Sheridan Hoops MVP Rankings after Week 10

CHRIS PAUL, G, LA CLIPPERS: It is not the back-to-back losses after a 17-game winning streak that we will remember from this past week. Rather, it was the Clips’ back-to-back home victories on Friday and Saturday night over the Lakers and Warriors that disrupted a certain writer’s sleep patterns but were nonetheless worth staying up to watch. The Clips are 27-8, to which I can only say “Dang!” Easily the most entertaining team to watch on LeaguePass.2
2CARMELO ANTHONY, F, NEW YORK: You know that “Where would they be without him?” argument that I discussed in the intro. I said it applied to Kobe, but it fits here, too. Every team in the league knows where the ball is going on every Knicks possession over the final 9 minutes of every close game, yet teams still have been unable to stop ‘Melo from daggering. Scored 29 or more in 10 of last 12; 40-plus in two of the last three. They are one game back of Miami in the loss column. They are a legit threat to win the East, which could ultimately tip the scales in MVP voting. His 29.3 ppg and .435 3-point shooting are both career-bests.5
3LeBRON JAMES, F, MIAMI: The numbers are just sick. A field goal percentage of .545, a career-high. The highest rebounding average of his career (8.5) while playing for the league’s worst rebounding team. Turnovers at a career-low 2.84. The guy more or less is the human definition of Most Valuable — until you think that one a little deeper and realize that Kobe Bryant matches that definition, too. The award is his for the taking if Miami can put together some kind of a sustained victory streak and pull away from New York. But that 7-6 road record is a big pimple on his forehead.3
4KEVIN DURANT, F, OKLAHOMA CITY: There is really no adequate explanation for dropping him from 1 to 4 — except for the factors mentioned in the lead-in. KD is basically doing what is expected of him, and his team is motoring along as everyone thought they would. They do, after all, have the NBA’s best record. As noted above, he is quite capable of turning this into a four-man race – but it is going to take something exceptional. The Clippers’ 17-game win streak? Now that was exceptional. KD’s first career ejection in 17-point home loss to Brooklyn? That was a different type of exceptional.1
5JAMES HARDEN, G, HOUSTON: We run hot and cold on this guy like a broken faucet, but we’re back on the bandwagon and we’re here to stay as long as Harden keeps getting more and more comfortable with being a featured scorer performing up to his max contract for an overachieving team. Scored between 28 and 39 points in 12 of the past 14 games. His team is six games over .500, solidly poised to claim one of the eight playoff spots in the West. In a lot of ways, he is where Kevin Love was at this point last season before injuries struck. Many still consider Rockets a fluke team.8
6TONY PARKER, G, SAN ANTONIO: Once again, no reason for him to move up or down this week after the Spurs played four in five nights and couldn’t really care less that they finished with a dud in New York. Parker bounced back from it with a 20-point, zero-turnover performance in a rout of the fading Sixers. Can’t help but think that by the end of the season, he is going to split the Spurs vote with Tim Duncan, who has discovered the Fountain of Youth.6
7TIM DUNCAN, F-C, SAN ANTONIO: This is where the whimsy factor starts to come into play, because there are about a half-dozen guys to legitimately choose from in rounding out the Top 10. We left Timmy off the list last week, but we’re bringing him back with a flourish after taking a closer look at his astounding free throw shooting (.812), which, yes, we are obsessed with. Consider this: Duncan has not missed more than one free throw in a game in 13 straight games and 22 of the last 23. He has blocked at least two shots in 10 straight games. He’ll be seeing a lot of Zach Randolph in the next 10 games, and you can be assured we’ll use those as measuring sticks.
8KOBE BRYANT, G, LA LAKERS: Why the drop from 7th? His team is 11th in the West, dangit, and that is going to bite him if things stay that way. Still, his scoring lately is simply astounding. Since that weird night in Oakland when he took 41 shots and went to the foul line only once (missing the shot), he has gone 14-for-24 (34), 13-for-24 (40), 9-for-18 (27), 14-for-29 (36), and 15-for-25 (38). League-leading scoring average now up to 30.5.7
9DAVID LEE, F, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: The guy taking the biggest dip this week, mostly because we are becoming more and more enamored of Stephen Curry with every game we watch. Still, Lee gets the higher rank because of what he has been doing on the boards for a team that is 22-11 despite being without Andrew Bogut. If the Aussie comes back truly ready, watch out for these guys. They can beat anybody in a first-round series.4
10KnicksJ.R. SMITH, N.Y. KNICKS: Made the argument himself that he deserves All-Star consideration in addition to his Sixth Man accolades, and we’ll throw him cameo here because Russell Westbrook earned a dropout with another high-turnover week and Steph Cury fizzled out as Dubs got crushed by Clips in L.A. on Saturday night. Plus we have a sweet spot for J.R. for providing the best Tweet of the Night in the history of that feature on this site. Worth mentioning his last his eight games — 26-19-25-27-28-28-20-18.

DROPPED OUT: Russell Westbrook (9), Stephon Curry, (10).

TEAMS CONSPICUOUSLY UNREPRESENTED: Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls.

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


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