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haggis
04-20-2012, 12:02 PM
No, the hole in the slate of NBA awards has to do with a role that is vital to any team that hopes to contend for a championship: the sidekick.
Let's call it the 2MVP, as in the Second-Most Valuable Player. Then, just as the hardware presented to the league MVP each spring has a name, we'll dub this one the Scottie Pippen Award in acknowledgement of one of the greatest No. 2's in NBA history. (If the league were naming its trophies these days, the MVP likely would be known as the Michael Jordan rather than the Maurice Podoloff, right? Not because Jordan won the most but because he is widely hailed as the greatest overall player. Well, that would make a Pippen trophy a natural companion.)


10. Marcin Gortat, Phoenix Suns: Point guard Steve Nash drives the Suns but Gortat has a shot at becoming only the eighth guy in franchise history to average a double-double. He'd probably be the 2MVP in Orlando, too, had he not been traded.

9. David West, Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger has tightened his grasp on Indiana's MVP -- check out his work in this recent 10-of-11 run -- and Roy Hibbert was on the East All-Star squad. But West was the acquisition that put some starch in the Pacers' shorts and boosted the squad's confidence.

8. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs: Seems odd to have the Big Fundamental on a 2MVP list rather than the real McCoy. And the Spurs are one of those teams that blur the lines; ask "Who's most valuable?" and you're likely to hear, "Which night?" Boston has four guys, Atlanta has to flip a coin between Josh Smith and Joe Johnson, and so on. But Tony Parker is likely to get the most real MVP votes this season, which makes Duncan a natural here in his not-so-twilight. No offense to Manu Ginobili, of course.

7. Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers: Chris Paul is the straw that stirs the Clippers' drink but Griffin is one of only two players (Dwight Howard is the other) averaging at least 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and shooting 54 percent or better. Maybe he can get the OOP award this season, for finishing all of Paul's alleys.

6. Tyson Chandler, N.Y. Knicks: Amar'e Stoudemire would have been the early choice. Jeremy Lin might have been a possibility in midseason, though he was on track to get some legit MVP votes. But now it's clear that Chandler is the Knicks' second-most important performer, his defense and rebounding anchoring a team that had little inclination toward either.

5. Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves: It's true that Rubio has been out since March 9 and isn't coming back. But consider this as evidence of his value, maybe even rivaling double-double machine Kevin Love: With Rubio available, the Timberwolves were 21-20 and chasing a playoff spot in the West. Since he went down, they are 4-18. In fact, that 4-18 (.182) is worse, in spite of Rick Adelman's talents, than Kurt Rambis' mark (32-132, .195) coaching Minnesota for two years while it was waiting for the Spanish point guard to come over.

4. Andrew Bynum, L.A. Lakers: Guy's a monster. Kobe's forever the most valuable Laker but Bynum, in spite of his maturity and consistency issues, has taken over the 2MVP spot held by Pau Gasol until this season. Better be careful, though: he's won two Western Conference player of the week awards, the stuff normally reserved for the main MVPs.

3. Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls: Take away Derrick Rose, the league's reigning MVP, and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau turns to C.J. Watson, John Lucas and even D-League refugee Mike James and feels OK about it. But take away Deng, who has been playing with a torn ligament in his left wrist before missing time with bruised ribs this week, and Thibodeau gets edgy. Deng, an All-Star in February, is a do-everything guy, Chicago's best defender and leads the NBA in minutes per game.

2. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat: The pecking order among Miami's stars was obvious last season, with Chris Bosh at No. 3 from the moment he arrived. But there has been separation this season at the top, with Wade more clearly the Heat's No. 2 to LeBron James' No. 1. Stats, availability, you name it, James has taken over in what was a more equal partnership in 2010-11. Wade has missed 14 games and Miami has gone 13-1 on those nights. Then again, he has topped 30 points eight times and his 26.4 PER trails only James and Paul league-wide.

1. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: Westbrook and Kevin Durant are not exactly Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside for the Thunder. More like Mr. End-to-End and Mr. Everywhere. But they provide the same sort of "Oh no, where's it coming from next!" headaches for OKC foes. They became the only teammates in NBA history to each score 40 points in the same game on two separate occasions in the same season (vs. Denver in February, vs. Minnesota in March). Westbrook might exhibit a little more sibling rivalry than Pippen did toward Jordan -- a little -- but the biggest snag to Westbrook's case as NBA 2MVP is the likelihood that, if he were to wind up playing elsewhere, Harden has the skills package and demeanor to bump from the league's Sixth Man to the Thunder's second man.

http://www.nba.com/2012/news/features/steve_aschburner/04/19/second-mvp/

Swashcuff
04-20-2012, 12:04 PM
Really happy to see Rubio in that mix. The Wolves were WAY improved on both ends of the floor when he played as Love's Robin.

Avenged
04-20-2012, 12:06 PM
Westbrook is a great choice.

haggis
04-20-2012, 12:21 PM
I was shocked not to see any Celtics on that list...

I don't know how you'd differentiate between Garnett/Pierce/Rondo. I think Garnett has been the most integral in their turnaround this year, so that would make either Pierce or Rondo the Celtics 2MVP?

Green_Monster
04-20-2012, 12:36 PM
I was shocked not to see any Celtics on that list...

I don't know how you'd differentiate between Garnett/Pierce/Rondo. I think Garnett has been the most integral in their turnaround this year, so that would make either Pierce or Rondo the Celtics 2MVP?

Yeah, me to. Garnett has been the Celtics MVP. So Pierce is 2MVP.

Stinkyoutsider
04-20-2012, 12:38 PM
I give Deng the nod on this one. He's the only player the Bulls can't do without for a period of time (at least this year).

I almost gave it to Duncan because the Coach Pop seems to be going to Duncan more on the offensive side of the ball.

Hawkeye15
04-20-2012, 12:45 PM
I am going Tyson Chandler. There is no way in hell the Knicks would make the playoffs this season without his career year.

Cal827
04-20-2012, 12:45 PM
Bynum. If he didn't step up his game (also avoiding injuries), that Laker team (with that starting. Liine-up would probably be missing the playoffs

Baller1
04-20-2012, 01:01 PM
Kinda surprised Westy was picked to be honest, but no complaints from me obviously.

Bynum (pains me to the say this) might actually be the 2MVP this year.

Celticsfan2007
04-20-2012, 01:04 PM
Westbrook or Wade, both are in the top 7 for MVP...

justinnum1
04-20-2012, 01:06 PM
I picked wade, but tyson would be a great pick as well. Anyone know the knicks record without chandler playing?

Swashcuff
04-20-2012, 01:12 PM
I picked wade, but tyson would be a great pick as well. Anyone know the knicks record without chandler playing?

0-2

A strong case can be made however that despite the fact that Melo is without a doubt the Knicks best player. Tyson could be the most valuable.

NYKnicksAllDay
04-20-2012, 01:17 PM
0-2

A strong case can be made however that despite the fact that Melo is without a doubt the Knicks best player. Tyson could be the most valuable.

There is no doubt in my mind Tyson has been the Knicks MVP this year.