Rolling MVP Guest List: February 1st
All-Star starters have been announced and the reserves are soon to follow, so let’s check in for the February edition of my Rolling MVP table to see if the fans votes for All-Star representatives match those of my Guest List.
1. My rolling MVP calculations take the form of a table at a restaurant. That table has four seats. That’s it. No adding seats, no joining tables together, no sharing a seat with your teammate. Just four. These are the truest of candidates.
2. Those players who deserve recognition and are in the wider conversation are in the restaurant, but are waiting at the bar for a seat at the table to become available. The bar can have a maximum of six people waiting for a seat at the table at any one time. These are the players who were unlucky to miss out on the table, but with some good luck, may find themselves there soon.
3. Factors taken into account are statistics, difficulty of schedule, level of teammate support, games played, team record and numerous others, including the eye test and subjective opinion.
4. The order in which players are listed either at the table, or at the bar, is random. Myself, and the rest of team will make our final MVP picks later in the season prior to the award being announced.
5. Players will come and go from the table, as well as the bar, as the season goes on. If you disagree with the guest list I outline, let me know by sending an email to BMBTPodcast@gmail.com!
January 1st Guest List:
Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics
Devin booker – Phoenix Suns
Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks
Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers
Domantas Sabonis – Sacramento Kings
Ja Morant – Memphis Grizzlies
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
Zion Williamson – New Orleans Pelicans
Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets
Kevin Durant – Brooklyn Nets
Without further ado, as of February 1st, 2023, my MVP guest list:
1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks – 33.0ppg, 8.9rpg, 8.4apg, 1.5spg, 0.5bpg, 35.1% 3FG, 26-25 W/L.
January was a strange month for Doncic.
The young phenom only managed 11 games, and of those games, lost more than half (a monthly record of 5-6 when he was in the line-up). Sure, there were two 40+ point games in addition to a 39-point triple double on the resume, but in spite of this, Doncic’s net plus/minus per game was -2.3 over that stretch.
Luka played below his MVP best in the past month. Credit: The Sacramento Bee
The Mavericks have been dealing with injuries and perhaps the toll of the season is slowly starting to show with the lack of consistent help on the roster, but Doncic holds his spot for this month given his body of work to this point in the season.
If he misses chunks of time through injury or the Mavericks continue to falter in the win column however, his stats won’t be enough to hold his spot as the season moves forward.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks– 31.7ppg, 12.0rpg, 5.3apg, 0.8spg, 0.8bpg, 27.4% 3FG, 33-17 W/L.
Much like Jokic, Giannis isn’t a sexy pick in any way for a spot at the table, but he might be one of the best. Like Luka and Jokic, Giannis missed time during January, but unlike the aforementioned, when he did suit up, his impact was profound.
In the 9 games Giannis has played, the Bucks have only lost once. He has dropped two 50+ point games to bookend his January performances and in between them, an average plus/minus of +8.7 per game (remember the consensus for an MVP calibre season is around an average of +8 per game for a season).
Giannis has also had to look to work his running mate Khris Middleton back into the rotation in recent games as he returns from a knee injury, and the fact his performances have been so great in spite of Middleton’s absences to this point only makes them, and Milwaukee’s record, all the more impressive.
I don’t know if anyone will knock Giannis off the table for the rest of the season.
3. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics – 31.1ppg, 8.7rpg, 4.4apg, 1.1spg, 0.8bpg, 35.0% 3FG, 36-15 W/L.
The Celtics continue to be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference and Tatum is still their best player – sometimes a place at the MVP table is as simple as that.
In the past month, Tatum scored over 30 in more than half of the Celtics games, including a 51 point explosion in a win over Charlotte. That performance was the first time Tatum has topped 50 points this season after being stranded on 49 points against Miami in November and proves he is equally as capable of anyone in the league of putting his team on his back.
Jayson Tatum has continued his strong play and the Celtics have stayed atop the Eastern Conference. Credit: Sporting News
Also in the last month, his rebounding and assist numbers have improved without giving up any of his scoring numbers. It’s also worth noting he lead the team to a 9-5 record in January.
Tatum has been a constant at the table and I can’t see that changing for the rest of the season.
4. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets– 25.1ppg, 10.9rpg, 9.9apg, 1.4spg, 0.6bpg, 39.0% 3FG, 34-16 W/L
Jokic got off to a slow start to the season by his lofty standards, but perhaps that stands to prove just how accustomed we’ve become to his insane stat lines over the past two seasons.
Jokic did miss four games through January, but in games he played, the Nuggets went 9-2 and have rocketed up the Western Conference standings are currently sit as the #1 seed. During this span the big man has also logged multiple 30+ point games in addition to seven triple-doubles.
While voter fatigue from NBA analysts might not see him rank quite as highly as he should when the award is announced later in the year, we are all kidding ourselves if we think he isn’t the best centre in the league right now and doesn’t deserve his spot at the table.
5. Domantas Sabonis – Sacramento Kings
6. Zion Williamson – New Orleans Pelicans
7. Ja Morant – Memphis Grizzlies
8. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers
9. Kevin Durant – Brooklyn Nets
10. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Oklahoma City Thunder
So what do you think? Did I get it right? Did I mess it up?
Let me know by signing up for an account and commenting on this post, or by emailing the show at email@example.com!
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