Steph Curry, not my MVP

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Wardell Stephen Curry won his first Most Valuable Player Award for the 2014-2015 NBA season. Curry had a miraculous season, winning the award over James Harden, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Curry said. “Today is a celebration for sure, and I want to take the time to appreciate what it means.”

Steph Curry is not my MVP.

In seven of the last ten seasons, in my opinion, the “best player on the best team” has won the MVP honors. James, being the best player in the league, won his four MVP trophies in the same span when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat, respectively.

In this case, no one could argue LeBron was not the league MVP of those years since he is the best player in the league and obviously the best player on his team. Thus, my case does not apply here.

Several pundits on ESPN, Bleacher Report and various other sports media outlets will agree when I say, LeBron James is the best player on the planet. But how many will say the same for this year’s MVP, Steph Curry?

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 Steph Curry is not my MVP.

Do not get me wrong; Steph Curry had a magical season. His shooting prowess is certainly nothing less than sensational. Add in his totals of 24 points, four rebounds and nearly eight assists per game, his stats sit among the greats.

To the contrary of most analysts and fans, Curry would still not get my vote.

Thinking of Curry’s season, there were many moments where basketball fans fell in love with him. Whether it were his off-balanced 3-pointers, or the way he embarrassed Chris Paul all season, he brought people to the edge of their seats.

However, this award is for the Most Valuable Player, not Most eye-popping moments. In that case, Blake Griffin would have at least two trophies in his closet.

Here is a question for thought. If Steph Curry were not playing for the Warriors, how many games do you think Golden State would win? I say no less than 50 games. With 50 games, the Warriors would be the seventh seed in the Western Conference. I’m not saying they would get far in the playoffs, but they would still make it.

Steve Kerr has been monumental in the improved team play of the Warriors. Under Coach Mark Jackson, the Warriors offense often remained stagnant, leaving Curry to do the dirty work. Last season, Curry averaged 24 points, four rebounds and nearly nine assists per game.

His stats were actually better last season, when he did not win the MVP award. Granted, he had iso-ball to help his case.

Steph Curry is not my MVP.

The Warriors finished with No. 1 defensive rating and the No. 2 offensive rating, respectively. These ratings were astronomical and helped them to earn a league-leading 67 wins, tied for the sixth-best record all-time.

If Curry did not play for the Warriors, I could not see their rating falling below the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team who ranked eleventh and relied on Russell Westbrook to make most of their offensive plays.

For the sake of argument, let’s put the Warriors at an offensive rating at 108.42, which puts them at eleventh in the league.

With a No. 1 ranked defense and a No. 11 ranked offense, the Warriors would still be very competitive as a team. I could not say the same for a team, which my MVP, plays for.

Steph Curry is not my MVP.

With a twelfth-ranked offensive rating of 107.87 and an eighth-ranked defensive rating of 104.26 this team was as a contender from the beginning. With two star players on the team, how could they not make some serious noise in the standings? A Hall-of-Fame coach? A cap-friendly organization? All of these ingredients embodied the team that my MVP plays on.

The player who deserves MVP got 25 first-place votes. Carrying the team from day one, my MVP showed tremendous improvement on the offensive side and defensive side of the ball.

My MVP of the 2014-2015 season is James Harden.

“I’m not going to let one individual award affect what we got going on this season,” Harden said.

I am not saying that Steph curry did not deserve the MVP award but you cannot take the award away from James Harden. Would I have liked if Curry and Harden shared the award and went for Co-MVP’s? I would not have mind. But how can you NOT give it to Harden?

During the regular season, Harden averaged 27 points, six rebounds and seven assists per game. Harden averaged more points and rebounds per game than Curry, but this isn’t about surface level statistics.

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Harden has the whole league beat in terms of win shares, pacing everyone with almost 17 on the season. Overall shooting numbers go Curry’s way, just by his pure shooting brilliance. Curry also edges Harden in terms of player efficiency rating, 28.0 to Harden’s 26.7.

Thus, in terms of numbers, I have to rely on just a few.

No player on the Rockets team averaged more than 13 points per game, besides Dwight Howard, who only played in 41 contests. Harden only missed one game in the season, meaning he had to carry the Rockets every night on the offensive side of the ball.

Harden led the league in free throws attempted with 10 per game, showing willingness and an effort to take a beating every night. With little to no offensive help, who else can attack the basket?

Here’s my next point. Who on the Rockets roster, (other than Howard and Harden), can you give the ball to and say, “ give me a bucket?” Jason Terry? Patrick Beverly? Terrence Jones?

What about the always analytically driven Josh Smith?

Let’s be real. Harden carried this team night-in, night-out on the offensive side of the court. Dwight Howard was non-existent for half the campaign.

It’s not the fact Steph Curry did not deserve the MVP award for this season, because rightly so, he deserved it. Just don’t take the MVP award away from James Harden.

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