There has been a lot of talk about the NBA MVP race lately, and it has centered around Lebron James and Kevin Durant. Both of those players deserve to be talked about because they are having great seasons and both of their teams are fighting for the top spot in their respective conferences. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Love seem to be the next two guys that are in contention for the award, but there are no point guards in those top 4 contenders. There are a few point guards that deserve to be at least considered for the MVP and the one with the best argument is Rajon Rondo.
When do you think the last time Rondo didn’t have 10+ assists in a game? It was March 9th. That’s 19 straight games with double digit assists. We all know that the points and rebounds that LeBron and Durant are putting up are much more impressive than Rondo’s, but the award is for the most valuable player, and Rondo is just that. If you take Rondo away from this Celtics team they would probably miss the playoffs. The Celtics have the most wins since the All-Star break, and Rondo is the player that has sparked this second half run. Most people believe the award should go to the best player on the best team (Derrick Rose in 2011), or the player that averages the most points during that season, but that shouldn’t be true. There is more to being valuable than points, and Rondo displays that every game. If LeBron or Durant were injured their teams would still be pretty darn good. Yes, they make their teams better, but the difference is not as great as Rondo’s presence on the floor for the Celtics. And if you stat junkies are still not convinced by the Celtics success as of late I’ll give you some statistics that might change your mind. Rondo has had two of the best individual games of the year. The first and probably best individual game this NBA season was when he scored 35 points, dished out 15 assists, and grabbed 10 rebounds. The second game he had 18/20/17. The Celtics won both of these games, and they beat the Bulls and the Knicks respectively. And just last night Rondo dished a season high 20 assists and a triple double en route to a win. In addition to these games, Rondo has 4 more triple doubles this season, which is 5 more than anyone else in the league.
The Chris Paul trade got a lot of attention during the off-season, and he is living up to the hype in L.A. Even though he the Clippers may not be playing as well as some fans may have hoped they would, the Clippers are going to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006. That has to make the Clippers’ fans happy. It seems as if Chris Paul has been around for a long time, but it is just because he has been good since his rookie season. Paul is now in his sixth season and he has averaged more than 15.8 points and 7.8 assists every year, and this season is no different. Paul is averaging 19.5/8.9 and he has the Clippers contending with the Lakers for the Pacific Division title. Paul is one of the smartest players in the league and he is a great leader to have come playoff time. Plus, his 4.3 assists to turnover ratio is ridiculously good and puts him second in the league only to Jose Calderon(4.5) of the Raptors. Paul makes the most of every possession and I expect him to lead the Clippers to a home series in the playoffs.
Tony Parker continues to be one of the most underrated players in the NBA. It amazes me how a Finals MVP can be underrated, and yet Parker is. The Spurs are in second place in the Western Conference and the main reason is Parker. He is leading the team in points and assists per game, and even though Duncan is the face of the team, Parker is the motor that keeps them running. His stats are not staggering, 18.8/7.7, but Parker knows how to win games. He has won 3 NBA Championships with the Spurs, and as mentioned he was named the Finals MVP in 2007. He isn’t physically dominating nor does he have an amazing shot, but he does everything right and makes plays at clutch moments. Parker is the least likely to be considered for the award since many think of Tim Duncan when they talk about the Spurs. But awards don’t seem to matter to Parker, only wins do.
There are plenty of other point guards like Russell Westbrook and Steve Nash who are playing great this season, but I do not think that they can win the MVP. Nash is doing a great job keeping his team in playoff contention, but an MVP will never go to a player on a team that is that bad. For Westbrook, he isn’t even the best player on his team. Yes, he is a great player who is having a solid season, but I can’t vote for a player to be the best in the league when they are not even the best player on their own team. Parker, Paul, and Rondo are all the best players on their team, and they deserve some consideration for MVP. I really don’t want to take anything away from LeBron or Durant, but if the season ended today my vote would go to Rondo.