I’ve been struggling. Sure, I’ve only been “back” for a few weeks, but it’s a hard time to be a basketblogger™. After all, we’re a mere two weeks into the season, a time where statistics are meaningless.
So, I’ve been racking my brain for a few days and I came up with a great idea. How can I get around the fact that nobody has played as many as 10 games yet, and therefore has not established a meaningful baseline for judgment? By blowing their current statistics out of proportion and handing out trophies for it!
Most Improved Player – Eric Bledsoe
I’ve had a “Most Improved Player – Eric Bledsoe” column saved in my drafts for three years, and now my time has come! I know, this is big for me. I take your silence as the hug I’ve long since been deprived of.
Anyway, it looks as though freeing Bledsoe from the oppressive regime of Vinny Del Negro and putting him on a terrible team is all that was needed to let Mini Lebron flourish. Since arriving in Phoenix, Bledsoe has been posting All-Star caliber numbers (if the All-Star game was in mid-November). He’s 18th in points per game, 9th in assists, 14th in steals and 13th in PER. As a matter of fact, his statistics are up in virtually every category, including his brazen offensive rating of 115 and a defensive rating of 99. I’m going to just stop writing now, before I pencil Eric Bledsoe in for every award including Coach of the Year.
Sixth Man of the Year – Tyler Hansbrough
Yeah, I know, but there’s no denying that Psycho T has been off to a helluva start in Toronto. Coming off the bench, Hansbrough has been posting 15.3 points and 11.1 rebounds per 36 minutes. Efficiency has never been a strong suit of Tyler’s game, but he currently has a PER of 21, resulting in an offensive rating of 130. Yes, Tyler Hansbrough is creating 130 points per 100 possessions. Yep, I had to quadruple check it myself. If Tyler keeps this up, he might be the next member of Drake’s OVO clique.
Defensive Player of the Year – Roy Hibbert
Look, not everything I say can be a #hotsportstake. Roy Hibbert is the basketball world’s consensus for DPoY (even this no-name blogger), but it’s for good reason. Sure, he’s tied for the league-lead in blocks per game, and yes, he’s grabbing 9 boards per game, but that’s only the start. Hibbert’s opponents are only shooting 33.3% at the rim against him, which is the NBA equivalent of those basketball games at the boardwalk with the rim that’s too small for the ball to fit in. He’s also grabbing 49.2% of contested rebounds, while putting himself in position for 15.4 rebound chances per game. Simply put, Roy Hibbert has established himself as a force under the basket.
Rookie of the Year – Victor Oladipo
Victor HOLYDIPO DID YOU SEE THAT 360 DUNK?!? Damn, rookie. I see you, kid.
Most Valuable Player – Kevin Love
Surprise! Well, it really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, but I get it. We live in a world where you need to say Lebron is the MVP, and writing Kevin Durant is the wacky, “out on a limb” alternative. But that’s the beauty of Small Sample Size Theater!
Kevin Love is currently Top 15 in over twenty different statistical categories. TWENTY. 2-0. He’s grown, he’s healthy, and he’s playing on a half-decent team. Can he keep this high level of production up for an entire 82 games? Probably not. Will the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to be relevant deep into April? I doubt it. But right now? The boy is on fire and deserves all of the honor and prestige that comes with me declaring him League MVP After 7 Games.