Dutchball97 wrote:Walton is interesting because I don't think he'd have won it with 58 games played in many other years. Kareem missed nearly as many games as Walton in 78 but the Blazers still ended up with the best record in the league, while the Lakers just inched into the back end of the play-off bracket. Now we can talk about supporting casts, which was heavily in favor of Walton, but most voters just saw 2 greats missing 20-25 games each and one of them still getting much better results. The 76ers were the next best team but Erving had an off year (and missed some time himself), Moses was still a year away from being a MVP candidate and then the other "contenders" were Gervin and David Thompson who played for the weaker 2 division winners and didn't particularly light the world on fire. Both Gervin and Thompson would get the most MVP consideration of their careers that season.
When Walton goes down, the Blazers are already 50-10, on pace for 68 wins. They go 8-14 the rest of the way, still finishing comfortably with the best record overall. And he had just won a ring. It was a great narrative for him and the competition, as you say, wasn't that great.