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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dwyane Wade’s Making His Move in the MVP Race

The MVP race in the NBA has become quite interesting since the All-Star break. To be fair, the debate for any MVP award is always interesting. Anyhow, prior to the break, it was in all likelihood a two-horse race between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James — take your pick. There were (are) compelling arguments for each player. Both players have had their teams at the top of the NBA standings all year long, and they’ve been jockeying for the NBA scoring lead as well. The Lakers lost Andrew Bynum and never really missed a beat, while the Cavs survived injuries to Delonte West, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and now Ben Wallace. LeBron actually has Kobe across the board stat-wise, but the Lakers have beaten the Cavs both times this year head-to-head, and Kobe outplayed 23 in each game. But the third name that’s emerged since the break, the one that could be leading the race now, is Dwyane Wade.

Wade’s the overall scoring leader, second in steals, ninth in assists, and probably has one of the highest shooting percentages for his position. Since the break, D-Wade is averaging over 35 ppg, nearly 11 apg, almost three steals a game, over a block a game, and he’s 55% from the field and 90% from the line. Simply put, the guy’s been out of his mind and clearly more on top of his game than anyone else. Now here’s where I ask you this: should Wade be penalized because his team’s record isn’t that great (33-29), or is his case more compelling because he’s standing out and winning on a team without much help? Wade says the MVP should go to the guy who’s most valuable to his team, regardless of record. Cavs coach Mike Brown says the team’s record should be a factor.

I don’t think you can generalize like that because each situation should be judged case-by-case. Based on the way he’s playing in terms of all-around game, Dwyane Wade is shining more than any other player, even if his team lost by 30 when he scored 50 against Orlando, and even if they just got beat by Cleveland. If he starts to cool off, I’m fine with it going back to the Kobe/LeBron debate, but for now, it has to be Wade.

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