One of the worst kept secrets known to man was finally officially revealed yesterday when Chicago’s Derrick Rose was named the NBA MVP, making him the youngest winner of the League’s highest honour. This, of course, came as a shock to no one as Rose seemingly was given the award in the media months ago. You can’t really argue too hard with this choice (although I voted for Dwight Howard in our awards spectacular), as Rose was the best player on the League’s best team. What can be argued, however, is whether or not Rose is even the best player at his own position in the NBA.
The best player in the NBA doesn’t always win the MVP award, that is nothing new. If that wasn’t the case, Michael Jordan would have a hell of a lot more hardware sitting around his mansions. However, a player winning MVP that isn’t even the best player at his position is a rarer thing. Power forwards Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Garnett won MVPs a few years back while fellow “power forward” extraordinaire Tim Duncan was still at the height of his powers, so it does happen on occasion, but rarely. And I think this year is one of those rare occasions, as Rose probably isn’t the best – or even the next best – point guard in the NBA.
For my money, Chris Paul is, and has been for a few years, the best point guard in the NBA. While Rose might score more points, there really isn’t much else on the court that he does better than Paul. And if you’re into advanced stats, Paul actually had a better season in 2010/11 than Rose did (Paul ranks higher in Win Shares, Win Shares Per 48 Minutes and Player Efficiency Rating than Rose). Other than Paul, I’d probably take Deron Williams over Rose also, Steve Nash too (but that one is harder to argue for) and perhaps Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is actually an interesting player to compare Rose to, as their age and stats are real similar. While Rose is a better scorer (not by much), Westbrook is a better rebounder, playmaker and (arguably) defender. Yet, Westbrook isn’t even considered the best player on his team, while Rose is considered (by MVP voters) as the best player in the League. Or the “Most Valuable” player in the League, whatever that means (or is worth).