Is There A Misunderstanding Of What An NBA MVP Is?

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Today, Stephen Curry was officially named the 2015-2016 NBA MVP, and actually the first unanimous one. Not many have disputed Curry’s claim to the MVP award, but Colin Cowherd actually had the audacity to do just that:

Colin Cowherd kind of has a point here. There are certain points he makes that are just completely wrong, like bringing up the fact that the Warriors could win two series without Curry. That is the post-season, the MVP award is given out to the most valuable player in the NBA during the regular season so that is irrelevant. But, bringing up the point that the Clippers and Cavs are no where near as good as they are without Chris Paul and LeBron James respectively is a solid point. Are they more valuable than Stephen Curry? Well, that’s the question.

Now before you go all Joffrey Baratheon on me, let’s make one thing clear really quickly. Stephen Curry is the best player in the NBA right now. There isn’t much of a debate about that. But, the simple fact of the matter is that being the best player does not always mean that you are the most valuable.

I’m sure many of you have read articles on this very matter before. Maybe it was in football or baseball or maybe even basketball. But, I thought I’d shed a little light on this topic with my own personal opinion.

If I had a vote for the NBA MVP award this year, I almost definitely would have chosen Curry. But, players like Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, and LeBron James should’ve at least received some consideration.

So, why did Curry win MVP, you ask?

Well, Stephen Curry had one of the best regular season performances in NBA History on the best team in NBA History. Yea, well I think that just about does it.

But, let’s see how they fared without Curry to truly understand his value.

Stephen Curry missed all of 3 games this season. The Warriors are 2-1 in those games. Considering they only lost 9 games all season, I’d say that losing 1 in a 3 game span is pretty significant. To get an even more in-depth idea of the Warriors’ production with Curry off the court, let’s compare his on/off court offensive rating, FG%, 3PT%, and OTOR to that of CP3’s, James’s, and Dame’s.

Stats from NBAwowy.com:

(These stats include the stats from the playoffs, but still provides a good representation of the difference)

 

Stephen Curry On The Court: 119.6 ORTG, 50.2 FG%, 42.8 3PT%, 12.6 OTOR (Opponent Turnovers per 100 possessions)

Stephen Curry Off The Court: 106.1 ORTG, 45.8 FG%, 37.7 3PT%, 12.6 OTOR

 

Damian Lillard On The Court: 109.1 ORTG, 44.5 FG%, 37.9 3PT%, 11.3 OTOR

Damian Lillard Off The Court: 107.9 ORTG, 44.4 FG%, 34.7 3PT%, 12.4 OTOR

 

Chris Paul On The Court: 114.2 ORTG, 48.6 FG%, 38.0 3PT%, 13.2 OTOR

Chris Paul Off The Court: 100 ORTG, 43.2 FG%, 33.0 3PT%, 13.8 OTOR

 

LeBron James On The Court: 116.5 ORtg 47.5 FG%, 38.4 3PT%, 12.6 OTOR

LeBron James Off The Court: 102.4 ORTG, 42.3 FG%, 35.0 3PT%, 11.9 OTOR

 

Yes it’s a lot of data, but the one thing that seems clear is that James, Paul, and Curry all mean a lot to their team. While these are just four categories, it seems though Steph Curry was as valuable, if not a little more valuable, to his team than Chris Paul and LeBron James was to their team.

So, was Stephen Curry deserving of the MVP award? Yes, of course he was. Again, he had one of the best seasons in NBA History. But, I don’t think it should have been unanimous. I believe Chris Paul and LeBron should’ve each received at least one 1st place vote.

So, all in all, I think Colin Cowherd made a solid point. LeBron James and Chris Paul should have at least received some consideration for the MVP. A couple times, the NBA MVP award seemed to be given to the best player in the league instead of the actualy most valuable player. This year, though, they got it right. If you say that Stephen Curry shouldn’t have won the MVP this year, then you are just being cynical.

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