote an article in support of Russ winning MVP.

It explains a bit about Westbrook the person/teammate, rather than just focussing on the stats of Westbrook the player.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Murat on Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:38 am

This shows me how great a team they are. They are all united for a man's MVP chance, not even considering about their careers. Kanter and Adams could take the rebounds themselves for a possible fat contract, but instead they help Westbrook.

Enes is a villain in his homeland, but props to the guy
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Kevin on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:02 pm

Murat wrote:Enes is a villain in his homeland, but props to the guy

Was this because of his drama about his father?

Westbeast will probably win the MVP, no doubt.
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Re: MVP Race 2017

Postby Murat on Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:06 am

Kevin wrote:
Murat wrote:Enes is a villain in his homeland, but props to the guy

Was this because of his drama about his father?


http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/1711 ... th-threats
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