Commentary| Chris Paul will win the NBA 2013-2014 MVP Award this year. LeBron has won it four of the past five years, with really no competition. This year’s Clippers are loaded, giving Paul all kinds of weapons to use at his disposal. Paul’s year will rival, Steve Nash’s two year MVP run in ’05-’06. Doc Rivers, a former point guard, will mentor Chris, and we saw what Doc did with an offensive challenged Rajon Rondo.
A healthy Chris Paul makes the Los Angeles Clippers a championship contender without question. The West is loaded with talent, but injuries have knocked a few marquee players out for a while, giving the Clippers a chance to get a leg up on the rest of the Conference. Most voters look at team’s success when voting for MVP, the Clippers winning will bode well for Paul’s chances.
LeBron has won the last two MVP awards, not only because of his offensive gifts, because of his ability to play both ends on the floor. Name a better player than Paul, who can harass the opposing ball handler for 94 feet, non-stop. Paul ranks among the top in steals yearly; imagine if the whole team buys into Doc’s defensive approach. Good defense starts fast breaks, Paul’s calling card, which leads to easy layups, lob dunks and open three pointers for teammates. Paul should average twelve assist a game with the talent around him.
Chris is a lethal weapon when operating in the open court, very crafty with his ball handling, makes him capable of picking his spots for that step back jumper he loves. Half court, he is just as dangerous, taking his defender off the dribble to get to the hoop, draw a foul or pass off to a teammate.
Factors for MVP voting:
• Team Success: I was never high on this before, if an MVP candidate’s team go 30-52, but he averages 20+(points), 10+(assist or rebounds) what makes him any less deserving than a player who averaged the same numbers, but his team went 52-30. The answer to that is, if you take the player off that 32-50 will they still suck, yes. If you take that player off the 52-30 team, their record will be much different. Team success matters because an MVP type player will elevate his teammates to play better, thus the standard for team success. You take Paul off the Clippers; they become the 32-50 team, not the 50-32.
• Marketability: No matter what the NBA says, we all know it is a business, a business to sell tickets and merchandise. Can this player help sell the league to fans in America, China and any other country to make the NBA brand larger? That goes back to my first point, team success, the league wants to promote a winner, a well-known name, well-known team, not a bottom feeder. You will not walk in Times Square and see a big billboard of Kemba Walker. Chris has no runs in with the law, domestic disputes in public, and seems to have embraced the role of role model.
• Visibility: TV, online streaming, live games, talk shows and public appearances, popular players are in high demand. $189 for NBA league pass, if you are paying that much to watch games, you want to see games that will have you talking about it afterwards. Name one of the, if not the most exciting and entertaining players and teams in the NBA, you guessed correct, Chris Paul and the Clippers.
I never said it was a slam-dunk answer, there is competition, flawed, but still competition to say the least:
• LeBron James: Owner of the last two MVP awards, NBA Finals the past three years, and the Olympics, fatigue is getting ready to set in. Four of the last five years voted MVP, time for new blood.
• Kevin Durant: Any normal year this award will be going to Kevin Durant but this is not a normal year. Westbrook, sidelined for a portion of the season is not there to help; Durant will have to do some heavy lifting to keep his team relevant this year. It will be guns blazing to start the season, but fatigue will settle in.
• Carmelo Anthony: He runs into the same problem as Durant, too much heavy lifting, causing fatigue, and still has not figured out how to make his teammates better.
• James Harden: The only person on here who can give Paul a run for his money, with the addition of Dwight Howard, his scoring might tail off a bit. Houston, is picked to be a contender, Harden might crumble under the pressure.
Every component of his game screams MVP; every aspect to his life says he is the perfect person off court. If you poll fans and players and ask what position, you build your team with, what is the answer. You guessed it, point guard.