Last week, we opened up our official Race to the MVP ladder with a ranking based upon how each player performed from the beginning of the season through last Monday. From now on, each weekly ranking will be focused upon each candidate’s performance from the previous week. So the stats listed for each player will be their averages from the previous week as well.
There was a lot of movement on the ladder this week. It’s not often you’ll see two players fall out of the top 10 in the same week. It’s hard for players to really separate themselves from the rest of the pack at the beginning of the season, so early on it’s more of a “what have you done for me lately?” deal. The last three out of the top 10 this week are Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams.
Holiday has been having a great individual year. So far he’s averaging about 18 and nine on the season, but the Sixers are currently a middle-of-the-pack team sitting three games above .500 – not quite good enough for Holiday to be in the conversation just yet, but he’s definitely on the outside looking in.
Rajon Rondo is averaging an unreal 13 and 13 so far this year. But it just hasn’t been good enough for the Celtics. They’re currently looking very average at 11-9 and lack a go-to scorer. For Rondo to jump back in the MVP race he’ll have to show people that he can be that go-to scorer in addition to the playmaker he’s always been. The key for him going forward is to improve those scoring numbers and translate that into wins for the Celtics.
We had Deron Williams ranked at No. 6 in our Week 1 Ladder. At the time the Nets were 11-5. A week later, the Nets are now 11-8. For a second there, people were starting to wonder if the Nets could contend for the best record in the East. Now they’re falling behind to the middle of the pack. D-Will hasn’t really found his rhythm yet (he’s shooting a dismal 28 percent from long range this year) but when he really gets it going, and the Nets start winning again he’ll be back in the top 10 without question.
With that, here are this edition’s top 10 candidates.
*** *** ***
10. STEPHEN CURRY
Last week: 24.0 ppg/5.0 apg/3.3 rpg
Vol. 1 rank: UR
Stephen Curry deserves some recognition. He’s only scored in single-digits twice this season. Besides a 6-point game against Denver on November 23 (a game where he only took five shots), he hasn’t scored under 20 points since November 16. On top of his remarkable scoring numbers, Curry has improved at distributing the basketball as well. Two weeks ago he had a streak of four double-doubles. If Curry can deliver these numbers consistently, he might just be in the conversation for an All-Star spot. The Warriors are 13-7 right now, which is good enough for fifth-best in the West. So if some of you were scratching your heads as to why Deron Williams falls out of the top 10, Stephen Curry is your answer.