This guy probably won’t be too happy our True Value MVP.
The MVP race is loaded with quality candidates this season, and it’s not altogether clear who will win. Kobe Bryant, otherwise known as TheRapist, (somehow) has become the sentimental candidate among talking heads. The fact that he’s never won an MVP dismays folks, despite the fact that he’s never been the best player in the league, and has only been close a couple times. Anyways, the race has essentially come down to two real candidates in my mind, LeBron James and Chris Paul, but Kevin Garnett and Mamba are probably ahead of Paul, in voters’ eyes at least. Consequently, I’ve been thinking about a way to measure true value of any given player, and I’ve come up with an extremely unoriginal name for it: True Value.
The formula is both fascinatingly complex and incredibly easy at the same time. First, you take John Hollinger’s magna carta, Player Efficiency Rating (PER), which is a lot more intricate than most would care to get, then you multiply that number by a player’s minutes per game, and finally, the actual number of games played. This new number should help fix the disparity between massive production in short minutes and lesser numbers with a more cumbersome load.
Two great examples of this are forgotten MVP candidates Amare Stoudamire and Manu Ginobili. The two have been stellar this season, but have played shorter minutes than other superstars because of the teams they play on. Their total numbers are both impressive, but they pale in comparison to the top tier of this year’s MVP candidates. Manu posts a score of 50918.66, while Amare checks in at 4th overall with a score of 61776.144.
As far as the Final Four are concerned, KG (50204.83) finishes last due to a paucity of total minutes, Kobe’s next due to his ironman act (66672.266), Paul takes second (71329.5), and King James starts his reign with a gigantic tally of 79417.91.
Click here if you’d like the raw data to check my math (which was completed at 2:57 pm on March 25th).
Now there’s one other pesky little issue MVP voters love to toss out there: wins.
So, in order to appease our elders, we’ll throw them a bone, and gear our True Value formula specifically to the MVP race, and call it (ingeniously) True MVP Value. To do this you simply multiply the aforewritten scores by each player’s team’s winning percentage, and divide by 1000 just to make the number a little nicer on the eyes. This places CP3 (49.3) in the lead, followed by Kobe (46.0), LBJ (44.7), and KG (39.5).
“So you’re saying CP3 deserves to win?” collectively sigh MVP voters. “Hmm, let’s vote for Kobe anyways!“
One thing you might notice, since I did, is how messy the phrase “by each player’s team’s winning percentage” is.
It seems sort of silly to unequivocally equate one player’s value with his team’s record. After all, Brian Scalabrine plays for the Celtics, so does that mean he’s better than even someone as bad as Zaza Pachulia? Sadly, since ScalNasty makes $3 million a year, no.
Thusly, I’m going to add two more of my cents, which is roughly 40% of my bank account.
If a player can account for no more than 20% of a team’s play at a time, how can his value be based on an unaugmented team stat? I say it can’t, and this is my blog so deal with it. Thereupon, I will multiply each player’s team’s winning percentage by .2 before recalculating my final scores.
After all computations, Paul wins it all at 9.9, Kobe remains the perpetual bridesmaid at 9.2, LeBron’s team screws him over at 8.9, and KG’s side injury ruins his candidacy and lands him in fourth place at 7.9.
These numbers are based on current data only, which means they will change as the season progresses and each team completes its full schedule. So LeBron may jump over Kobe, and a fluke injury could change everything, but most likely we’ve got our True Value MVP already: the quick-handed ball puncher.