Derrick Rose is an MVP Candidate, Just Ask Him
According to ESPNChicago.com, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose believes he should be in the discussion for NBA MVP this season. Rose’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but they’re very good. He ‘s averaging 23.9 points, 8.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. His numbers are certainly solid enough to put him in the conversation during a season in which no one has established themselves as a clear-cut front-runner.
Two-time reigning MVP LeBron James’ numbers are down slightly from the last two seasons, though still impressive. He’s currently averaging 24.4 points, 7.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game, but it would be hard to argue that James means as much to the Heat as Rose does to the Bulls, which for many is the number one criteria for the award. The same goes for James’ teammate, Dwyane Wade. His numbers are MVP caliber, but Wade is surrounded with top talent which makes it tougher for him to stick out.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant leads the league in scoring with 28.3 points per game. His 6.3 rebounds per game are solid, but he’s averaging just 3.1 assists. Durant is a definite candidate mainly because of his scoring, but like Rose he has the advantage of being the driving force behind a team’s success.
Perennial MVP contender Kobe Bryant has seen his numbers drop across-the-board this season. His 25.3 points per game average is his lowest since the 2003-04 season. Bryant’s averaging five rebounds per game, his lowest since his sophomore season of 1997-98 season and his assists per game average of 4.4 is at it’s lowest since the 1998-99 season. Those numbers might amount to career years for a lot of players, but not Kobe. At this point he isn’t doing enough to earn his second MVP award.
Dirk Nowitzki — another former MVP — isn’t having an astounding year based on per game averages, but he’s shooting nearly 55% from the field, far and away the best of his career and especially impressive considering the only players ahead of him in that category are inside, back-to-the-basket type guys. Dirk’s also the main reason the Mavericks are tied for the second-best record in the NBA.
Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire is having a career year. His 26.4 points, 2.4 assists and 2.3 blocks per game are all career highs and his 9.1 rebounds per game are just above his career average of 8.9. He’s definitely a huge reason the Knicks are back to being a respectable team, but Raymond Felton and Landry Fields have also had a lot to do with that. The Knicks are not yet a great team, which probably hurts Stoudemire’s chances. The again, take Amar’e our and the Knicks are lottery bound again.
Timberwolves forward Kevin Love not only is having a career year, but an all-time year. His stats are incredible, but his team is awful. Minnesota is just 8-25 this season, so Love would have to average something like 30 points and 20 rebounds per game to be a legit candidate. His performance is unquestionable, but the Timberwolves will be picking in the lottery again next year despite Love’s numbers.
As you can see, Rose definitely has a shot. The Bulls look like legit contenders in the East and he’s the main reason for their success. Carlos Boozer certainly helps, but he’s only played in 16 games this year. Rose ranks fourth in points, seventh in assists, and seventh in rebounds per game among guards. In past seasons that likely wouldn’t be enough, but the way things are headed this season the NBA MVP could be Rose’s for the taking.