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LeBron James is about to wrap up being just the 4th player in the history of the NBA to average 30 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in a season. The other 3 who have done that before are Michael Jordan, Oscar Robinson and Jerry West, three of the greatest players ever to play the game. Is that enough to win him league MVP? Historically, the league MVP averages 62 wins. However, there are exceptions where players win with fewer wins.

The most obvious exception is 1987-88 when Michael Jordan won his first league MVP on a 50 win Chicago Bulls team. A team who coincidentally enough finished second in the Central division behind a tough, physical, defensive minded Detroit Pistons team. A Bulls team that shared our 42-29 record 71 games into the season. That Bulls team won their first round playoff series over the Cleveland Cavaliers, which marked the first time in his 4 year career that Jordan won a playoff series, before being knocked out in the second round 4 games to 1 by the Pistons. Many people expect a similar fate for the Cavaliers this year - a first round win, but not enough to beat the Pistons in the second round.

If the teams are similar, how about the performance of LeBron vs Jordan. In 87-88, Michael Jordan averaged 35 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists. This year LeBron James is averaging 31.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists. Thus Jordan scored more points, but LeBron gets more assists and rebounds. A straight statistical comparison is somewhat misleading, though, because the pace of the game has slowed down....
Article continued at http://CavsWorld.com
 

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If LeBron leads the team to 50 wins and doesn't win the MVP (or at least finish 2nd in voting), something would feel wrong. In that case, we would be left with a sour taste in our mouth and realize the way the MVP is being determined is beginning to change. The feeling I get is that the MVP is now considered to be the best players on teams with the highest win totals. For whatever reason, I think about the All-Star selections this year and wonder if these developments are all a part of a larger pattern in the works. The criteria for determining MVPs today may very well have changed altogether.
 

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Depending on what angle the voters are looking at to vote for MVP I think Lebron has to get it if we win 49-50 games. Not only are his numbers amazing but he is the reason the Cavs have won a high majority of their games this year(without him I would say we'd have somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 wins). So if I'm a voter and looking at these two things I'd have to vote Lebron, but regardless of whether or not he wins it, you can't take anything away from the voters decision, their are a lot of players who are helping their teams exceed expectations for this season---Kobe,Kidd,Brand. Along with others who are leading their teams to high win seasons---Nash,Billups,Dirk,Duncan.
 

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That is a great article..

I could def see Lebron not getting it, no matter what he does the rest of the way.

1. The media loves Nash (see Marc Stein)
2. Lebron is so young, alot of voters will assume he has a long career to win MVP's in the future
3. Lebron has gotten no MVP pub whatsoever since early in the season
4. The Cavs as a team get no respect, despite the fact their sitting at 42-29 without their 2nd best player for 40+ games! Cavs have a better record than teams like Denver, comparable to the Clippers, etc. who get ALOT more respect from the media. Indy, who is under .500 and we've beat 3 times this year, gets more respect than the Cavs.
 

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Benedict_Boozer said:
That is a great article..

I could def see Lebron not getting it, no matter what he does the rest of the way.

1. The media loves Nash (see Marc Stein)
2. Lebron is so young, alot of voters will assume he has a long career to win MVP's in the future
3. Lebron has gotten no MVP pub whatsoever since early in the season
4. The Cavs as a team get no respect, despite the fact their sitting at 42-29 without their 2nd best player for 40+ games! Cavs have a better record than teams like Denver, comparable to the Clippers, etc. who get ALOT more respect from the media. Indy, who is under .500 and we've beat 3 times this year, gets more respect than the Cavs.
^ Very true. In my mind, if Lebron gets to 50 wins he has as good a case as anybody else.

#2 in PER (behind only Wade), #1 in PER differential, #1 in Roland Ratings, #2 in net +/- (behind only Wade again), and the big thing is he has done this while being #1 in minutes played (by a huge margin over the other MVP candidates).

His team will be at 50 games w/o arguably there second best player as well. W/o the 50 wins though it ain't happening no matter if he finishes #1 in all the important individual overall statistical categories (listed in first paragraph)
 

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MVP or not, 50 wins would be a huge milestone for this team. If they got to 50 wins that would mean they pretty much were red hot going into the playoffs, and that will have an impression on voters. Especially as the Mavs and Suns and Pistons are kind of limping into the playoffs.

The biggest hurdle is really Dwayne Wade who also is putting up big numbers on a team that wins more than the Cavs. Wade is beloved by all. A lot of people think Lebron is still just hype.

I really do think Lebron is going to have to have a year where he is just unanimously the MVP. Remember his rookie year when he deserved to be on the all-star team but didn't get picked. People want to make Lebron work twice as hard to earn accolades, and even then people will hate him for them. Gonna be tough. Lebron for whatever reason, might be more reviled than Kobe right now. Which is crazy to think about.
 

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LBJthefuturegoat said:
^ What per are you looking at? He's 2nd in per on the nba.com site only to KG.
Can you link the page. I can't find PER on NBA.com's site. They only keep efficiency as an overall measure
 

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futuristxen said:
I really do think Lebron is going to have to have a year where he is just unanimously the MVP. Remember his rookie year when he deserved to be on the all-star team but didn't get picked. People want to make Lebron work twice as hard to earn accolades, and even then people will hate him for them. Gonna be tough. Lebron for whatever reason, might be more reviled than Kobe right now. Which is crazy to think about.
This is 100% true, and it's not just on this board either.
 

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Wade was #1 in per last time i checked, but it's been atleast a week or so...

someone mentioned Wade's name in the MVP voting, as great as it might sound and i think he's a worthy candidate, i think the factor of having Shaq as a teammate will make some voters look elsewhere, even if it's a somewhat lame disqualification...

LeBron has the resume this year as good as anyone...i think it's gonna be a very close vote, probably one of the closes races ever I'd say.

My 1-5 (in no order)
LeBron
Wade
Kobe
Brand
Nash
 

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Shaq_Diesel said:
Wade was #1 in per last time i checked, but it's been atleast a week or so...

someone mentioned Wade's name in the MVP voting, as great as it might sound and i think he's a worthy candidate, i think the factor of having Shaq as a teammate will make some voters look elsewhere, even if it's a somewhat lame disqualification...

LeBron has the resume this year as good as anyone...i think it's gonna be a very close vote, probably one of the closes races ever I'd say.

My 1-5 (in no order)
LeBron
Wade
Kobe
Brand
Nash
If S_D says lebron is gonna win the mvp and says that he thinks he should win the mvp. That means lebron is gonna win it. :D
 

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So I got my MVP ballot from the NBA today.

Back in February when I was at the All-Star Game in Houston, I worked up this story about how LeBron James wasn't really a competitor for the Most Valuable Player Award this season. I backed it with plenty of commentary from voters and my own individual research. I fully believed it then and stand behind that story.

However...

After watching LeBron's performance in March, when he averaged 32.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 14 games, my mind is being swayed. In February I was sold on voting for Steve Nash again for the MVP because the Suns were just as good as last season without Amare Stoudemire and a bunch of different players. I also liked the idea of voting for Nash because it affirmed my decision to cast my vote him last season when myself and 126 other voters picked him over Shaq in a very tight race. For this, I might add, the Miami Herald's Dan LeBatard inferred that I was a racist and, I suppose, anti-American. If I remember correctly, I had LeBron fifth on my ballot (you list five names) and he finished sixth.

While I'd probably still cast my vote for Nash, I am getting closer and closer to seriously considering giving James my vote. Of course I could be called biased because I see him every day. But when you think of where the Cavs would be without him, it gives so much weight to the argument. Yes, Nash did it without Stoudemire but James carried his team without Larry Hughes. Not that it is equal, then again the Suns are just simply better than the Cavs. As I pointed out in the story, the last time a player from a team that didn't win 50 games won the MVP was in 1982. The Cavs probably aren't going to get to 50 and James isn't going to win. But knowing my fellow voters, watching what he's done down the stretch is going to pave the way for him to win it in the future.

Some other things:

--I get the Cavs point in not celebrating making the playoffs, but this would've been an appropriate moment to pound their chests. I mean, they shoot off fireworks before every game and have confetti rain down when they win games, so it isn't like they lead the league in being stoic.
--The other night LeBron said he was a football player first and didn't mind taking hits. Well, not that I'm willing to get clubbed in the head by DJ Mbenga nor have I ever played wide receiver, but I did watch LBJ play football in high school. I know the highlights you've seen and all, but not he almost never went across the middle, he was also rather infamous for alligator-arming when defenders were around on the sideline (that photo aside). Not that I blame him with that million-dollar body, but I think the truth should be told.
--The NBA breaks up the votes for awards, not every traveling beat writer gets a vote for everything. I will make my own decision on the MVP, but I'm more than willing to listen to blog loyalists input on my vote for the All-NBA team, All-Defensive team, Most Improved Player and Rookie of the Year.
--Might want to check out these Cavs sites I've been to recently: Cavsworld and the LeBron Meter.
--I see my appearance on Cold Pizza was picked on by some blog readers. I must say it was traumatic, they made me wear makeup (I can't imagine how this leaves the door open for Tucker) and then I had to go cover practice. Lucky, no one noticed, even
http://blogs.ohio.com/cavaliers_blog/
 

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there will come a time when lebron takes the league by storm not only in points but also in dominance. The month the cavs play the celts, heat, suns, nets, sixers, lakers... and lebron outduels pierce, nash, carter, iverson, wade, and kobe, among others is the day he earns his mvp.

That said, he should be getting lots more consideration than he is. At some point someone will write an article about how kobe has passed the "best scoring guard" label to lebron, and that is when the fun will begin.
 

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Lebron isn't really a scoring guard, he's more of a point forward (ala Bird and barkley)
 

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hirschmanz said:
there will come a time when lebron takes the league by storm not only in points but also in dominance. The month the cavs play the celts, heat, suns, nets, sixers, lakers... and lebron outduels pierce, nash, carter, iverson, wade, and kobe, among others is the day he earns his mvp.

That said, he should be getting lots more consideration than he is. At some point someone will write an article about how kobe has passed the "best scoring guard" label to lebron, and that is when the fun will begin.
LeBron is not only not a scoring guard, scoring is not even the primary feature of his game. Now don't get me wrong, he can score with the best of them but thats not all he does. But to further deal with your statement he has recently outduelled Pierce, Nash, Iverson, Wade. I really don't know about Carter and I'd say it was a wash with Kobe, but the game LeBron played better the Cavs lost and vice versa. I just think that for some reason people have decided that LeBron is too young for this to be bestowed upon him. He's outplayed the vast majority of players in the league season long and is more integral to his team than just about any player in the league (only Kobe has a reasonable debate on this). It just seems kinda silly that he basically gets no mention in the MVP debate. Heck people were talking about Pierce as an MVP and don't see the similarities with Cleveland. People always say that the Media loves LeBron, but they love to bash him as much or even more than they love to praise him. They all seem to focus on what he could do better when the things he does he does better than the vast majority of the league regardless of position.
 
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