When Driving, Give Jamal The Green Light

According to the New York Post:

Knicks guard Jamal Crawford (16 points, 9 assists) sounded like a lost soul after Monday’s loss in Golden State. During an emotional ramble, Crawford admitted he was trying to change his game to fit the system. “Honestly, I think I’m confused,” Crawford said. “I’m thinking too much. It’s hard to play when you’re thinking like that. I’m a player who plays off instinct. It’s tough when I’m out there because my teammates get on me about shooting [more] shots. So now I’m over-thinking instead of just playing. I don’t want to shoot too much. I don’t want to be passive.”

Marbury recommended, “When in doubt, shoot.

While it’s touching that Marbury is trying to instill confidence in his teammate, I’m not sure he’s dispensing the best advice. Although Marbury-haters might snicker at the selfish undertones of the comment, that’s an argument for another day. Wouldn’t it be better for Crawford to do what Marbury does, not what he says? In other words “when in doubt, drive.” Only 62% of the time does Marbury settle for the jumper, which means he’s getting close to the rim 38% of the time. On the other hand Crawford gets inside only on 14% of his shots. Compare that to current backup shooting guard Trevor Ariza who’s living near the hoop to a tune of 47%. While Ariza is living in the paint because his shot is as accurate as a dowsing rod, even sharpshooter extraordinaire Peja Stojakovic takes at least 1 out of every 5 shots (20%) from inside.

When Marbury needs to create some offense, he just breaks down his defender and goes to the rack. Steph knows that if the defense has to double down on him, there’ll be an easy assist somewhere on the court. Crawford is too content with his shot and takes the first available jumper after beating his man. It’s obvious that a player’s shooting percentage will go up the closer he gets to the hoop, and Crawford’s inside eFG% is higher than even Marbury’s (60% to 55%).

If Jamal Crawford’s problem of self-doubt is caused by the Garden groans when he shoots, it’s not because of quantity, but rather quality. Since Jamal has a quick first step and a streetball sharpened handle, why does he fake his guy out, only to put up a long off-balanced jumper? That move suited Allan Houston very well because H20’s dribble wasn’t as strong, and he would knock down that shot as often as not. Jamal’s skillset is nothing like his predecessor’s, but not many players had a jumper like Allan’s.

The one Garden employee that Crawford should try to emulate is Knicks Alumni Advisor John Starks. Just like Crawford, Starks was known for going hot & cold and was often accused of shooting too much. The former Knick guard was a crowd favorite for his forays to the hoop. My advice to Crawford is to be more like John, and drive to the basket. While Crawford doesn’t have Stark’s explosive dunking ability, he has a much better handle to get his teammates involved should the defense collapse around him. He may also find that going to the hoop often, even unsuccessfully will give him a little more room to operate on the perimeter.

Forum Blue & Gold

[With the Knicks travelling to Los Angeles, today’s guest blog is Kurt from Forum Blue and Gold, a Lakers blog. KnickerBlogger’s article appears on his site today.]

Let me just say, as the guy behind the Laker blog Forum Blue and Gold, I think Knicks fans everywhere are going to enjoy watching the Lakers tonight. Well, at least enjoy watching your team beat the Lakers. Fans from all over the country are enjoying giving the Lakers a swift kick as they fall from the NBA Finals to wondering who to send to Secaucus in May.

And I don?t blame them, or you. It?s human nature turn on teams that have been on top for a while, especially ones that come off as arrogant. Unless, of course, that?s your team. Which has made this season hard for us in Los Angeles. We?ve been the playoffs 11 straight years and have only missed the post season three times since the franchise moved out a state where the name Lakers makes sense. We?re as confused as the plot of Mulholland Drive. There?s been much wailing and gnashing of teeth (with talk radio and the newspapers leading the way), and with that has come few answers but plenty of speculation and misplaced blame, both in LA and nationwide.

I want to try to straighten some of that out before you watch the game tonight. Allow me to dispel four myths about the Lakers fall from grace.

Myth #1) This is all Kobe?s fault.
Despite the current mantra among NBA talking heads and newspaper columnists, Kobe was not the sole architect of what has happened to the Lakers. Shaq is not wearing a white hat in the breakup of the Lakers and Kobe?s isn?t black. If this season?s Shaq ? the one that is 40 pounds thinner, playing through pain, and being generous with the ball and the praise ? put on a uniform in Los Angeles the last couple of years they?d have at least one more title and his relationship with Kobe would have been better. Skip Bayless and his ESPN cohorts don?t bring that up. Same with the fact Shaq turned down a three years for $75 million extension from the Lakers (let?s see what he gets after this season). Everyone?s hat ? Shaq?s, Kobe?s, Jerry Buss? ? is gray.

And by the way, when you hear people say Kobe asked for this, ask yourself if he asked for an unbalanced roster, a roster full of guys who can?t or won?t play defense, and a coach to up and quit halfway through the season.

Myth #2) Los Angeles doesn?t know how to throw a good lottery party. Sure we do. Donald Sterling throws one every year that is supposed to be quite the shindig with great food (try the shrimp puffs) and a hosted bar ? and he can afford it with all the profit he rakes in from his team. Hopefully Buss hires the same caterers.

Myth #3) The problem is the offense.
Chucky Atkins complained to the local media last couple of days about two things: Who is running the team (see Myth #1) and the offense. That second complaint makes him the latest in a long and storied line of point guards to complain about the triangle (if you didn?t know this already, when Rudy T. left his ?penetrate and kick out for the three-ball? offense went with him, the triangle came back with interim coach Frank Hamblin). The thing is, just a click away on the Knickerblogger?s stat page, it shows that the Lakers are eighth in the league in offensive efficiency at 104.6 (points per 100 possessions). Even during the decent into basketball hell the last 11 games, their offensive efficiency is 104.7.

But, click over to the defensive side of the stat ledger and you see the Lakers defensive efficiency is 28th in the league at 106.4. In the last 10 games it is 112.3. That has been the Lakers biggest problem all season ? and Mr. Atkins is right in the middle of that. According to 82games.com, his opponents? PER is 18.5 this season. You?ll see that for yourself Tuesday when you watch Marbury blow past Atkins all night long. Most defensive trips Hamblen could sub Atkins out for an orange traffic cone and get the same result.

Myth #4) This team is nowhere near good and will be down for years to come. What?s been hardest about watching the Lakers this season is you see flashes of potential. When Kobe and Lamar worked the two-man game together, they were dangerous. Chris Mihm may still be inconsistent, but he can be a solid center for years to come. Jumaine Jones has been a solid guy off the bench and Chucky Atkins can be (he?s just not a starter). We still have the best two guard and one of the five best players in the league right now.

This Laker team has four glaring problems: 1) No coach and, with that, no steady offensive or team philosophy; 2) Poor perimeter defense, particularly at the point, and ugly defensive rotations; 3) No real inside presence to help Mihm, who isn?t good enough to do it all on his own; 4) Brian Grant?s bloated contract. The first one of those will be fixed this off-season ? Jerry Buss is going to get a good coach that Kobe will have to respect. The second also will fall to the coach but he will need some new players as well. Same as the third one, which can be fixed by some smart moves for affordable players this off-season ? we?ll see if Mitch Kupchak learned anything at the right hand of Jerry West all those years. The fourth one comes off the books after the 2007 season (I?m not sure Kupchak can unload that kind of contract before then, unless he gives Isaiah Thomas a call).

So enjoy the game and feel free to take pleasure in the Lakers? fall from grace. We won?t hold it against you. Just don’t expect to be kicking us around for years to come.

Knicks 101 Sonics 109

Due to a series of fortunate events I was able to catch the Knicks-Sonics game from late Friday night. First my PVR was functioning reliably, giving me the ability to record the game. Second, the game was nationally televised which circumvented the TimeWarner/MSG blackout that has robbed me of one of my favorite pastimes. Of course Time Warner is refunded me two dollars for my inconvenience. If anyone knows a place in NYC where I can watch every Knick game in a month for $2, I’m all ears.

Excluding Friday’s foray into the lighter side of the music realm, the last thing I wrote on KnickerBlogger.Net that related to basketball was:

“I’m not exactly sure that Sweetney playing out of position will hamper his long term development, but he’s certainly not in a role that is allowing him growth.”

My theory that playing the center position is causing the second year player to score less and get into foul trouble more often which is leading to his benching. Watching the Knicks play Seattle, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The player I rant about the most, Mike Sweetney, entered the game with the Knicks down 50 to 48 with a little more than 8 minutes left in the third quarter. Within a minute of entering the game Sweetney had an offensive rebound from 6 feet, and powered his way in the paint for a hard earned two points. On the next series Sweetney intercepted an Evans pass leading to a Marbury score in transition. A few plays later, he would grab a Marbury miss for two points, and his defensive rebound on the next play led to another Marbury transition score.

Sweet-N-Low wasn’t done yet. The Knicks power forward would get an easy score from a double teamed Crawford, and give one back to a cutting Marbury. Additionally he saved another possession with an offensive rebound. Although he ended the quarter in a less than spectacular fashion with an offensive foul on a pick and coughed up the ball on another possession. They were his only two mistakes during the quarter.

Sweetney’s effect was commanding, and I would go as far as saying he dominated the third quarter. With Big Mike on the bench, the Knicks started off the fourth quarter allowing Seattle a 12-1 run, putting the Knicks into a steep hole. Of course regulation would end with Tim Thomas’ heroic three pointer to send the game into OT, and the Sonics’ Lewis and Allen dominating the extra period. All the while “Mr. Third Quarter” never left his seat and watched the rest of the game from the bench.

Only Phoenix is better than Seattle offensively, but their defense is a pitiful 22nd. The SuperSonics live and die with their scoring, and with their potent offense it’s worked great this year. To beat them you either have to shut down their best scorers Allen and Lewis, or take advantage of their weak defense with your best offensive squad.

Admittedly hindsight is always 20-20, but while watching the game I was upset at Herb Williams for not putting in Sweetney after his fabulous performance. My reasoning is simple. The Sonics get most of their points from the SG, SF, and PG position, while they employ a rotating hacking committee at center (10.4 PF/G!). So why would the Knicks play a defensive minded power forward in Malik Rose? The Sonics bigs were ineffective Friday night. Evans, James, Potapenko, and Collison averaged a measly 5 points each. So why not bring an offensive big man that the Sonics had no answer for?

While Rose’s defensive play is a breath of fresh air on a team that shows no ability or effort on that end of the court, Herb Williams should have recognized that the Knicks needed a different look that night. Williams did impress me with his ability to think differently earlier in the game. Putting a small lineup on the floor that included Tim Thomas as the power forward. Although the safe play was to use veterans Kurt Thomas and Rose as the front court, it’s was not the right option this night.

Earlier I said that the Knicks aren’t fostering Sweetney’s growth, and I thought it was Big Mike’s fault due to his declining performance. However even on a night when the Knicks have 53 minutes to spread around, Sweetney gets exactly the 22 minutes he’s averaged as a starter, despite dropping a double double (12 points, 10REB, 6OREB). The next night against Portland, he would play an identical 22 minutes despite dropping 11 points. Sweetney hasn’t played more than 25 minutes in his last 8 games, despite averaging 3.4 offensive rebounds per game.

It’s not that Herb has Sweetney on a short leash, it’s that he has him on an oven timer set to 20 minutes. The NBA isn’t baseball, where you should coddle your young pitchers to save their arms. I couldn’t imagine a better time to let Sweetney prove his worth in a close game where he played brilliantly against one of the league’s best teams. If the Knicks are going to be successful in the near future, they’re going to need to rely on their youth.

Gleeman’s iPod Shuffle

The first blog I ever came across was Aaron Gleeman’s Baseball Blog. I’ve been a regular for at least 2 years, but to this day I’m not sure how I ran across his page. Most likely I found it either through Rob Neyer’s message board (when he was still free & the board more or less fanboy free) or baseballprimer (when you didn’t have to register).

Aaron’s blog is not only one of the longest running sports blogs, but very likely the best. He’s working on many different side projects from Insiderbaseball.com to Rotoworld.com to his own coalition of bloggers at the Hardball Times, and probably a few that I’m missing. Aaron is so well known that even his name has become part of the vernacular. Gleeman-length refers to an article that’s extraordinarily long.

Just yesterday A.G. wrote a column called the The iPod Shuffle

…I thought it might be kind of interesting to put my (generic) iPod on shuffle and see what the first, I don’t know, let’s say 40 songs are that come up.

Keep in mind now that this sort of exercise can really only lead to you guys mocking me for my musical taste (or lack of), so it takes some guts to do it. Music is one of those things where you’re bound to say you like a song that someone else thinks is complete crap. And I also fully admit to liking a wide variety of complete crap.

Also, I realize 99% of you couldn’t care less, but oh well …

So here is my wide variety of complete crap:

1 Firehose Epoxy, For Example
2 Lauryn Hill Final Hour
3 Pixies Wave Of Mutilation
4 Depeche Mode Master And Servant
5 TMBG Shoehorn With Teeth
6 Dead Milkmen Big Lizard
7 REM 9
8 Dead Milkmen Rastabilly
9 The 2 Tone Collection Ylang Ylang
10 U2 The Ocean
11 Smoking Popes Pretty Pathetic
12 Belle & Sebastian Mary Jo
13 U2 A Sort Of Homecoming
14 Belle & Sebastian Roy Walker
15 Barcelona 1980
16 Galaxie 500 Decomposing Trees
17 Sundays So Much
18 TMBG Chess Piece Face
19 Elvis Costello Man Out Of Time
20 The Whole Fantastic World Under Red Umbrellas
21 REM So. Central Rain
22 TMBG Hotel Detective
23 Beatles Mother Nature’s Sun
24 Dead Milkmen (Theme From) Blood Orgy Of the Atomic Fern
25 Pavement Hit The Plane Down
26 Barcelona The Power Of Jen
27 Less Than Jake She’s Gonna Break Soon
28 Firehose Makin’ the Freeway
29 Pavement Stereo
30 Paul Simon Hearts & Bones
31 Elvis Costello What’s So Funny Bout Peace Love & Understandin
32 Dead Milkmen Serrated Edge
33 Ween She Fucks Me
34 REM Pretty Persuasion
35 Pavement AT&T
36 Weezer Glorious Day
37 Lauryn Hill Superstar
38 RHCP Suck My Kiss
39 TMBG My Evil Twin
40 Belle & Sebastian Dear Catastrophe Waitress
41* Ocean Blue It Never Just Might
42 B-52s There’s a Moon In the Sky
43 Rx Bandits Babylon
44 Apples In Stereo Go
45 Skankin’ Pickle Toothless & Grey
46 Planet Smashers It’s Over
47 Modest Mouse Dog Paddle
48 Who See me, Feel Me
49 Sonic Youth Screaming Skull
50 Beautiful South Woman In the Wall

Since my iPOD is filled with every album from about 5-10 bands, the randomizer isn’t a true cross section of what I listen to. Quite honestly I don’t listen to those bands as often, they’re just a safety blanket on my iPOD. After I was done with the top 40, I forwarded through until I got 10 songs by artists that weren’t in the original list to give a wider view. If you can’t tell, I’m heavily influenced by 80s/90s/00s new wave/modern rock/college radio or whatever they call it these days. I have the feeling I’ll have the most songs that aren’t on any of the other bloggers that decided to participate in Aaron’s game.

#1 fIREHOSE – If you can stand bad punk singing and love the bass, you should own fIREHOSE.

#6 Dead Milkmen – The Sex Pistols had the attitude, the Dead Kennedys were anarchists, the Ramones were cool, but no one could combine punk and witty sarcasm like DM. The most under-appreciated band of all time. 8 original albums (plus live albums & compilations) and they’re only remembered for Punk Rock Girl?

#10 By #2, my top 5 bands, of which I own nearly every album (and of course which take up considerable space on my iPOD) show up. I’m guessing they take up 1/3-1/2 of my iPOD. In no particular order: REM, U2, TMBG, the Pixies, and the Dead Milkmen.

#11 Smoking Popes – Saw a video of theirs on Much Music in college. The only had 3 albums, and then the lead singer decided to do Christian Rock. Reason #581 on why I try to keep my theistic/political views out of my blog. There is no reason to narrow my audience to anything other than the main focus.

#15 Barcelona – They caught my eye by writing a song about the Commodore 64, which is what I use to run the stat page. Just imagine if New Order were computer nerds. I saw them live twice, and they put on a great show & the keyboardist was really nice. No longer together.

#20 Whole Fantastic World – Mark my words, they’re going to be big. Probably the best “find” I’ve had in the last 5 years. Thank you WOXY.

#27 Less Than Jake – LTJ is the recess peanut butter cup of punk & ska. Not crazy about the last few albums, but Hello Rockview is one of my favorite albums both in song content and CD layout.

#33 Ween – Great song title that the randomizer picked, very appropriate for Ween. I wonder how my Google ranking will increase with this one. Welcome pr0n searchers!

And now for open season on KnickerBlogger’s musical tastes in the comments section…

Not So Sweet N Low

I apologize for my last “whatever it was – it wasn’t a column” thing I posted earlier today. In many aspects of life, inaction is better than doing something half-assed. And make no mistake, I would have spent another hour on last night’s “post” to bring it up to half-assed. So in today’s installment I continue with my favorite topic.

When Nazr Mohammed was traded to the Spurs, one reason I thought it was a good move because it meant more playing time for underused Mike Sweetney. In the comments section of that article the following conversation transpired:

Matt (Bulls Blog): “And are you comfortable with Sweetney at Center, or do you think this will only hurt his development. Minutes are good, but if he’s playing them out of position I’m not sure how much that will lengthen his learning process.”

Me: “He’s been playing at center all year. I think I’ve mentioned it before, that it may be the reason he looked better last year than this. Right now at least he’s getting major minutes, so I’m happy. I would have been happier if the Knicks got a 7 footer instead of 2 PFs – even a bad center would have forced the other team to use their PF to defend Sweetney.”

In the time since, Sweetney has inherited the starter’s role. These days he’s playing center almost exclusively, because the Knicks don’t have any other options. His stats pre & post trade:

Trade      Min      eFG      PSA      P/40      R/40
Post 22.5 0.52 1.10 15.4 11.1
Pre 17.9 0.53 1.21 18.1 11.2

Sadly, he’s only seen a minor increase in minutes. However what’s even more depressing is that his per minute scoring is significantly down. Thanks to the blackout by MSG/Time Warner I can’t comment on this from an observational standpoint, therefore I’ll have to use a statistical slant. Oddly his eFG is just about the same, so that’s not the issue. Let’s take a look at a few more numbers, shall we?

Trade     OR/40    FT/FG    FGA/40    PF/40
Post 5.0 .22 12.1 6.5
Pre 4.2 .50 11.6 5.8

The one number that sticks out like a sore thumb is the ratio of free throws made to field goals attempted. Sweetney’s pre-trade FT/FG number of .50 was excellent. The only qualifier with a FT/FG higher than .50 was Corey Maggette who’s at the free throw line so often his sneakers are imprinted in the Staples Center floor. On the other hand, Sweetney’s FT/FG of .22 as the starting center is in Mo-Pete territory.

Another red flag is Sweetney’s rising fouls per minute. However it makes sense that his PF/40 would raise with the more time he spends at center. Consider that last year, the Knicks had Nazr and Deke so that Big Mike could play the 4 more often than center. Earlier this year he could play along side Nazr, but since the trade he’s been the main #5. With that in mind, look at the following data:

4.6 – 2004 with Dikembe/Nazr as the Knicks primary centers.
5.8 – 2005 pre-trade with only Nazr as the other center.
6.5 – 2005 post-trade with Sweetney as the main center.

It’s very likely that he’s getting in foul trouble because he’s forced to guard bigger players.

It’s sad that the Knicks traded away a player using up 28 minutes per game, and only 5 of those trickle down to their best young player. What’s even worse is that he’s not playing well because he’s the center by default everytime he steps on the court. Unfortunately the situation seems to be locked until next year. The Knicks don’t seem willing to put Kurt, Malik, Maurice or Jerome at center, for Sweet-N-Low’s benefit. I’m not exactly sure that Sweetney playing out of position will hamper his long term development, but he’s certainly not in a role that is allowing him growth.

No Knicks On TV = This Column

According to the Daily News today, Magic Johnson was quoted as saying:

“He came here to put his own stamp on this situation. I think that’s why you’re seeing so many changes, because (Isiah) wants to get his team in here – the guys he feels can be successful,” Johnson said yesterday. “But I can say this, it takes a while to build chemistry. So when you make a lot of changes, one thing that will suffer will be chemistry.”

In the same article, Magic’s chooses the newly built Miami Heat to win the NBA championship. You’d think someone that won a title in his rookie year would have a different opinion on where chemistry ranks among things that make a winning team.

Duncan Out Of MVP Race As Well?

On Monday Knick fans rejoiced upon hearing of Tim Duncan’s injury, but the missed time could knock the Spurs power forward out of the running for the most valuable player award. The early reports have Duncan out from 2 weeks to the rest of the regular the season. Even though San Antonio’s pitiful performance against New York underscores Tim-may’s importance to the team, if Duncan doesn’t suit up before the playoffs, 62 games on the season won’t be enough to make him a legitimate candidate. Since Duncan was my favorite to win the most valuable player award, it might be a good time to revisit the rest of the field.

In The Paint
Dirk Nowtizki
PPG: 26.7 (3rd)
PER: 25.9 (5th)
PTS/40: 26.8
RPG: 10.1
No one else gains more from Duncan’s demise than Dirk. The Wurzburg sharpshooter can’t seem to get out of the Big Fundamental’s shadow. Of all the places Nowiztki had to settle, he picked the one state where the other foreign born 7-foot power forward resides with his two rings and two MVPs. The easiest way for Dirk to get some recognition is for the Mavericks to overtake the Spurs in Duncan’s absence. If Dallas wins the Southwest, Dirk would be a prime MVP candidate.

Steve Nash
PPG: 16.0
PER: 22.8 (12th)
PTS/40: 18.5
APG: 11.5
When Nash missed 3 games in January and the Suns lost all of them, everyone jumped on the Steve Nash for MVP bandwagon. However when he missed three more a month later, it did more to hurt his status than help. The Suns went 2-1 including a victory in Dallas, and the second injury brought up questions about Nash’s durability. While there are intelligent arguments that support Nash’s MVP credentials, the more popular argument is that the Suns miraculous improvement is solely due to Steve Nash’s greatness. Nash could win the award by staying healthy and the Suns winning home field in the West.

Driving Towards the Lane
PPG: 22.7 (12th)
PER 27.3 (3rd)
PTS/40: 26.5
RPG: 10.4
If Dirk or Nash falters down the stretch, the default vote may go to the big guy. Shaq’s health is usually a concern, but the Diesel has only missed 4 games on the season. The Heat resurgence is largely credited to O’Neal and that they have the NBA’s top record is the icing on the cake. Even though he’s not the dominating force he was once, Shaq is still one of the league’s best players. One question that could make the Big Aristotle a better candidate is if voters ask themselves “if Nash and Dirk are both leading MVP candidates, then why didn’t they accomplish more when they were together in Dallas?”

Eighteen Footer
LeBron James
PPG: 26.3 (4th)
PER: 26.5 (5th)
PTS/40: 25.2
RPG: 7.1
APG: 7.4
Just look at those numbers, and then remember to drink legally James has to fly to Mexico. Voters tend to remember the latter part of the season more than the earlier, which is unfortunate for LeBron. If Mt. Mutombo’s judo chop/rebound landed this month instead of earlier in the year, LeBron’s Phantom of the Opera performance would be fresh enough in people’s mind to move him up a few spots. While voters might hold Cleveland’s recent slide and the coaching fiasco against him, ‘Bron really didn’t have much to do with either. The Boy King has upped his scoring in March (32 PPG) including 56 in a losing effort versus Toronto, and can he be blamed for Paul Silas not being able to keep straight which of Jeff McInnis or Eric Snow is the one he can’t stand?

Beyond the Arc
Amare Stoudemire
PPG: 26.1 (5th)
PER: 26.9 (4th)
PTS/40: 28.7 (1st)
RPG: 8.5
Dwayne Wade
PPG: 23.9
PER: 24.2 (7th)
PTS/40: 24.7
RPG: 7.0
APG: 5.2
Personally I’d put Amare the Great ahead of Wade. He’s hasn’t missed any games, has a higher PER, and leads the league in scoring per minute. Each player is the high scorer on an elite team, but both are being overshadowed by teammates. With all the hype surrounding Shaq and Nash reviving their respective franchises, neither will be able to win the award without a miracle.

Heave From MidCourt
Allen Iverson
PPG: 30.3 (1st)
PER: 23.3 (9th)
PTS/40: 28.6 (2nd)
APG: 7.7
Wasn’t getting Webber suppose to make Philadelphia a contender? A.I. might be in the top 4 if the Sixers were atop the Atlantic. Not being able to win the worst division in the league doesn’t earn him many votes, leading per game scorer or not.

Kevin Garnett
PPG: 22.5
PER: 28.5 (1st)
PTS/40: 23.2
RPG: 13.9
K.G. has virtually the same stats this year as last, but the T-Wolves are mired at .500. What does that say about the MVP being an individual award?