Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ric Bucher, you timely bastard

We hate Ric Bucher. We really, really hate him. Alright, we don't hate him - although we do think he is a little presumptious, spelling his name without the "k." (While not thinking twice about abusing the 'editorial we' that we routinely butcher beyond recognition.)

We're just jealous because he beat us to the punch. We were going to make a post about all the different MVPs this year, and all the different ways to define them, and that bastard went and beat us to it. That's why we're jealous. (That, and the fact that millions will read his column, and only three people will read ours. Whatever.)

But you know what? That's not going to stop us. We had the idea first. Some of the ideas here are probably similar, but we thought off all this before Ric published his. And if you don't believe us, well...nothing we can do about that. So here it is, Ric Bucher be damned.

Picking an MVP, we think, is like eating a Reese's. There really is no right way. (We like to eat the peanut butter first, leaving a little chocolate ring for last. But that's just us.) Everyone has different criteria, but there are a few that seem to carry the most weight. In no particular order, they are:

The best player in the league, period. Basically, the logic goes, if the NBA held a huge one-on-one tournament, (which would be so much fun, we can't even talk about it rationally...that would blow the dunk contest right out of the water) who would win? Who is the most unguardable dude in the L, and then can lock you up at the other end, too.

This year's winner: Kobe Bryant.

Bonus points for showing us every night that not only would he win a one-on-one contest, he'd also win a one-on-tw0 contest, a one-on-three contest, a one-on four contest...plus, he scored 81 in a game. Damn.

Points taken away for jacking like a mad man, circumstances and teammates be damned. Plus, the 8-seed just doesn't cut it. You gotta win, homie. And we can't forget that it was at least 50% his fault the greatest big man of the generation and the greatest guard of the generation quit after winning three titles, so all those losses are at least 50% his fault.

The best player in the league on a good team. If a player is that good - MVP-caliber good - he should at the very least have his team in the playoffs, and probably one of the top seeds. Basketball is a sport where one player can dramatically alter a team's fortune, so he should, if the circumstances necessitate it, single-handedly make his team elite.

This year's winner: Dwyane Wade.

Bonus points for carrying a team of good players and one pretty good player to the 2 seed in the East. The Heat were injured all year, and D-Wade was the glue that kept them together. And the way he splits the D on ball screens? Damn near poetic.

Points taken away because..I mean, it is Shaq, regardless of how his skills have eroded or how many games he missed. The Big Second Fiddle racked up a triple-double the other night. The man's still a force. So he's had some help.

Who is most indespensable to their team? In other words, if you took this guy of his team, they would suck. With him, they are contenders; without him they are watching ping pong balls. For whatever reason, he makes them go. Think of it this way: if you switched him with any other player in the L, his team just wouldn't be the same.

This year's winner: Steve Nash.

Bonus points for proving last season wasn't a fluke - and without Amare Stauadamire. You can argue that style is what makes him good..but that's backwards. He's what makes Phoenix' style great. No other guard in the league - maybe Jason Kidd - could do what Nash is doing in the desert.

Loses points because we are pretty sure we could score on him. He plays no defense at all. The Texans secondary thinks Nash doesn't play and D. And even though he makes PHX's style work...he's still at least partially a product of that system.

The best player on the best team. In a nutshell, who is going to be the NBA Finals MVP. Just give him the regualr season award, too.

This year's winner: Mr. Big Shot, Chauncey Billups.

Bonus points because he - nor any one else on his team - is really an All-Star, but he is just so damn successful, how are you gonna knock him? Plus, you need a dagger shot late in the game? Look no further.

Points taken away because..well, remember that one-on-one contest?
Let's just say he won't be losing to Kobe in the finals. If he was doing on another team exactly what he was doing for the Psitons, he wouldn't even be mentioned here.

The player who far and away exceeds all expectations. Sometimes goes to a guy in his breakout year, but can also go to an established guy who just goes above and beyond the call of duty. It also helps if he improves a glaring flaw in his game. He makes his entire team better than most people thought, plus he puts up stats.

This year's winner: Dirk Nowitzki.

Dirk has been playing this year with a chip on his shoulder, we think. He always had the skill, but this season, there is just that extra oomph manifesting itself in those buzzer beaters. Remember when Happy Gilmore taunts Shooter after he learned how to put? Dirk had a similar breakthrough this year: "Uuuuh ooooh...some one learned how to drill game wiiiiiiiiiiinners."

Points taken away because...well, its still the regular season. And we've been waiting forever for this. Kind of like when the honor student starts paying attention in class. Still, that should't diminish the season Diggler is having.

The Franchise Guy. If you were going to start a franchise, who would be the one guy you'd build it around? Who has the brightest future and is the biggest talent? This is the one player who is so dominant, teams would tank an entire season just go get him.

This year's winner (and winner for the forseeable future): LeBron James.

Bonus points for being a video game player brought to real life. He's almost too good to be believable. Simple as that. No one can guard him - no one. He decides how well he plays. He had two knocks heading into the season: No postseason appearences and no game winners. Check and check.

Points taken away for...well, the fingernail biting was a little disconcerting. Looks nervous. Guess he's not, but that doesn't exactly inspire confidence when The Franchise Guy looks like he'stoo nervous to ask a girl to dance at an 8th grade formal And admitting he didn't have Kobe's killer instinct is no good, either. Maybe he's just messing with us though. Sure hope so.

He took the Clippers to the playoffs. Self-explanatory. My Lord, if that feat right there doesn't get you the MVP, what does? Is there a harder task in sports? We've thought about it, and no, there isn't.

This year's winner (and first in a while): Elton Brand.

Bonus points for taking the flippin' Clippers to the playoffs! Is the Earth still spinning? Is gravity still working? Are Phil's man boobs still jiggling? He took the Clippers to the playoffs! You know exactly what you are getting every single night. No one more reliable. Just a rock.

Points taken away because...well, he's their best player, but Sam Cassell seems like the difference maker there. ET is like Al Davis - he just wins, baby - and Elton needed that before he was this great. Makes you wonder a little bit...but just a little.
And, well...you knoe exactly what you are getting every night. Just sayin'. Oh yeah - he went to Duke, too. Ouch.

So who's the MVP? We're giving it to Bron Bron. The man is just unreal. He continues to outshine the spotlight, which, considering how bright that spotlight was and is, is impressive as anything anyone else has done this year. And when his team needed him most - down the stretch - he dropped 35 in nine straight games and picked up win after win - the Cavs were 8-1 during that stretch. One on one you can't stop him, he has a good team winning and every single GM in the L would start their franchise with him, bar none (insert Isiah Thomas joke here). That's the complete package. He did everything short of getting the Clip Show in the playoffs.
Case closed.

Who's your MVP? Vote or leave a comment. Let's get a little debate going here.

1 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

Jonny said...

Im going to have to agree with Bronny as the MVP, taking a team with mediocre talent to damn near 50 wins. But the thing I like most about him is how he is the one guy (ok maybe the black mamba also) where if i see that he is on TV im watching, i dont even care if they are playing the knicks. Cuz you just might see something, or many things, that will leave you in amazement. This is how jordan was, i was glued to wgn no matter what. That, and the evolution of his game...game winners, D, shooting %, trip dubs, all that shit....hes the MVP, and i cant wait to watch him as he tries to "win or go home"

...oh yea, and tommy seriously, you cant score on Nash, dude would take your cookies like lisa used to so u wouldnt spoil ur din din, plus your physical condition at the moment is as subpar as our scores on Bergies Back Nine (ouch)

...and, how funny will the et and kenny "gone fishing" photos be