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Rolling MVP Guest List: November 1st

Basketball is back!

With the NBA finally having returned from what seems like an impossibly long off-season, fans and the BMBT office and rejoice! Whether it’s bad takes, outlandish overreactions or just plain nonsense, you can be sure all of us here at Bad Men, Bad Takes will be across everything happening across the league, as well as providing you with our trademark tangents and nonsense!

In addition to that, another season means a brand new Rolling MVP Guest List from myself! If you’re new here, a reminder about the rules I use to determine who is on the Rolling MVP Guest List at any time.


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!

November 1st Guest List:


1. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics – 32.4ppg, 8.0rpg, 3.6apg, 0.8spg, 1.2bpg, 38.5% 3FG, 4-2 W/L.

Many pundits predicted a big season for Tatum, and it’s certainly panned out that way early on in the Celtics new campaign.

Concerns about disruptions due to the suspension of Ime Udoka and subsequent appointment of Joe Mazzulla were over-stated and nor the Celtics or Tatum individually have missed a beat.

The accounted for rivals Philadelphia behind Tatum’s 35 point and 12 rebound performance on opening night, backed that up with a win over last season’s Eastern Conference Finalists the Miami Heat and continued rolling with a victory over Orlando in which Tatum dropped 40 points. The team, and Tatum, haven’t slowed down since then either.

Jayson Tatum's play has seen the Celtics start the season well under Head Coach Joe Mazzulla. Credit: Sporting News

The off-season addition of Malcolm Brogdon appears to have helped Tatum save his energy on the offensive end for what he does best: scoring. He appears to be driving into the teeth of the defence and taking contact more than last season as opposed to settling for ill-advised attempts from long range, and Boston look to have found other options that allow Tatum to get easier buckets as the ball movement continues to be excellent.

The three point shooting can still improve for Tatum and his assist-to-turnover ratio isn’t great, but these are small nit-picks on what has been a stellar start to the season.

2. Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz – 21.4ppg, 9.0rpg, 3.0apg, 0.7spg, 0.6bpg, 27.1% 3FG, 5-2 W/L.

The Utah Jazz have been a pleasant surprise to begin the season, and one of the major reasons is the play of Lauri Markkanen.

The Finnish forward appears to have found his role in the NBA, and it’s larger than many would’ve believed he was capable of playing at a high level. In a shock win over the Denver Nuggets in the Jazz’s home opener, Markannen contributed in all areas and he followed that up with a 24 point, 13 rebound performance in an overtime win against Minnesota. To prove that was no fluke, he dominated for the Jazz in another overtime game just a couple of days later, posting 31 points and 12 rebounds (as well as two steals and a block) as the Jazz once again took a W in an away game in overtime, this time against New Orleans.

Lauri Markkanen has gone from a role player to a pseudo franchise star since arriving in Utah. Credit: SI

Markkanen appears to have a new-found confidence under Coach Will Hardy and has been performing at an unbelievable level because of it. He’s not just settling for deep shots either, as seen by the fact he’s getting to the free throw line for roughly 3.5 shots per game, and making them at a great rate. He hit his first 15 attempts from the charity-stripe through three games and while he’s cooled off a little since then, he’s still what I would consider automatic.

As arguably the Jazz’s go-to scorer, these opportunities will likely continue to present themselves and if Markkanen can take them with both hands, he will continue to impress.

3. Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves – 15.0ppg, 15.2rpg, 1.2apg, 0.7spg, 1.7bpg, N/A 3FG, 4-3 W/L.

Where do you being when talking about a guy fitting into a new system who started the year clocking up close to 20 rebounds a game? That’s how good Gobert has been to start his stint in the Twin Cities and, put simply, it’s helping the Wolves win games (well, so long as its not against the Spurs anyway!)

Gobert jumped out of the blocks for his new team, registering an imposing 23 point and 16 rebound performance in their season opener, before backing that up with a 9 point, 23 rebound effort against the Jazz two days later. He’s elite defensively and his offensive rebounding numbers continue to climb as the Wolves opt to play Towns as more of an outside threat.

Despite the Wolves losing some close games, Rudy Gobert gives the Wolves a near unmatched interior presence. Credit: Star Tribune

Rudy, as with every player, isn’t without his flaws though. His free-throw percentage continues to sink fantasy managers the world over and he is till prone to committed unnecessary turnovers. These deficiencies were shown when he gave up the ball four times against Utah and missed three critical chances to win the game at the end of regulation and overtime. In all honesty though, that’s where the negatives end.

Gobert has been a force for the Wolves and allows them to form one of the most unique front-court combinations in the association when sharing the court with Towns. If Minnesota look to utilise him as an offensive option down low, his point totals could continue to rise and make him one of the truly dominant two-way threats in the league once again.

4. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks – 31.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 9.7apg, 0.3spg, 0.2bpg, 33.3% 3FG, 4-2 W/L.

I was clear in my reservations about the pairing of Young and Murray in Atlanta’s back court coming into the season, but they appear to have been misplaced as Young’s performances have been what we’ve come to expect from the dynamic guard.

He started the season with back-to-back 20-and-10 performances as the Hawks won their first two games, before his assist numbers dropped a little and he looked to score, racking up three consecutive 30+ point games, including 42 in a loss to Milwaukee mere days ago. Despite the loss, Young has continued to lead his team on the court and remains able to dictate on any given night how wants to play in order to give his team the best chance at winning.

Trae Young has been able to integrate DeJounte Murray into the Hawks line-up will little issue if the start of their season is anything to go by.

The minutes have fluctuated between 30 and 38 depending on the night, but Trae Young remains one of the most dynamic offensive players the association has to offer, and his play could be better and more efficient the longer the season goes and the more comfortable he develops alongside Murray.


5. Ja Morant – Memphis Grizzlies

6. Damian Lillard – Portland Trailblazers

7. Donovan Mitchell – Cleveland Cavaliers

8. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks

9. Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks

10. James Harden – Philadelphia 76ers

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!

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