16.4.08

chris paul vs. kobe bryant for the nba mvp



two of my friends at work are rooting for kobe bryant to win the podoloff cup, that's the nba mvp. chayeebwoi of secretingredientsetc said it's about time they give it to the kobester. after years of being ignored for the mvp, kobe stepped up his game in the leadership department.

in october last year, the lake show was in utter chaos. kobe lambasted the front office and demanded to be traded. trade talks concerning kobe were still around in the month of november. but something apparently changed as the lakers started winning games without kobe scoring 40+ points. the lakers went on to the top of the west in december with bynum showing why he is touted to be the next big thing LA.

bynum went down though and the lakers started to loose its grip on the top spot in the western conference which started becoming really wild. the slide was stopped with the arrival of pau gasol in a steal from memphis. the trade between LA and memphis would have been turned down by other teams if things were like in my fantasy basketball league where trade transactions have to be approved by other teams. the trade saw the lakers finally getting rid of kwame brown and getting a perennial all-star in gasol.

with the arrival of gasol, the lakers became strong contenders in the west. although gasol was sidelined, he came back just in time to aid the lakers clinch the conference.

kobe's stats are not as impressive as it was last year or the year before that but people argue that this just shows that kobe has grown up and has made people around him better. this is another reason why people are saying that kobe should win this year's mvp award.

in my humble opinion, there is only one person between kobe and his first mvp and that is chris paul (KG and LBJ are great but CP3 pose the most threat to kobe imho). FRNZ says that one-on-one, KB24 would dominate CP3. maybe... maybe not.

but the nba is not a one-on-one sport. it is a team sport and the performance of a team plays a major role when voters consider who to vote for as the mvp. that is the reason why LBJ would have trouble breaking into the top two in mvp voting. the lakers have clinched the top spot in the west but the hornets can finish the regular season with a similar record to the lakers.

with that in mind, it is in my opinion that the difference maker in this race for the podoloff hardware will be the impact of CP3 and KB24 on their respective teams. lakers fans are pointing out that kobe deserves it since chris paul has had a healthy supporting cast for the most part of the season while kobe had to sometimes carry the load without gasol and bynum.

hornets fans on the other hand argue that kobe has a better supporting cast than chris paul. CP3 has peja, david west and tyson chandler and mo-pete. david west is an all-star but peja is not as athletic as he once was, tyson is a good center but not yet in the same class as pau gasol, and mo-pete is average to good at best.

this argument would go back and forth. imho (again) one way to measure who deserve the mvp between these two is for them to switch teams (hypothetically). kobe in a hornets uniform would look, well, weird... but that's beside the point. how many of you think that the hornets with west, peja, mo-pete, chandler and kobe would be sitting atop the west? west's scoring would mos def go down as kobe would eat into his field goal attempts. would peja still be opened outside the arc for those trifecta? probably yes. but would chandler be this good?

now imagine chris paul in a lakers uniform starting in the point with sasha vujacic, vladimir radmanovic, odom, and gasol. odom would get great assists from CP3 all night while pau gasol would be able to either create his own shot or have CP3 lob it to him for alley oops. CP3's leadership would no doubt help the lakers win that championship especially with gasol and odom on board.

kobe will probably win the mvp this year but imho, chris paul deserves it. after all, who among you expected that the hornets will be in the playoffs this year?