View Full Version : Could someone with ESPN insider...

12-13-2010, 07:36 PM
Please post this article for us? :) I'm curious to read it as I'm sure there are others:
http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=PERDiem-101213&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba %2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dholling er_john%26page%3dPERDiem-101213

12-13-2010, 07:36 PM
I dont think they are allowed to post espn insider articles.

D Roses Bulls
12-13-2010, 07:37 PM
espn insider isnt allowed and because its john hollinger, i still wouldnt post it :)

12-13-2010, 07:38 PM
insider isn't allowed on this site....

12-13-2010, 07:45 PM
maybe just PM to a guy who is an insider

12-13-2010, 08:22 PM
Quick, finish this sentence: The NBA's 2010-11 MVP thus far is …

Having trouble? Me too. While a great many players have been mooted as MVP "candidates" by the chattering classes -- more than usual, I would submit -- the glaring lack of a favorite in this year's race is one of the league's biggest stories from the first quarter of the season.

In fact, even the description "MVP candidate" is something of a backhanded compliment. The "candidate" suffix serves as a disclaimer: I'd never actually vote for this cat for MVP, they're telling you, but I just want you to know that he's having a heck of a year. Otherwise they'd just stop at "MVP."

There's a good reason for that, too. The lack of true MVP fiber in this season's race is pretty glaring, which is why we've drummed up so many speculative "candidates." Look at the player efficiency rating leaderboard for proof. Normally, at the 20-game mark we'd have several players pushing at or near the 30.0 mark; eventually they'd cool off and only a couple of players would be left in the high 20s by the end, and that's the pot we'd usually pick our MVPs from.

This season we're in a different situation. Only one player -- Chris Paul of the Hornets -- has a PER above 26, an amazing circumstance for this early in the season. In contrast, last season, three players finished the season with PERs above 26 (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant). That's par for the course: We've had at least three every year since 2003-04. The last time only one player finished above 26 was 2000-01.

Not only does Paul lack for company atop the leaderboard, but he's not exactly blowing the league away himself. We haven't seen a league leader with a PER this low in a quarter century -- not since Larry Bird in 1985-86. And remember, normally at this point in the season we have a league leader with a higher number than the season-ending total, simply because it's easier to rack up an amazing 20-game stretch than an amazing 80-game stretch.

That point is an important one, because even CP's lofty mark may be difficult to sustain. Paul's PER lead is built on three planks -- a career-high 49.1 percent mark on 3s, a career-high 91.4 percent mark from the line and an absolutely staggering steals rate of nearly one every 10 minutes -- that are outliers compared to the rest of his career. A statistician would expect those numbers to revert closer to his career norms -- we call this regression to the mean in the statistical world -- and if it happens we may end the season without a single player with a plus-26 PER.

Perhaps it won't, since Paul has legitimately improved as a shooter -- any time opponents go under the screen now he's busting a J. Nonetheless, it says volumes about the lack of superstar power in the league this season that the top PER belongs to a guy taking 11 shots a game.

So what happened? For starters, last year's leaders have all seen their numbers go way down. James, Wade and Chris Bosh were first, third and fourth in PER a year ago; this season each has seen his rating drop several points, although all three have been on the rise of late. Last year's No. 5 player on the leaderboard, San Antonio's Tim Duncan, has also produced less this time around.

And then there's Durant. After finishing third in PER a year ago at the tender age of 21, many expected him to ascend to the top of the MVP throne. Instead, he's not even the top candidate on his own team right now; while he is leading the league in scoring, he is only 19th in PER.

In fact, Durant's league-leading scoring total is another convincing data point for the relative lack of superstardom this season. His 27.3 points per game would be the lowest league-leading total since Allen Iverson's 26.3 in 1998-99; if you're looking at non-lockout years, it's the least since George Gervin's 27.2 in 1977-78.

Normally, faced with a dilemma like this, MVP voters simply plump for the guy on the team who wins the most games, but even that tactic may fail this year. The teams with the three best records -- Dallas, Boston and San Antonio -- don't have a player in the top five in estimated wins added.

The other voter tactic is to vote for the best player on the most surprising team. This season, in fact, has all the hallmarks of the last time we had no clear-cut statistical candidate -- the 2004-05 season in which Steve Nash prevailed. The top PER player that season, Kevin Garnett, didn't make the playoffs, and the two players who otherwise would have topped the ballots, Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal, both missed too many games.

There's one key difference, however: We have no Phoenix coming out of the woodwork to shock the league. As a result, we aren't awash in "surprise" options. Of the top five players in estimated wins added, only Paul and Utah's Deron Williams play for a team considered to be exceeding expectations, and in neither case is the excess dramatic. You'll also hear people try to talk themselves into Amare Stoudemire (eighth in EWA), but that may die down quickly: The Knicks have played the league's second-easiest schedule thus far.

In fact, all these roads seem to be taking us back down one path: LeBron James, again. His Heat have recovered from a shaky start and he's No. 1 in EWA.

Three factors work against him, however. First, the Heat have dramatically underperformed sky-high expectations. Second, voter fatigue may creep in after giving him the trophy the past two years. Finally, he's not exactly awash in popularity in the wake of this summer, and that may hurt him. As a result, most feel James would require spectacular numbers to produce a three-peat. So far, he doesn't have them.

Instead it will be Paul, or Williams, or Dirk Nowitzki, or Kobe Bryant (quietly up to No. 5 in both PER and EWA), or Dwight Howard (another player whose team is a mild disappointment), or … well, somebody.

But at the one-quarter mark of the season, it seems highly likely that we'll end up with a less-than-overwhelming MVP. Maybe it's a sign of greater parity or maybe it's just an odd fluke, but whoever wins the award this season likely will do so with an unusually pedestrian résumé.