BYU Wins Holy War

BYU Wins Holy War
George, like Collie and Harline before him, is now still open!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Utah Jazz 2007-08 MVP

Making a case for every player on the Jazz and their importance to the team...

The MVP debate has been heating up as the end of the regular season is nearing. The national media has narrowed it down to four players. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Chris Paul. While arguments can be made for any of these players to be the MVP of the league(although the arguments for Chris Paul are really shaky, and don't make much sense) it looks like the MVP award will be a tough call. This leads back to the definition of the MVP? Is it suppose to determine the best player numbers/talent wise or is it the player that meant the most to the team? Everyone has their own opinion about the definition, and it doesn't look like David Stern or anyone in the NBA front office is going to define the meaning any time soon.

For Jazz fans the debate over who was the MVP of the team during the Stockton/Malone era has revolved around this question. Malone had talent coming out of his ears and carried the team, but in the clutch the ball needed to be in the hands of Stockton to get the team over the top. On the current Jazz squad their is an abundance of talent, but who is the team MVP for this year? Here is a case for everyone on the Jazz roster. (In no particular order)

Jason Hart - Well...he is still alive, and suppose to be a really nice guy. Not MVP material. (Side note: If someone invented a time machine and was offering trips back to change the past don't you think that Hart would be first in line to talk himself out of leaving the Clippers? He is again buried behind Price on the bench like he was at Sacramento, and Cassell did nothing for the Clippers the entire season right up to the point that he left for Boston. I am pretty sure that situation would suit him better then the situation he is currently in.)

Morris Almond - He is the team MVP!!! If you are talking about the Utah Flash. The D-league Kobe has little chances of getting any playing time with the Jazz, but if he doesn't win the D-league MVP something is very wrong.

Kyrylo Fesenko - Fes is a fan favorite. He is a more lovable version of Greg Ostertag. Also he appears to have the desire to improve himself. As long as he doesn't get a cartoon character tattooed on his calf he is in good shape for the future, but has little chance of capturing the MVP for the Jazz this year.

Jarron Collins - He can still draw a charge.

Ronnie Price - Energy! Energy! Energy! When he comes into the game for the Jazz, the tempo of the game changes. He is running up the court with the ball and getting the team into the offense. He has been the spark to at least two Jazz victories this season. Also, since Price earn the back up position the Jazz are 26-8(.764) as compared to 22-18(.550) before the move was made. That is a very big swing in winning percentage. Good spark guy, team MVP?...No.

C.J. Miles - He has kept himself ready for any playing time that Sloan has given him. His game has grown huge amount since last year, and he could be competing with Brewer for most improved player on the team. He is still stuck behind Korver and Brewer for playing time, and he hasn't proven he can maintain his effort game-in-game-out. Future bright, team MVP?...not even close.

Paul Millsap - Here is a case of misconception among fans. Many fans have complained this year about the lack of play from Millsap. Yet, Millsap has improved in every statistical category from last year. The shock comes from the lack of increase from last season. After watching Millsap's play in the playoffs and the Rocky Mountain Review people were projecting a monster year from him. His game is improved, but he is no longer catching teams by surprise this year. He still has room to grow, but he is not the team MVP.

Matt Harpring - The lack of playing time due to his injury hurt the Jazz earlier in the season. Yet, with the emergence of young talent behind him his role on the Jazz has become less crucial. He is still a key to the Jazz success, but not the team MVP.

Andrei Kirilenko - It is obvious that AK is much happier with his role on the Jazz this year as compared to a year ago. He has shown the brilliance that made the Jazz sign him to the max money deal, but those moments this season has been rare. He has the ability to take over the game on both sides of the ball, but his intensity night-in-night-out has visibly wavered at times. It is frustrating to think of the player he could be for the Jazz if his ego wasn't involved. He is a BIG key to how far the Jazz make it in the playoffs, but not team MVP critical.

Ronnie Brewer - His role on the Jazz this year has been downplayed on all fronts. Mostly his athletic defensive ability. This was seen in the loss to the Timberwolves. He was the only one on the court, due to other injuries on the team, that could slow down the speedy back court of the T-Wolves. The ability of the Jazz to have a defensive presence on the perimeter has allowed AK to help on the inside. Also the ability of Brewer to finish around the basket opens up the offense around him. His stats are decent, but it is the little things that makes him valuable to the team. Team MVP? Nope.

Kyle Korver - Chicks dig the long ball! He is the MCP - Most Crushed on Player by both women and men. On the court his impact was felt the moment he arrived in Utah. The threat of him on the three point line forces teams out of zone defenses. He is a key, but not the team MVP.

Mehmet Okur - Memo has a huge impact on the Jazz. The Jazz are 4-6 when he is out of the line up. He is the most underrated player this year for the Jazz. His defense, while at times is lacking, is much improved compared to last season. He has also expanded the ways which he can score. Teams can no longer send a smaller perimeter player out to guard against the three, because of the ability Memo has now to dribble and pass the ball.

Carlos Boozer - He was the only All-Star and sadly the only sure member of the Jazz on Team USA on the Jazz. He is the guy that has carried the bulk of the Jazz scoring this season, and is the leading rebounder. Yet, Boozer has a glaring hole in his game DEFENSE! Calling Boozer a sub par defender would be a compliment of which he is undeserving. He is slow to cut off his own man, and never rotates to help.

Deron Williams - Who is the guy you don't want to see injured? D-Will. Deron is the only Jazz player that can create his own shot on a consistent bases. He is also the backbone to the Jazz offensive rhythm. If he is not hitting on all cylinders than the Jazz will struggle. He is a great shooter, but his pass first mentality makes everyone on the floor better. He also puts the team above his own quest for numbers. There have been times this season Deron has asked for Price to get more minutes because he is playing well. That is something you don't see from a top player in today's diva filled NBA. Although Booz, AK, and Memo are important they are expendable in the big picture in comparison to Deron.

If there was a vote for team MVP the ballot this year should read:
1) Deron Williams
2) Carlos Boozer
3) Mehmet Okur/Andrei Kirilenko

No comments: