Bill Simmon's MVP Article and My Rebuttal (Warning Very Long)

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D-Dogg said:
What other than every game this year that the Suns won against the Lakers came with the Lakers on the second end of road back to backs following overtime games, makes you think the Suns will manhandle the Lakers?

What make you think your slumping team is invincible?

They may not do it, but the Lakers bouncing the Suns in round one will be quite tasty indeed.

Ooooooh, I like that excuse for 3 consecutive 10 point losses to the Suns this year. It's a good one, you should keep running with that, hopefully it helps you sleep at night when your team is bounced in 4 straight against Phoenix.

I think every one of the other teams in the WC playoffs could very well pull the upset against the Suns, just not the Lakers.....they don't have ONE threat outside of Kobe.

"They may not do it"...................LOL, you win the understatement of the year award.
 

D-Dogg

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Card Trader said:
Ooooooh, I like that excuse for 3 consecutive 10 point losses to the Suns this year. It's a good one, you should keep running with that, hopefully it helps you sleep at night when your team is bounced in 4 straight against Phoenix.

I think every one of the other teams in the WC playoffs could very well pull the upset against the Suns, just not the Lakers.....they don't have ONE threat outside of Kobe.

"They may not do it"...................LOL, you win the understatement of the year award.


It's going to pain you deeply when the Lakers take this series.


Are you so damn sure that the Suns will sweep the Lakers? Care to make a sig bet on that one?
 

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D-Dogg said:
It's going to pain you deeply when the Lakers take this series.


Are you so damn sure that the Suns will sweep the Lakers? Care to make a sig bet on that one?

Certainly, you name it.
 

D-Dogg

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Card Trader said:
the Lakers.....they don't have ONE threat outside of Kobe.
.


So I also take this to mean you feel Kobe is rightfully the MVP? I mean, taking a team to 45 wins or so and the playoffs without one single threat on the team?
 

D-Dogg

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Card Trader said:
Certainly, you name it.

Sig bet on the Suns sweeping? On the Suns winning? Or both?

Win with a sweep, you get two lines on my sig. Win without a sweep, I get one line on your sig, you get one on mine. Lakers win, I get two lines on your sig.

We can submit our lines prior to the series beginning, giving us some time to think on them. No vulgarity or things to get the other banned, etc.

New sig lines last for the duration of the NBA playoffs, until the Finals are over.

Sound good?
 

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D-Dogg said:
So I also take this to mean you feel Kobe is rightfully the MVP? I mean, taking a team to 45 wins or so and the playoffs without one single threat on the team?

It means he is in the running....Lebron has done better with a similar cast.
 

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D-Dogg said:
Sig bet on the Suns sweeping? On the Suns winning? Or both?

Win with a sweep, you get two lines on my sig. Win without a sweep, I get one line on your sig, you get one on mine. Lakers win, I get two lines on your sig.

We can submit our lines prior to the series beginning, giving us some time to think on them. No vulgarity or things to get the other banned, etc.

New sig lines last for the duration of the NBA playoffs, until the Finals are over.

Sound good?

Sounds good.....good luck!
 

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Card Trader said:
It means he is in the running....Lebron has done better with a similar cast.

LeBron's cast is better, and he's in the woeful East. I wish the Lakers played in the East.
 

myrondizzo

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i think that it is funny that laker fans use the supporting cast card. at the start of the season (when amare went down) we were not even picked to make the playoffs. because we were cheap and wouldnt pay joe johnson and had filled the team with a bunch of scrubs. diaw was a throw in, jones was pickup for next to nothing, and bell wasnt even a starter. but nash has elevated every sinlge new guy to a new level. also isnt the reason that kobe has a weak supporting cast a direct result of his own actions. he wanted to be the man and have his own team. now that he has it he doesnt trust them and he now needs a better supporting cast.
 

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myrondizzo said:
i think that it is funny that laker fans use the supporting cast card. at the start of the season (when amare went down) we were not even picked to make the playoffs. because we were cheap and wouldnt pay joe johnson and had filled the team with a bunch of scrubs. diaw was a throw in, jones was pickup for next to nothing, and bell wasnt even a starter. but nash has elevated every sinlge new guy to a new level. also isnt the reason that kobe has a weak supporting cast a direct result of his own actions. he wanted to be the man and have his own team. now that he has it he doesnt trust them and he now needs a better supporting cast.

Man, you couldn't be more wrong. 1, about Kobe's "actions" getting the team they have now. That was more Shaq's demands than anything else.

And as for the Suns at the start of the season, you were picked by many to make the Playoffs, and some below even had you finishing this strongly.

First number is projected Division finish, second is conference.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dailydime-PhoenixPreview0506

ANALYST DIV CONF COMMENT

Chris Broussard ESPN Mag

3 9 Nash will make Suns surprisingly good without Amare – but not good enough.
Ric Bucher ESPN Mag
1 2 If coach Mike D'Antoni gets this team anywhere near last year's record and playoff run, he'll deserve Coach of the Year, again. They were an all-out running team last year, punishing teams with deadly efficiency.
John Carroll Scouts Inc.
2 5 With MVP Steve Nash and the freewheeling offensive style coach Mike D'Antoni has installed, the Suns will win a lot of games before Amare gets back. And if he comes back earlier than expected and is healthy, the Suns might be able to win it all.
Chad Ford ESPN Insider
3 8 With Amare, the Suns were right back in the hunt for the Western Conference finals. Without him, they will be a struggle to hang onto the eighth seed.


John Hollinger ESPN Insider
3 9 Well, it was fun while it lasted. Losing Amare Stoudemire obviously hurts, but they would still be a playoff team if they had kept Joe Johnson and Quentin Richardson on the wings.
Scoop Jackson ESPN
Page 2
3 7
Nice run, but without "The Shawn Kemp Remix" (and no one to replace Joe Johnson), elitism evaporated.


Tim Legler ESPN Insider
2 6
See Item 7 for Legler's analysis of the Phoenix Suns.




Eric Neel ESPN
Page 2

2 6 Stoudemire's absence is big, and the slow-footed Thomas is an odd fit. They'll miss Joe Johnson big-time.
Jim O'Brien ESPN Insider
2 8 Overcoming the loss of Amare Stoudemire for at least four months is a lot to ask. A favorable home schedule during this time will keep them in the hunt for a playoff berth.
Will Perdue ESPN Insider
2 6 How long will Amare really be out? How big is getting Kurt Thomas? Can Steve Nash play at an MVP-caliber again . . . for the full 48 minutes? Plenty of questions for coach Mike D'Antoni.
Chris Sheridan ESPN Insider
2 6 Amare's injury, the departures of Q and JJ and the additions of Kurt Thomas, Brian Grant, Raja Bell and James Jones all add up to a serious downgrade. Nash will have them running and gunning, but Amare was who made this team devastating.
Marc Stein ESPN.com
1 3 As long as Steve Nash doesn't get hurt, and as long as Amare Stoudemire is looking somewhat Amare-like in April, Phoenix is still my choice to meet San Antonio in the West finals. These Suns are much deeper than they used to be.
 

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myrondizzo said:
now that he has it he doesnt trust them and he now needs a better supporting cast.

And btw, I happen to think Kobe has a very good supporting cast but they are raw and young and still learning the offense. They are starting to come around, and there are some major holes, but I see very good things in the future, especially if they add a PF and a PG, either starters or depth.
 

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here is an article that rates our off season moves. and since over half the team was aquired during the off season this is a good indication of what some people thought about our role players before they played with nash.
"Phoenix Suns

Goals: Keep the razzle-dazzle, but get tougher
Well, the Suns certainly got tougher.

Phoenix embarked on a quest to become a more physical, defensive-minded team after San Antonio conducted a layup drill on the Suns in the conference finals. Phoenix traded for Kurt Thomas and signed Brian Grant and Raja Bell. Thomas was one of the league's leading rebounders last season and should help out on the boards, while Bell is a hard-nosed defender and Grant a hustling, physical big man. Thomas and Grant also give Phoenix two players who potentially can guard Duncan in crunch time.

The question is whether these acquisitions destroyed everything that made the Suns good in the first place. It's hard to imagine the Suns running-and-gunning to 60 wins again with this roster. Up front, signing Grant was possible only because Phoenix let athletic big man Steven Hunter leave as a free agent, resulting in a serious downgrade at backup center. Trading for Thomas cost the Suns Quentin Richardson and a first-round pick, depriving Phoenix of a scorer on the wings. Meanwhile, Bell's addition was more than offset by the loss of Joe Johnson in free agency, meaning the Suns lost the two men most responsible for their league-leading 3-point barrage.

Moreover, the new guys don't seem to fit the Suns' playing style. It's hard to imagine Steve Nash having similar options on the break this season if he's waiting for Grant or Thomas to get over half court, much as it's difficult to picture Bell creating shots in transition or taking over the point when Nash checks out. Improving the defense was important, but one has to think the Suns overreacted to the conference finals loss to San Antonio. Grade: D+"

ps almost all of those predictions were based on the fact that amare would come back in Feb/March and they would make a late push to secure a 7-8 seed in the playoffs. but everyone said that if amare didnt comeback this year they didnt have a shot.
 

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myrondizzo said:
here is an article that rates our off season moves. and since over half the team was aquired during the off season this is a good indication of what some people thought about our role players before they played with nash.
"Phoenix Suns

Goals: Keep the razzle-dazzle, but get tougher
Well, the Suns certainly got tougher.

Phoenix embarked on a quest to become a more physical, defensive-minded team after San Antonio conducted a layup drill on the Suns in the conference finals. Phoenix traded for Kurt Thomas and signed Brian Grant and Raja Bell. Thomas was one of the league's leading rebounders last season and should help out on the boards, while Bell is a hard-nosed defender and Grant a hustling, physical big man. Thomas and Grant also give Phoenix two players who potentially can guard Duncan in crunch time.

The question is whether these acquisitions destroyed everything that made the Suns good in the first place. It's hard to imagine the Suns running-and-gunning to 60 wins again with this roster. Up front, signing Grant was possible only because Phoenix let athletic big man Steven Hunter leave as a free agent, resulting in a serious downgrade at backup center. Trading for Thomas cost the Suns Quentin Richardson and a first-round pick, depriving Phoenix of a scorer on the wings. Meanwhile, Bell's addition was more than offset by the loss of Joe Johnson in free agency, meaning the Suns lost the two men most responsible for their league-leading 3-point barrage.

Moreover, the new guys don't seem to fit the Suns' playing style. It's hard to imagine Steve Nash having similar options on the break this season if he's waiting for Grant or Thomas to get over half court, much as it's difficult to picture Bell creating shots in transition or taking over the point when Nash checks out. Improving the defense was important, but one has to think the Suns overreacted to the conference finals loss to San Antonio. Grade: D+"

ps almost all of those predictions were based on the fact that amare would come back in Feb/March and they would make a late push to secure a 7-8 seed in the playoffs. but everyone said that if amare didnt comeback this year they didnt have a shot.

Wow, just wow! We certainly proved them wrong!

Where is Diaw in the article?
 

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I picked Kobe to win the MVP at the beginning of this year and quite honestly, he has played at the level i thought he would. The Lakers are a little bit worse than i thought they would be but only because i thought they would finish with the sixth seed.

He has scored 81 points, 63 points in three quarters, the first player since MJ to avg. over 35, is a good/great defender and has single handedly carried a team on his back. And there is not anyone I would take in a pick up game before Kobe that currently plays in the league. Nash would not even be an option at that first choice (although he might be the second or third guy i look to)

Saying all that Nash is in my unbiased view the MVP. Alot of people deride Kobes supporting cast, but i think before this season started, there are alot of very smart NBA people who would have taken the Lakers roster minus Kobe over the Amare-less Suns without Nash. Nash is almost getting penalized for the fact that he has turned Boris Diaw, Eddie House, and Raja Bell into household names (Households that watch their share of the NBA of course;) )

Nash is BETTER than he was last year, and while Marion has played well too, he has brought a completly different team (many would say less talented) with out one of the FIVE BEST PLAYERS IN THE GAME to within ten games of last year's squad which was league leader and to the same position in terms of being in the top four teams in the league (and hopefully they finish there too). He has scored more and been a leader to a team of strangers. If he was the MVP last year, he is certainly the choice this year.

My vote goes: Nash. Dirk and then Kobe. Lebron and Wade round out my top five. I'm surprised more peoplpe don;t look at Dirk as a choice.

Kobe's a beast. I'm scared as hell of IMO the best player in the NBA and most dominant scorer since Jordan facing my team in the playoffs. But i trust D'antoni and Nash so i will give them the benefit of the doubt.

I think Kobe is the best player in the NBA but I'm of the opinion that the MVP takes his team to the elite level beciase of a special season (ala Charles Barkley). Anything out of the top 5 is not elite IMO.

I love Simmons but he doesnt really understand the value of Nash and never has. I have never seen him write a positive piece about the MVP and for someone whos basketball knowledge i respect, I can't believe the ignorance.

The reality is (and i said this at the time) the nationally televised game where Nash scored zero against Billups was pretty damning. Although i think i could find more than multiple games where Kobe failed to assist the ball which is Nash's forte and true show of worth. But perception is reality.

Thing is if i get the Nash from last years playoffs, i'm willing to overlook the MVP oversight
 

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I can honestly buy most of these arguments for MVP, but I do think it should come down to Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. I do want to point out a few things though.

1. The reason that the experts rated the Phoenix Suns off-season so badly is because they were wrong. It's not necessarily because Steve Nash made all these players better. The Phoenix Suns system makes them all better. I don't Diaw gets a lot from playing with Steve Nash has opposed to anyone else. Diaw was misused and underused in Atlanta, and he is flourishing in Mike D'Antoni's system.

2. I think Steve Nash is perfect for this system. I'll bet Kobe Bryant could put up incredible numbers and get great results here in Phoenix.

3. I'm really not trying to belittle Nash's contributions to this team. I do think he is the most important player on this team, and he's fantastic. I love watching him play.

That said, off the top of my head it seems like when Steve Nash has missed any games it hasn't just been him missing the games. It's always been Nash and Bell, Nash and Barbosa (last season), Nash, Bell, and Kurt Thomas, etc., etc. I seem to remember the Phoenix Suns playing pretty well when it was just Nash out of the game a couple times over the last two years.

4. Steve Nash does not play great defense, but it's sure a lot easier to do when you have anyone playing interior defense behind you. I actually don't think Steve Nash's defense is as bad as a lot of these guys say it is. It's not "great" or even "good", but it's not terrible either.

5. I also think there's a good chance the Lakers WILL upset the Phoenix Suns in the first round. Again, it comes back to Kurt Thomas out of the picture. With him healthy I think this Phoenix Suns team is one of the top three teams in the league. Without him they struggle because their team defense stinks.

Now if Mike D'Antoni doesn't win coach of the year the sportswriters who voted for someone else ought to be taken out and shot. There's just no excuse. :)

Talk about rambling...

Joe
 

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Joe Mama said:
Now if Mike D'Antoni doesn't win coach of the year the sportswriters who voted for someone else ought to be taken out and shot. There's just no excuse. :)

Talk about rambling...

Joe

I agree with this 100%. If anything, this season has shown that d'Antoni is one hell of a good coach. It isn't Nash so much as it is the freewheeling, open system that Mike runs. It will be a travesty if anyone else gets that award as I lay a lot of the success the Suns had this season at his feet.

I think Phil Jackson did a hell of a job this year, and is only getting started with that roster, but he was light years behind D'Antoni in coaching this season.
 

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Sundance said:
^^^

I honestly believe that if Nash was with that Lakers squad, minus Kobe, they would have more wins right now.


I essentially agree with Sundance here. I certainly know the Lakers would have a better "team."

A healthy Steve Nash equals 50 wins for most any team. This is not to take anything away from Kobe. It's just that Kobe is so physically gifted that he will single handedly win games for the Lakers. However, his talent does not translate to the rest of the team which I think is what the MVP award is all about. If it translated to the rest of the team the Lakers would have 50 wins.

However, I'm worried about the Suns in the Playoffs right now and not because of Kobe. Much of the burden of whether the Suns advance in the playoffs is based on the health of Steve Nash. If Nash is healthy (and barring further injuries) the Suns advance at least to the second round. However, Steve has not been healthy for 2-3 weeks and (until the past 2 games) has played hurt.

Now, if Magic Johnson were on this Lakers team in his prime, the Lakers would be at the 50 win mark because he would not try to carry the team by himself. I believe Magic could have put up Kobe numbers any time he wanted.

I just have to add, in my humble opinion, that the first ballplayer I would choose for the best basketball team of all-time would be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. So I certainly have a healthy respect for the Lakers... although I will never be a fan. :)
 

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With Nash, Kwame would become a star instantly. George and Mihm would become household names too. His is a steady effect over the whole game and the whole season. Kobe, instead, will singlehandedly win you close games. Nash is really kind of a playing coach that brings best out of the current situation.
 

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cly2tw said:
With Nash, Kwame would become a star instantly. George and Mihm would become household names too. His is a steady effect over the whole game and the whole season. Kobe, instead, will singlehandedly win you close games. Nash is really kind of a playing coach that brings best out of the current situation.

And think how much better a player like Lamar Odom would be be. Very scary.
 

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It's kinda funny how all these MVP articles and posts eventually degenerate into a Nash vs. Kobe, Suns vs. Lakers in the 1st round debate. I'm obviously hoping for a solid Suns victory, but sometimes all this bravado from other Suns fans gets me a little nervous... 1993 Playoffs, anyone? That was almost the first instance of a #8 seed eliminating a #1 seed in the NBA, and it took OT (and a bit of Oliver Miller) to get out of that one. I'm not saying that it'll happen again, or even that the situations are at all similar, but Kobe Bryant is better than anyone on that old Lakers team (unless I'm forgetting someone).

Back to the Bill Simmons article - there's no way you can logically debate with a guy like that. I mean, I love his articles as much as the next person, but he's the "Sports Guy" for a reason. Like most typical sports fans, he goes by gut feeling, the latest trends, and what he gets from watching games. It doesn't make sense, and I've stopped trying to make sense of a lot of what he says. And, don't forget, he'll be the first one to say that "he's an idiot." He's got his own viewpoints and opinions, and at least he's usually amusing in writing about them.
 

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Mainstreet said:
And think how much better a player like Lamar Odom would be be. Very scary.

Odom is a player quite similar to Diaw. What Nash would help them at is to provide a steady, calming environment to let them unfold their talents. Actually, Odom would be better than Diaw on the current Suns team, if used like Diaw here, while Diaw would not be as successful on the Lakers' team, for lack of confidence mostly. In this sense, Nash's effect on Odom and/or Diaw's performance would be indirect.
 

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cly2tw said:
Odom is a player quite similar to Diaw. What Nash would help them at is to provide a steady, calming environment to let them unfold their talents. Actually, Odom would be better than Diaw on the current Suns team, if used like Diaw here, while Diaw would not be as successful on the Lakers' team, for lack of confidence mostly. In this sense, Nash's effect on Odom and/or Diaw's performance would be indirect.


Lamar Odom has as much talent as just about anybody in the NBA. Steve Nash really would help to his game.

Joe Mama
 

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No bravado from me regarding the Suns as they need all their players healthy, especially Nash, to advance.

Without much of an inside game (with the possible exception of Marion) the Suns will need to click on all cylinders to win. If the Suns do not get KT back (or a very long shot... Amare returns in the finals), the Suns will have to exert more energy than the other playoff teams to win and Nash will have to play up to a MVP level. The same can likely be said about Kobe and the Lakers. The Suns will have to fight very hard to win every playoff series including a matchup with the Lakers or the Kings.

Actually, I think the Lakers have more of an inside game than the Suns.

I was just complimenting Nash for the player that he has become and how he allows the players around him play to their potential. Certainly Marion has proven his value to the Suns and the NBA. Kobe may be the best player in the NBA with the possible exception of Lebron. However, IMO, the best player does not correlate to MVP status.

Also, I think strong cases can be made for voting for Nowitzki, Lebron James and Billups for MVP.

I don't know why Ben Wallace hasn't been pushed for MVP. IMO, I don't think Detroit would be half the team they are without him.
 
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