The season hasn't even started yet, but I'm already starting to think about who can possibly win the MVP of the 2009-2010 season. To me, it came down to the top three finalists in this past seasons MVP race. I don't see any people surprising us, and becoming a major contender in this years MVP race right away. Here are some previews to this years upcoming season.
1. Dwyane Wade, Guard, Miami Heat
Dwyane Wade has one of the best shots at winning his first MVP title, so long as he can get a good supporting cast around him during the off-season. If Wade had the supporting cast that LeBron had, or that Kobe had, Wade would have been the 2008-2009 Regular Season MVP. D-Wade has all the skills to do anything and everything, and have his way with other teams defense.
Wade is definately one of the quickest Guards in the NBA, and he shows it with his full court fast breaks, and his ankle breaking maneuvers. Also, after this past summers Olympic Games in Beijing, Wade's defense picked up tremendously, and being with all those all-stars, and gold medalists, Wade learned alot from them.
Dwyane Wade should have won the MVP this past season, if it weren't for his bad supporting cast. Wade proved he could score with the best, leading the league in scoring, with his average of 30.2 PPG over the span of last season. Wade also averaged 7.5 assists, showing that he is an excellent playmaker, but again, that goes along with having some good teammates to finish off his plays.
Wade also showed his defensive ability, averaging a career high 2.2 Steals Per Game, and 1.3 Blocks Per Game. It seemed that everyones defense picked up after the 2008 Gold Medal Olympics, or is it just me that thinks that? Oh well, anyways, Wade showed he isn't a pushover on the defensive end. D-Wade finished the season as the second best thief, averaging just .6 steals less than SPG leader, Chris Paul.
Wade led all Guards in blocks this season, but, you couldn't expect him to get more blocks than the big guys down low who live and die by blocks. Wade espeically showed his blocking skills in the NBA Playoffs, first round, averaging 1.6 blocks per game. Wade definately has to be considered one of the more elite defenders in the NBA today.
Wade's all around play has me definately considering him as one of the top MVP candidates. There are few people who I think can match Dwyane Wade's talent.
2. LeBron James, Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James, the reigning Regular Season MVP, has showed he has the skills to be of the MVP Calibur. Unlike Wade, LeBron had the supporting cast to finish off a great season as a team, and be able to secure his first, of many, MVP's. I think for the next 6 or so years, the MVP race will always come down to Dwyane Wade and LeBron James being two of the top candidates, as long as they stay healthy.
LeBron did not win the scoring championship this past year, but he did the year before, and we all know LeBron can have his way with just about any kind of defense. It's tough to stop a 6'8", 250 lbs machine, coming at you with full speed. All you can do is jump and hope for the best. That's why this past season, LeBron averaged 28.4 Points a game. This man is one of the best at drawing fouls, and that helps him alot in getting his 28 points a game.
LeBron led his team in assists, with 7.2, which is amazing, since LeBron had a better supporting cast than Dwyane Wade's heat, supposedly, yet Wade averaged more assists? Hm.. Anyways LeBron also pulled down roughly 7.6 boards a game. Being a big guy, he is pretty good at getting up there, and being able to rip down the boards with the best of them.
Now, onto something LeBron picked up after the 2008 Olympic games, his defense. LeBron averaged 1.7 take-aways per game. Now, LeBron averaged 1.8 steals last year, so hopefully this doesn't mean his steals will go down after this season. Hell, LeBron almost averaged 1.2 blocks per game, close to Wade's, but lower. LeBron's defense did pick up a bit over the summer, and apparently enough to win an MVP. Maybe he will pick up some more this summer.
3. Kobe Bryant, Guard, Los Angeles Lakers
Now, onto Kobe, former 1 time regular season MVP, and reigning 1 time NBA Finals MVP. Kobe has showed that he is worthy of this title, and that he is one of the most dynamic scorers in the NBA, holding two recent scoring titles. Kobe can do it all, score, be a playmaker, play excellent defense.
Kobe was third in the Scoring rankings this past season(go figures huh?), with 26.8 PPG. I believe, if he wanted to, Kobe could average well over 30 points per game. It kind of makes it better that Kobe didn't score as much as usual, because it shows he has not been being selfish lately, and allowing others to take the spotlight.
Kobe has a good supporting cast, more than likely the best supporting cast out of these three candidates. Despite his good supporting cast, Kobe hasn't been much of a playmaker this season, only averaging 4.9 assists a game. Kobe was also third in the Shooting Guard rankings in rebounds, with 5.2 a game. That's only .2 higher than Wade's average, and alot less than LeBron's.
Now onto defense, the thing this coming up year's MVP class needs to sort them out from the rest. Kobe is one of the great defenders, sadly it did not show on his stats this season, averaging 1.5 steals a game. We all know Kobe is better than that. Kobe is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and it may not show on his stats, but he is definately a great defensive pressence on the wing.
Now, a surprise player who I think could end up winning the MVP, if not this year, soon.
4. Dwight Howard, Center, Orlando Magic
Big Dwight is another member of the Team USA Redeem Team, and has proved after this past season that he will be a force to be reckoned with. Howard averaged roughly 21 points down low, and is one of the top defenders in the league, averaging roughly 3 blocks a game. Howard also ripped down roughly 14 boards a game, leading the league by a long shot, along with his blocks.
Ok, lets compare these 4. Dwight is among the top 5 in the league for his 57% FG Shooting this past season. It could be due to the fact that most of his points are from dunks, which usually has a high rate of going in. It's not often we see Dwight shooting outside of the paint.
Wade is the next on ths list, with his 49% FG Shooting. Wade isn't like Howard, finishing off most his plays as dunks, but he has a high shot rate. Being one of the quickest players in the NBA, Wade is able to drive to the cup, and make his own shot any time he wants.
Next is LeBron, who also has a 49% Field Goal Rate. LeBron is kind of a mixture of Howard and Wade. LeBron is one of the quickest guys at his size, and can drive to the cup with that. Add in his 250 lbs, and he can power his way to the cup against the big guys. Once he works on his jump shot, he can be a very dynamic scorer.
Now this is surprising. Kobe Bryant isn't even in the top 50 FG Shooters last season, with 47% FG shooting. Kobe may be one of the most dynamic scorers in the NBA, but this goes to show, people can have an off day, and it messes up their shooting quite a bit.
Player Efficiency Ratings
If we sorted the MVP by the PER, LeBron would have beat these other 3 by a long shot. Good thing we don't, and it doesn't need much discussion. Just remember these, LeBron's PER was 37.43, Kobe's PER was 26.86, Dwyane Wade's PER was 26.35, and Dwight's was 25.54. Enough Said.
So here is a look into next years MVP Candidates, and who I believe will be the 4 top candidates for the Regular Season MVP Award.
By Corey Ray