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2019 MVP Race

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by JakeRae, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    Harden's stat line from Monday does not do his performance justice. It's a real master piece. The defense that is being played on him is extremely tight; Memphis didn't give him anything easy. What stands out is that once he hit a couple of contested step-back threes, Memphis was completely screwed. Once they had to really respect that shot and sell-out to defend it; Harden's intelligence and ball-handling exploited that eagerness to get to the basket. All of a sudden there was no defense that could stop him. Unreal.

     
  2. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    Well, they stopped him 16 out of his 33 shots. Great game, but maybe the least impressive 50+ scoring night in the league this season. If we’re going to ballwash him for his efficiency, we should also note when he scores 50 at under 70% TS, along with only 2 assists and 5 turnovers.
     
  3. PedrosRedGlove

    PedrosRedGlove Member SoSH Member

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    Am I missing some sarcasm? You say "under 70% TS" like it's a bad thing. I'm no advanced stats expert when it comes to basketball, but considering all of the best players are in the low 60s (Harden .620), how is that not still an efficient night? On top of doing this on a back-to-back when he played 43 minutes the night before, and without Paul, Gordon, and Capela, you're going to nitpick him for only 2 assists and 5 turnovers? Even the 5 turnovers is an above average game for Harden.
     
  4. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    If you don’t think what Harden did against Memphis was extremely impressive, I don’t know what to tell you. His best teammate was Austin Rivers and his team won by 20 points, and your going to whine about how he wasn’t ultra-efficient? Do you even like basketball?
     
  5. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    Under 70% is certainly a new ridiculous hot take
     
  6. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    70% TS = 140 points per 100 possessions. Tough crowd.
     
  7. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    I guess when I said he was unstoppable, I should have clarified that Harden was in fact, stopped on some of his possessions and thus was not unstoppable in the literal sense of the word.
     
  8. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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  9. DeJesus Built My Hotrod

    DeJesus Built My Hotrod Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Harden takes are like the dress color/Yanny vs Laurel debates.

    Its all in the eye of the beholder, even if the data supports the idea that the guy is an amazing scorer.
     
  10. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    I’ve seen it, thanks. His .696 TS% is the lowest except for Blake’s game (.628), but Blake also had 14 rebounds, 6 assists and only 1 TO. Not sure what you mean by “considering g who his teammates are.”

    Like I said, it was a great game, but I was responding to “stat line doesn’t do him justice,” and “masterpiece,” and simply noting that as far as 50-point games go (and yeah, this is a crazy high bar), it wasn’t a particular good one.
     
  11. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    Yeah, I like basketball. I don’t particularly like watching guys launch 33+ shots, missing half of them and getting foul calls on 7 or 8 more.
     
  12. slamminsammya

    slamminsammya Member SoSH Member

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    Haha what? You dont like watching guys shoot 50 percent? Is this satire? Honestly asking.
     
  13. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    Honestly responding - yeah, seeing one guy miss 16 shots is not particularly enjoyable to me.

    There have been 46 games fof 57 or more since the 3-pt line was instated. In 41 of them, the player had a higher FG% than Harden the other night. Only Kobe and Iverson games are below. Which makes perfect sense.
     
    #63 The Needler, Jan 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  14. slamminsammya

    slamminsammya Member SoSH Member

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    This is a way of framing it worthy of Pravda. What if he took 50 shots? Would you still hate seeing one guy miss 16?
     
  15. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    Gary Clark, Isaiah Hartenstein, Marquese Chriss, Danuel House, 40 year old Nene, etc.
     
  16. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    How many different ways do I have to say it? Yes, I don’t like watching someone gunning.
     
  17. slamminsammya

    slamminsammya Member SoSH Member

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    If you don't like that then you dont like NBA basketball! (I love the Kings pbp guy)
     
  18. DeJesus Built My Hotrod

    DeJesus Built My Hotrod Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Grant Napier is a joy to listen to - he and loyal husband Doug Christie do a great job together.
     
  19. Apisith

    Apisith Member SoSH Member

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    I am also a huge fan of that catchphrase.
     
  20. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    Any thoughts on the 58 he scored last night?
     
  21. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    It makes a difference what position they play because you're trying to compare them to each other. You claimed that "Ben Simmons is shooting at a similar volume and much worse percentage than Giannis outside of 3 feet." I simply asked whether or not a point guard should be a better shooter than a PF/C on a basketball court. The worst part of your "point" is that it's only true if you don't bother to look any further and cherry pick even more stats. Giannis' average field goal attempt is 7.5 feet from the basket. Ben Simmons' average is 4.0 feet, so almost all of Simmons' shots outside of 3 feet are barely outside 3 feet. 89.8% of Simmons shots are within 10 feet. Only 72.6% of Giannis' shots are inside 10 feet. I don't think it would surprise anyone to find out that Giannis is shooting 35% on shots outside 3 feet, while Simmons is shooting 39%, given that Giannis takes way more of them, and way more difficult and longer shots than Simmons.

    It's like comparing apples and hand grenades, but, if you really want to compare them, let's do that. Giannis' TS% is .631 to Simmons .595. Giannis averages 12.5 rebounds to Simmons 9.5. Giannis averages 26.4ppg to Simmons' 16.7ppg. Giannis averages 1.4 steals to Simmons 1.3. Giannis averages 1.5 blocks to Simmons 0.8. You're right though, Simmons has him beat in assists, 8.2 to 6.5. But I guess it doesn't matter that Giannis' plays PF/C and Simmons plays PG, it just means that Giannis isn't as good at distributing the ball, or something. Oh, and Giannis takes 9.2 free throws a game, and makes 70% of them, while Simmons takes 5.5 and makes only 57.4% of them.
     
  22. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    Yeah, it was one of the worst 50+ point games in league history. -10.6 net RTG, -8 +/-, team loss, and sub .500 FG%. Heady days.
     
  23. slamminsammya

    slamminsammya Member SoSH Member

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    You must be a blast at a party

    For the record, I am not.
     
  24. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    So is there a point of Rockets crappiness (record or seeding) below which the Harden MVP case starts to erode? To me he's #4 right now after Giannis, PG13, and Curry. Possibly #5 if you throw in Jokic.

    Edit: but you gotta love Mike D leaving him in in garbage time tonight to get his 30.
     
    #74 Sam Ray Not, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  25. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    I think it already has. No Kawhi?
     
  26. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    I dock Kawhi pretty big points for missing 14 of the Raptors' 53 games, without (as far as I know) an actual injury. He randomly rested four straight games before their showdown Rockets last week, and they lost anyway, Also, fwiw, his net on-off has been pretty meh (+4.0). By RPM he currently rates #4 on his own team (after Lowry, Green, and Siakam).
     
  27. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    Harden kept his team afloat when Paul and Eric Gordon and Capela were all missing time. For a majority of the last two months, the Rockets have been Harden, one of Capela and Gordon, and a bunch of buyout guys and G League players. Harden kept the Rockets in the race in an ultra-competitive Western Conference by playing some of the best, most dominating basketball the league has ever seen. He is not currently fifth in the MVP race.
     
  28. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    Fair enough — fourth.

    Everyone's criteria for MVP is different, but to me "by far the best player on by far the best team" (i.e. Giannis) is always the simplest and best starting point. If there isn't a clear answer to both of those questions, I move on. Beyond Giannis, both George and Curry have had much more positive impacts on the scoreboard (both on-court and net on-off) than Harden, for significantly better teams.

    After that, yeah, I'll give it to the Beard for putting up ridiculous Fantasy stats while carrying (relative) scrubs.

    Still plenty of time for stuff to change, though. If Harden can get his team to 50-55 wins and in the top 3-4 of the West, while MIL/GS/OKC scuffle a bit, I'd support Harden's case more strongly.
     
    #78 Sam Ray Not, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  29. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

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    Stop mentioning Curry or Durant as MVP candidates, they both left that discussion in July 2016.
     
  30. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, that's totally fair, but for fun:

    Unanimous MVP Curry: 31.7 pts per 36 on .669 ts
    2018-19 Curry (to date): 31.0 pts per 36 on .671 ts

    But factor in (1) more games missed this season; (2) not leading a 73-9 team; and (3) KD, and it gets a lot harder to make a case, especially with all the other strong candidates out there.

    I do feel like Paul George is making a sneaky mad dash for the top the last few weeks. Small sample alert, but his plus-minus from the last three games (all Thunder wins) blows my mind:

    George +60
    Westbrook -3

    That seems hard to do, given how often they share the floor. Tonight he dropped 43 on 23 fga, including 10-16 from 3. GJGE not getting an interview with him, Magic/Pelinka.
     
  31. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    9,101
    If James Harden was playing on a team where the third option was Klay Thompson and not Austin Rivers, I think his team would be significantly better and he'd be more efficient, but IDK YMMV.
     
  32. Apisith

    Apisith Member SoSH Member

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    Why do you keep mentioning per 36 numbers? If Steph doesn’t play 36 minutes per game, why are you picking a number that inflates stats?

    PPG numbers should be the baseline for discussion because we want to know what actually happened on the court, not inflate things.
     
  33. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    His team would be better for sure. Not sure about more efficient, though — one of the amazing things about Harden is that like Curry, he seems to defy the normal USG/EFF curve, losing no efficiency (or even getting more efficient) with increased usage. His TS% is better than it was in his early Rockets days, despite a jump from ~32% to ~40% USG.

    The "if he were" part is never that strong of an argument for me, though. We could just as easily flip that hypothetical around and imagine what kind of crazy Fantasy numbers Curry or Durant or Kyrie might put up given scrubs for teammates and 40% USG.
     
    #83 Sam Ray Not, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  34. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    "Per 36" is just to compare apples to apples among guys who may play slightly different minutes. I'm all for questioning how well it extrapolates when we're talking about part-time bench guys, but Curry's currently at 34.3 minutes per game — right where he was in this unanimous MVP season (34.2). Here:

    Unanimous MVP Curry: 30.1 ppg on .669 ts
    2018-19 Curry (to date): 29.6 ppg on .671 ts

    I don't see per 36 numbers as any more "inflated" than say, comparing the slugging percentages of two baseball players as opposed to their "total bases per game." I'd rather compare the stats apples to apples and then add a disclaimer if there's an obvious discrepancy in minutes per game or total games played.

    Edit: that said, in a discussion of who's likely to win MVP (as opposed to who I'd pick), I should probably use "per game" since that's almost certainly what most of the voters are looking at. Ditto for the FG/3FG/FT slash line in place of TS%.
     
    #84 Sam Ray Not, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  35. Apisith

    Apisith Member SoSH Member

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    But per 36 are inflated because players don’t play the same minutes. I don’t think people seriously look at per 36 numbers when you’re a superstar.

    In baseball people don’t look at rate stats like slugging percentage to judge who’s the best player, they look at WAR which is a counting stat. PPG is a pretty decent rate stat that functions almost like a counting stat. Per 36 doesn’t reflect reality.

    IMO anyway.
     
  36. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    This is an under-reported story imo. I watch a decent amount of Raptors, and the eye test backs up the numbers: Kawhi isn't KAWHI right now. It won't affect his free agent market, because the Clips and Raps are both so desperate to get/keep him, but it bears watching in the playoffs.
     
  37. AMS25

    AMS25 Member SoSH Member

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    Donavan has shifted the Thunder rotations so that one of George and Westbrook is on the floor at all times. George is especially good at helping the offense run when the second unit is on the floor, though Schroder has had two awesome games as part of that unit this past week.
     
  38. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    My top 5 in order, assuming Durant and Curry cancel each other out.
    Giannis
    George (last 28 games: 31.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 steals on .480/.455/.828 shooting in 37.0 mpg)
    Harden
    Jokic
    Kawhi
     
  39. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    The top 4 seem right on, and I might even have George ahead of Giannis. However, what's Kawhi's case? Kyrie does better in on/off, RPM, and team net rating (which is more predictive than record). Even on the Raptors, Lowry has probably contributed more to winning, and Kawhi has only played 39/53 games.

    Kawhi's case seems to be mostly that a) he used to be the 2nd-best player in the league and b) his team has a lot of wins (although only about 3 ahead of Philly and Boston).
     
  40. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    9,612

    I had a hard time after 4. I think you could go with a few people, Kyrie being one of them. Embiid. Hell, even Gobert. The latter would never get votes though.
     
  41. TripleOT

    TripleOT Member SoSH Member

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    I tuned in the Rockets-Mavs game late. Harden re-entered the game halfway through the fourth quarter 10 points shy of his 30th game in a row scoring thirty or more points. The Mavs, down big, double teamed Harden up high to take the ball out of his hand, and he didn't score again until 2:32 was left in the game. Then it was stepback three, strip steal of Brunson for a runout and two FTs, and after the Mavs again tried to take the ball out of his hands with a double team as soon as Harden crossed half court, with less than a minute left, Chris Paul got the ball back to Harden on a pick/roll, and Harden banged a 30 footer to get to 31 points.

    Amazing. 11 points in 100 seconds.

    NBATV switches to the end of the Thunder-Blazers game, and Westbrook gets his tenth straight triple double, with fellow MVP candidate Paul George joining him with a 47 point triple double, a late threeball away from being only the seventh NBA player to record a fifty point triple double
     
    #91 TripleOT, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  42. DeJesus Built My Hotrod

    DeJesus Built My Hotrod Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Paul George is en fuego right now. He has kind of grabbed the torch from Harden. This MVP race is currently down to three horses and I can see a case for any of them.
     

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