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?

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).