There are four 2008 NBA MVP candidates in most people’s eyes. I would venture to say there’s a fifth, Amare Stoudamire, but since he’ll get no votes you needn’t worry about his fantastic feats out in Phoenix.
The MVP ballot will be explained ad nauseum until no one cares for longer than anyone wants to hear or read about, so I’m just going to keep it simple. Here’s my top five, based partially on stats but mostly just on feel since that’s how everyone else does it anyways.
5. Amare Stoudamire–He’s improved his numbers dramatically after moving to the four, which is noteworthy because he was already an incredible player.
4. Kobe Bryant–His ironman act has to count for something, and unlike Amare, he can play defense too.
3. LeBron James–The King is the best talent in basketball, and perhaps sports. His team is terrible and this hurts him, but otherwise he would be number one.
2. Kevin Garnett–Defensive metrics show he’s off the charts–undeniably the best defensive player in the game–and his season has been about so much more. Unfortunately, he missed 11 games (well, perhaps fortunately for Celtics fans, since he got some rest) and that’s going to cost him the award. Had he not been injured I expect he would have finished the season with 80 games played and a couple more minutes per game, and about a 26.50 PER–which coupled with his defense would have made him my top dawg (to steal a line from Chris Talanian).
1. Chris Paul–He wins thanks to pilfering hands, carrying his team like only LeBron can do otherwise, and the second best offensive stats in the game. Oh, and saving basketball in New Orleans was cool, too bad he doesn’t own the Sonics too.