The only debate as to this year’s NBA MVP is why are we debating at all?
Sure, Ice Cube, but why those three stats?
Even Points and Assists can be misrepresentative of who actually caused the basket, but it’s Rebounds that are not created equal. Marcin Gortat is the 9th most proficient rebounder in the NBA. Is he the 9th best? Kevin Love gets more rebounds than LeBron James. Is he a better rebounder?
Why not FG%? Why not Assists to Turnovers?
Counting stats are to rate stats as checkers is to chess.
Remember when Mike Trout didn’t win the MVP despite a 3 WAR advtantage over everyone else? Three.
He won the Trio Grande that year, leading the league in Runs, Stolen Bases, and OPS+. Wait, Trio Grande isn’t a thing? Why not?
(Trout led in Runs, Miguel Cabrera in RBI. Had they flipped spots in the batting order, they flip those stats. Trout led in OBP, Cabrera in the cigarette of baseball stats: Batting Average.)
There’s some evidence that Russell Westbrook is padding his rebounds, fueled in part by contesting the fewest number of shots of anyone in the NBA that plays 30+mpg. Is this video of boards only Russ could get?
Cleveland’s net rating is +8 with LeBron on the floor, and -8 with him off. Do you find a 16 point swing valuable? The Cavs do, as they are 0-7 when LeBron doesn’t play.
Here’s a comprehensive list of players who have averaged 25-8-8 while shooting >50%:
Oscar Robertson at age 24
Michael Jordan at age 25
LeBron James, this year, at age 32
James 55 FG% is absurd for a perimeter player, and a lot of faux rebounds better than Westbrook’s 42%. LeBron’s shot less than 47% just once–his rookie season.
“But Russ is by himself.”
(1) Why? This can’t be overlooked.
(2) James once took a team to the NBA Finals where the following people played 25mpg: Drew Gooden, Boobie Gibson, Sasha Pavlovic, and Zydrunas Ilgauskus .
Now that’s lonely.
But here’s truly the only question to debate:
Is there anyone in the NBA, whose switching of teams with LeBron, would make the Cavs better and their former team worse?
If you can’t see it now, you might never rebound.