Sheridan Hoops MVP Rankings After Week 11

1KEVIN DURANT, F, OKLAHOMA CITY: The reverse somersault at the end of the first half against the Lakers as he was dropping 42 earned him a big bump in these rankings — and he got a boost a day later when on that same Staples Center court the Clippers dropped a matinee against an Orlando team that had lost 10 in a row. You want to read some great Kevin Durant history? Chris Silva has you covered in this #KDIsNotNice profile.4
CHRIS PAUL, G, LA CLIPPERS: He was absolutely right when he called the Clips monster winning streak in December “fool’s gold.” The only team that should be on top of its game at Christmastime is Santa and his reindeer. Wouldn’t it be nice to see them finish atop the West and play the No. 8 Lakers in the first round? We can hope, but that may be a toughie. LAL enter the week having lost 6 straight, and LAC dropped out of 1st in the West with that loss to the Montenegrin center and his colleagues from central Florida.1
3TONY PARKER, G, SAN ANTONIO: If you missed his 27-footer to send Friday night’s game against the Grizzlies into overtime, you cheated yourself. There are going to be reasons why people will overlook him when casting their ballots — the FG percentages of LeBron James and KD, for example, or the success of the New York Knicks, who have gotten more out of Chris Copeland than they have out of Amare Stoudemire. Then again, if the best record in the West ultimately belongs to San Antonio, that’ll mitigate, right? Remains to be seen. But Spurs never get the respect they deserve.6
4CARMELO ANTHONY, F, NEW YORK: Memo to ‘Melo, courtesy of our own Moke Hamilton. Next time you lose your cool in the Garden, don;t sucker punch Mardy Collins or chase Kevin Garnett to the team bus. If a dude is really talking about your wife the way it’s been reported, take a flagrant 2 foul and an ejection. Maybe use an elbow to the teeth to get the message across. Yes, you’ll get a suspension. But you’ll also gain the respect of your peers, who aren’t all that enamored of your overall intelligence quotient. Great players have done such things before, but keep it on the court. Oh, and before that next Celtics game arrives, try to win 2 in a row, would ya?2
5LeBRON JAMES, F, MIAMI: Congratulations on that victory in Sacramento. We can all now be assured that the Heat will not go 0-6 on this Western trip, that Mickey Arison can stop tweeting “chill” to Heat fans, and you and your teammates can rest your hopes on the Knicks having to play the Bulls or Celtics in a second-round series that they’d be fully capable of losing. That’s your ticket to the finals, champ. Frankly, we all expected better.3
6JAMES HARDEN, G, HOUSTON: He belongs in the MVP debate as long as the Rockets remain a playoff team, simple as that. If the basketball gods smile on us, he’ll get to go against the Thunder in the first round. And though he might outscore Kevin Martin in such a playoff series, we all know who would end up on the positive side of the sweep, right? Unless your man Daryl Morey can get Pau Gasol in there somehow. Or Rudy Gay. Maybe this current three-game losing streak is more revealing of the Rockets’ character than the 5-game win streak that preceded it.5
7LUOL DENG, F, CHICAGO: At a certain point we’re going to have to acknowledge these guys as a threat to win it all, as we sort of did in this Tweet of the Night from Sam Smith despite the Bulls’ 16-point home loss to the Suns. Derrick Rose’s return is imminent, and you know you won’t see stinkers like this on a regular basis in February, March or April. Deng has been carrying them to their 25-20 record with his league-leading 40.2 minutes of PT, and his season-high 33 points at MSG was only the latest example of his prowess.
8DAVID LEE, F, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: There are 12 guys in the NBA averaging double-doubles in points and rebounds, but this guy has done it 22 times — 2nd most in the NBA behind Zach Randolph. Just imagine what this team could be if Andrew Bogut comes back looking like 90 percent of the Andrew Bogut of 3 years ago? Amazing how Steph Curry has logged so many minutes recetly without even an ankle twinge, but D-Lee has still been more vital to their success.9
9TIM DUNCAN, F-C, SAN ANTONIO: He has a PER of 24.24. Of course, nobody outside of the Memphis Grizzlies front office truly understands what that number means. Here’s a number you can wrap your brain around: He is shooting a career-best 81.4 percent from the line, which puts him among the top 50 in the NBA. Training him are Monta Ellis, Paul Pierce, Paul George, Jrue Holiday, Dwyane Wade and 300 others. Astonishing.8
10KOBE BRYANT, G, LA LAKERS: Belongs on the list because he is Kobe Bryant. That’s the only nice thing we have to say about him or his team. Maybe our newest hire(s) will find something positive to say in Wednesday’s debut column, but I won’t — at least not this week. Lemme see what he does against Bron & Co. on Thursday night7

DROPPED OUT: J.R. Smith, (10).

TEAMS CONSPICUOUSLY UNREPRESENTED: Memphis Grizzlies, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks.

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


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