HOOPSWORLD Week in Review
How Could Rose Not Be MVP?
By Joel Brigham
I remember him saying it. Sitting up at a folding table with Chicago Bulls drapery behind him and Tom Thibodeau to his left, Derrick told all of us assembled at 2010′s Media Day he wanted to be the MVP.
"The way I look at it within myself, why can’t I be the MVP of the league? Why can’t I be the best player?" Rose asked way back in September. "I think I’ve dedicated myself to the game and sacrificed a lot of things at a young age. I know that if I continue to do good what I can get out of it."
Several other reporters and myself looked around with eyebrows furrowed, wry smiles plastered across our faces like, "Come on, Derrick. We know you’re saying what you’re supposed to be saying, but MVP? Really?"
Magic’s Howard: ‘I like Being The Underdog’
By Derek Page
Orlando Magic center and MVP candidate Dwight Howard says he feels his team never quite gets the respect it deserves, but relishes being able to stay under the radar despite their recent success.
"We’re always under the radar," Howard tells HOOPSWORLD. "Nobody’s ever talked about the Magic in any kind of way besides that we’re not a good team. So that’s all that we hear.
"But I like it. I like being the underdog, I like people not talking about us because, on one end, it keeps everybody on their heels and makes us really have to work to prove ourselves. If we were always being talked about and always in the limelight, some guys get complacent and we’ve got to stay humble if we want to be successful."
5 Steps: Fixing The Jazz
By Mark Nugent
The Utah Jazz changed the face and the direction of their franchise at the trade deadline. The Jazz, faced with potentially losing star point guard Deron Williams to free agency in the summer of 2012, shocked the basketball world by trading him to the New Jersey Nets for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first-round draft picks.
The Jazz didn’t just lose Williams though, they also lost long-time head coach Jerry Sloan to retirement on February 10th. Sloan had been the voice of the Jazz for 23 seasons and led them to two Finals appearances in the late ’90s.
With Sloan retired and Williams traded the Jazz have been in a freefall, going 7-17 since the trade deadline. Earlier in the season the Jazz were fighting for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but their struggles since the All-Star break have already eliminated them.
Most Improved A Three-Man Race
By Stephen Litel
As always, there are many players who deserve consideration for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. Throughout the league, some players in contention seemingly came out of nowhere to make an impact on their team, while others garnered bigger roles due to trades.
Dorrell Wright from the Golden State Warriors, Kyle Lowry of the Houston Rockets, DJ Augustin of the Charlotte Bobcats or Nick Young of the Washington Wizards all deserve consideration. So do DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, Wesley Matthews of the Portland Trailblazers and Kris Humphries of the New Jersey Nets.
You can make a fine case for any of these players for the Most Improved Player award, but it truly is a three-man race.
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Still The King, Still MVP
By Tommy Beer
It is always a hotly-debated topic this time of year: What, exactly, makes a player "more valuable" than another, and what makes the chosen one, the "Most Valuable Player"
Because there is no standard definition, many of us end up disagreeing on what constitutes an MVP-worthy campaign. Some will argue that the MVP should be given to the best player in the league. Others will claim, the best player on the best team should be handed the hardware. Then someone will contend that a player’s "value" is determined by what his team’s record would be if he wasn’t on that squad? This year, it seems as if yet another rift emerged, as sabermetric-minded folks who subscribe primarily to analytical examination of the numbers tended to frequently bump heads with those who are of the opinion that quantifiable statistics do not tell the whole story. Inevitably, this discussion/argument remains unresolved, as neither side is able to convince the other.
Predicting The Playoffs
By HOOPSWORLD Staff
HOOPSWORLD asked some of our own to make their picks for the first round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Surprises? Maybe…
Have questions for Mark Nugent? Be sure and drop by HOOPSWORLD on Wednesdays at 5PM Eastern for his weekly basketball chat.