Sheridan Hoops MVP Rankings After Week Seven

1CARMELO ANTHONY, F, NEW YORK: When a guy goes out and has a quarter vs. Lakers that can only be described as breathtaking — on national TV, no, less, in the arena where they cheered more loudly and consistently for Kobe over the past 10 years than they ever did for the home team — well, you have to take that into account. Just wish Woodson would have left him out there to add to his 22 when second quarter began Thursday. They are already chanting “M-V-P” at MSG, much to the chagrin of one of the team’s beat writers.2
2KEVIN DURANT, F, OKLAHOMA CITY: At a certain point, Durant is going to lose his reputation as being too nice of a guy. More of a killer instinct has to develop, no question, but I have seen it in person since this guy single-handedly won the World Championship for Team USA in Turkey in 2010 after Bill Simmons insulted him by saying the team was not gold-worthy. KD was not nice when it came time to compete and when it came time to silence his doubters. When will we see the next manifestation? Monday vs. Spurs? He has scored 30 or more in 4 of last 5.3
3LeBRON JAMES, F, MIAMI: Back in the top three where he rightfully belongs, because you know he is going to finish in the top three one way or another. He has scored at least 20 points in every single game (Durant has failed to reach 20 twice) and has shot 50 percent or better in 11 straight. Shooting an astounding 54 percent on 388 FG attempts. Makes KD’s 51.1 percent on 390 attempts seem pedestrian by comparison. Only guy in NBA averaging 10 buckets per night.5
4DAVID LEE, F, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: A 7-0 road trip would have kept him above LBJ in these rankings, but alas the Dubs went down in Orlando before closing out with a Dub in Atlanta — not an easy place to win. His detractors have always pointed out that it is easy to score a ton of points for a losing team. What do they say now after Lee goes for 20-plus on every stop of a 7-game trip and Warriors return home 5th on the conference? Four games in five nights coming up this week, capped by Saturday night home game vs. Lakers. Did someone say 30-20?4
5TONY PARKER, G, SAN ANTONIO: remember the “penalty point provision” of these rankings that was in effect last week when LBJ dropped to No. 5? Well, he are still harsh graders here (more on that below in the Duncan entry), which means Tony moves ahead of his teammate in these rankings — just as he has done in scoring (19.2 to 17.3), FG pct. (.510 to .498) and FT shooting (.818 to .787). Scored 20-plus points in seven of last eight, gets Russell Westbrook on Monday night. Popcorn will be flowing at CasaSH.7
6BLAKE GRIFFIN, F, L.A. CLIPPERS: We’ve been spreading the Clipper love around quite a bit,with Chris Paul on and off this list, and Jamal Crawford (in a weeklong slump now) had been pretty much of a mainstay. Why the sudden shift to Blake? Have you been watching? Has shot 50 percent of better in each of the Clippers’ nine straight wins, and has a grand total of five turnovers in the undefeated month of December (8-0) after having 44 in the Clips’ first 15 games. Hasn’t committed more than two fouls in a single game this month, either. One more: FT conversions up 8 percent from last season.
7ZACH RANDOLPH, F, MEMPHIS: Sorry to drop you a spot, big fella, through no fault of our own. It’s just that the Thunder, Spurs and Clippers are stealing all the thunder, so to speak, out in the West, and your Player Efficiency Rating is about to matter more than it every did. I’ve never read PER. Not once. My side of the journalism aisle has always been the storytelling aisle, and numbers and charts do not a story make. I agree there is a place for metrics, I just don’t want to go to that place unless is is intrinsically relevant to the particular story I am writing. You still get the Grizz nod over Rudy Gay because 17 double-doubles in 21 games, plus your team’s record, is proof enough of your efficiency.6
8RUSSELL WESTBROOK, G, OKLAHOMA CITY: Yes, be has been conspicuously absent, and yes, we have given too much respect to Kobe Bryant because of the way he is scoring the ball. We’d still rather see Kobe take a last-second shot more than anyone else in the NBA, especially in a playoff game, but that is a topic for a difference discussion. Russ has been dropping dimes like mad (no fewer than seven in 14 of his last 15 games) and taking (a little) better care of the ball. He still lacks the Durant-like killer instinct to crack our Top 5 anytime soon, unless he busts up Tony Parker on Monday night in what should be a chippy game given the recent Stephen Jackson-Serge Ibaka feud.
9<MavericksO.J. MAYO, G, DALLAS. Memo to Mayo: If you ever get the chance to play the Grizzlies in the playoffs, Hollinger was never a big fan of yours. It was nothing personal, just your sabremetrics, for whatever they’re worth (Here’s a number I will focus on: You are the only qualified player making more than half of your 3-point attempts). On the other side of the equation, our veteran wordsmith Jan Hubbard– a guy who made his name in the biz with shoe leather and IQ and the ability to vividly describe the most mundane of topics — has weighed in today with our feature column noting that the Mavs are a team no one is going to want to face in the playoffs — even if they are an eighth seed. No one was saying that about the Jazz last season.10
10TIM DUNCAN, F-C, SAN ANTONIO: As referenced above, the penalty point provision comes into effect, and Timmy joins James Harden as only guys to drop from No. 1 to No. 10 in the space of a week. Hey, you go 1-for-9 and 2-for-13 in that span, and those are Harden-like percentages (on his cold nights), and a price will be paid Also can’t seem to crack that 80 percent barrier at the FT line, eh? Thought you were going to get there, bro. Watch are you bringing to Monday night’s war?1

DROPPED OUT: Kobe Bryant (6), Jrue Holiday (7), Ray Allen (9), Anderson Varejao (10).

TEAMS CONSPICUOUSLY UNREPRESENTED: Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves.

OTHER RANKINGS: Most Improved | Rookie | Heisler’s Power Rankings



  1. says

    Hmmm. Not sure why this is still a topic of interest, but it is a slow sotprs week .Fact: DC grew up in Fanwood, left St Pat’s for mutual reasons, and than decided to come back. Eventually, he was shown the door for ACADEMIC reasons he wasn’t going to qualify if he didn’t get extra tutoring at NDA in Worcester.Last, I checked Scotch Plains-Fanwood to St Pat’s is in Union County, not that I see the relevance.Fact: Young Gilchrist (Forget his first name this early) is choosing to matriculate as a FRESHMAN at Saint Pat’s. FACT: Saint Anthony’s has had multiple freshman, and TRANSFERS from other STATES, and nobody cared.. Basit, McCurdy, etc.I guess I side with not sonny vaccarro/vacaro on this one.When are you going to look at the Maurice Jackson get you started, he transferred from St Pat’s to St Ant’s over Christmas break without even a phone call between the two schools.Jerry Right on your beat, you have a recent Graduate from Seton Hall/St Pat’s who probably would not have made it to college for academics unless he had the special remedial program at St Pat’s and he was hardly a star at either place, but will lead a nice, productive life after getting his degree from SHU for free.Look forward to your microscopic piece on St Pat’s.relax everyone

  2. john steppling says

    I know a minority opinion. But I dont see Melo as a guy to take you to the championship. KD will, LeBron will and has, Dirk finally did, Rose will, Kobe for sure……but I dont see Melo doing that. Maybe i will be proved wrong. But Id love to see how they do if chandler goes out for a few games.

  3. john steppling says

    Well, there is a case to be made for these…..but……since I see defense as counting equally with scoring, Id have to drop david lee off the list. Melo…..I dont know. I think for now, fine, but I dont buy the Knicks as contenders. (also, will someone please write a column on the favorable scheduling for the knicks. Tired teams arriving at the garden, knicks always rested, etc). But I rank KD first. Second….ok, Id say chris paul. He just means so much. Blake has played great….better than i thought possible. Kyrie Irving deserves props. Tony Parker though i have three, Irving four, and who knows five. But ZBo deserves something…..again, defense defense defense. Faried, too….helps that team an awful lot. Lillard, ditto. Noah? Ok….1 KD, 2 Chris Paul, 3 parker, 4 Zbo, and 5 Noah.

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