2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread

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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#121 » by KTM_2813 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:57 pm

Did anyone catch the Duncan-Leroux top-ten players podcast? Really entertaining stuff, as always. I will say that I was a bit confused by Danny placing LeBron a tier below Giannis/Kawhi. Their logic is that players in the same tier have reasonable arguments over each other, so by placing LeBron a tier below the top guys, that means Danny didn't think LeBron had any argument over them. I may just be a LeBron stan, but I feel as though he, at a minimum, has at least a case as the best player in the league.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#122 » by GSP » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:24 am

I dont see the point in having a Poy this year if the season doesnt continue. I was reading some of the past Poys at least of recent years, and the playoffs had such a large influence on the rankings for most posters.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#123 » by bondom34 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:44 am

Have to listen to Nate and Danny, will be interested to. Don't agree with Kawhi being there personally, I'd have Giannis in a tier of his own at this point personally, then a drop.
FoundANewSlant wrote:it's really fundamental defensive flaws exhibited here by Westbrook, PG, and Adams that put Melo into vulnerable positions here yet you can't recognize or explain it.

So Paul George is the reason Carmelo Anthony struggled on defense all these years...
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#124 » by O_6 » Tue Apr 7, 2020 10:26 pm

I've been stuck working from home like most of you, but with no social life at the moment I decided to go all-in with my POY list with write-ups for all the players and my reasoning for their rank. Started with just a Top 10, but ended up with a Top 18 just because. I put a spoilers tag on the write-ups for players 11-18 just to make it look cleaner.

See below for the links I used to find the following stats...

RAPM: http://nbashotcharts.com/rapm?id=1109440799
PIPM: https://www.bball-index.com/current-pipm/
RAPTOR: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-nba-player-ratings/
ESPN RPM: http://www.espn.com/nba/statistics/rpm


1. Giannis (30/14/6 on .608 TS% -- 48-9 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#1), PIPM (#1), RAPTOR (#3), ESPN RPM (#1)

He has been nothing short of dominant this year. As much as I respect what LeBron has done this year, there is no question that Giannis is the clear MVP of the league at this point. He brings incredible intensity on both ends almost every game, and he just overwhelms opposing teams with his ridiculous athletic ability. His ability to cover ground is just different from anyone I've ever seen and he has added some "counter" moves to his power moves. He is a capable 3pt shooter + has developed a respectable and potentially scary mid-post fadeaway recently. As a Hakeem Olajuwon fan, I was kind of rooting against him to win MVP/DPOY last year and thought Gobert/Embiid deserved it but this year I've learned to stop being a hater and personally I would vote Giannis as both MVP and DPOY.

He IS the best 82-game regular season player in the league. I'm still not sure if he's the best 20-game multiple series post-season player, he still has to prove that. I would honestly take LeBron and Kawhi over Giannis for a post-season run which is why I could still see Giannis drop from this #1 spot if/when the playoffs occur, but Giannis is a clear #1 to me at this point in the season and he could end up having one of the best seasons in recent history if he dominates the playoffs and leads the Bucks to a title.

2. LeBron (26/8/11 on .582 TS% -- 47-13 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#3), PIPM (#3), RAPTOR (#4), ESPN RPM (#2)

What an impressive bounce-back season this has been. He has the 3rd most career minutes in NBA history (playoffs included), there was no guarantee that LeBron would return to this level of play. His defense has been very impressive and he has been brilliant as the lead orchestrator of the Lakers' offensive attack. Even on a team with an in-his-prime Anthony Davis, there really isn't a question as to who the best and most valuable player on the team is which says a lot. I love seeing how much his post-game has grown, he is just impossible to guard in those situations due to his power and passing. His passing has always been excellent but now that he’s focusing more on setting others up, it’s been even more impressive to watch.

Giannis is a pretty clear #1 in my eyes but LeBron is within striking distance and I still feel like he is the best player in this sport when it matters. He did send a monster message in that performance vs. the Bucks where he clearly outplayed Giannis and owned the 1v1 moments. The fact that he overpowered Giannis in the post on both ends barely makes sense, he is something else. If LeBron proves to be the best player in the playoffs once again and leads the Lakers to a title (especially if he goes through LAC/MIL), it'll be hard for me to choose anyone else.

3. Kawhi (27/7/5 on .585 TS% -- 38-13 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#2), PIPM (#2), RAPTOR (#2), ESPN RPM (#4)

Kawhi is just sublime. I feel like Giannis/LeBron/Kawhi are the 3 players who truly have an argument for the "Best in the League" crown due to their multi-dimensional impact on the game. Kawhi is no longer the best defensive player in the game due to a loss in quickness but he has absolutely stepped up and returned to a very high level on that end. He has made up for that loss in quickness with added strength, which really shows up on offense where he can get to his mid-range spots at will. Kawhi's mid-range game is the scariest offensive force in the game right now imo. I know the mid-range isn't the highest quality shot area, but Kawhi is just so money from there on top of being very good at the rim and behind the 3pt line. There isn't a scorer I fear more in a playoff setting than Kawhi right now, plus he can give you 8 boards 5 assists and great defense on top of that.

When he plays, I have him on a similar level to '08-'10 Kobe and '97-'98 MJ. Only reason he's "clearly" behind LeBron in the POY race for me at this point is because of his lack of games played due to load management. He proved to be the best "20 games in the playoffs" player in the league last year, and he could do it again. If he repeats last year's Raptors run with the Clippers (especially if he goes through LAL/MIL), how could you not take him #1?

4. Harden (34/6/7 on .616 TS% -- 39-22 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#9), PIPM (#4), RAPTOR (#1), ESPN RPM (#3)

Harden is such a unique offensive force in this game's history. He has been so dominant for so long as a scorer/passer that I feel like we take him for granted because we're still waiting for him to carry that over to the playoffs. I have him at #4 and even though I said that I consider the Giannis/LeBron/Kawhi trio as the only real challengers for the crown, Harden isn't far behind and clearly has arguments to support him. I was very close to putting him ahead of Kawhi due to minutes played, but I just couldn't put him over Kawhi since I feel like Kawhi is simply the better and more likely player to make a run at the #1 spot.

To me, I had Harden as tied with Giannis for the #1 spot at the turn of the New Year. But he has simply not been the same player since the new year.

Harden thru 12/31: 38.2 PPG on .461/.383/.860 shooting (33 games)
Harden since 01/01: 29.8 PPG on .400/.310/.862 shooting (28 games)

Harden was averaging borderline 40 PPG on a .640 TS%, just stupid stupid numbers. But his shooting has fallen off the map since that period of time and although 30 PPG on a .580 TS% is still impressive, the drop in play is enough to have him as #4 on my list. Harden has improved defensively, no question about it. But he still isn't anywhere near the 3 players ahead of him in terms of defensive impact and when his outside shot isn't falling, his offensive impact declines to a higher degree than the others. I could still see Harden take the #1 spot if he has the type of run we've all been waiting for in the playoffs, but it's just harder to see it happen than with the Top 3. He's still clearly ahead of anyone else imo.


5. Luka (29/9/9 on .584 TS% -- 34-20 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#50), PIPM (#5), RAPTOR (#5), ESPN RPM (#5)

This guy was born in 1999… mind boggling how good he is already. Luka suffered a bad ankle injury against the Heat during the team’s 25th game of the year on 12/14/19 that saw him miss the following 4 games. He’s still been impressive since that point, but those first 24 games gave us a glimpse of his potential and it was glorious. He was right there with Giannis/Harden in terms of having the most impressive year. The “Next LeBron” hype was everywhere at this point, even Jerry West said that Doncic had the ability to be on a completely different level than Dirk (an arguable Top 20 player ever).

Since returning from that injury in the Heat game, the hype has calmed down some as his level of play has (expectedly) dropped from “future GOAT” levels. There are some clear flaws in his game that he’ll need to improve in the future to reach his potential. His defense isn’t terrible but it’s clearly below average. His durability is something to keep an eye on, he’s on the path to becoming a LeBron/Harden type of offensive dominator who carries a monster offensive workload. Those guys are tanks, can Luka replicate that same kind of durability while playing the same type of style? The final question is his shooting, he’s shooting .318/.745 from 3 and the FT line this year (.309/.708 since the injury vs. the Heat). He’ll need to improve the shot if he wants to reach his full potential.

Despite the flaws which are to be expected for a 20 year old and a regression in play since his hot start to the season, I still have him as a fairly clear #5 because he was so damn good early in the year and is still the hands down MVP of the team with the best offense and 5th best SRS in the league. I expect Luka to be in the POY mix for a long time.

6. Jokic (20/10/7 on .604 TS% -- 43-22 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#61), PIPM (#14), RAPTOR (#13), ESPN RPM (#7)

Big Honey is one of a kind. He has established himself as the best passing Center ever imo, at the very least he is the best passing big in the league today and a uniquely effective offensive force. His box score numbers of 20 PPG and 7 APG underestimate the kind of unique offensive impact that he provides.

#1 in the NBA in touches per game. #58 in the NBA in time of possession per game.

The offense constantly runs through him as he leads the team in both PPG and APG, yet he is the opposite of a ball hog as he makes quick decisions that often lead to good looks from his teammates or himself. I don't know what's more impressive, his ball-handling or his passing. His 20 PPG also shortchanges his scoring ability. When he needs to be score, he ranks 3rd in the NBA in scoring in clutch situations. He averages 30.5 Points per 75 possessions during these situations on a .597 TS%, a massive increase in volume when it matters. He also ranks 4th in the league in assists during Clutch situations, so he still maintains his great passing even when he’s more in more of score-first mode.

This guy was 1st team All-NBA and 4th in the MVP voting last year and kicked some serious ass in the playoffs, and he’s basically playing on that same level again this year. He’s only 24, just a really underappreciated player who is still getting better.

7. Davis (27/9/3 on .614 TS% -- 43-12 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#121), PIPM (#7), RAPTOR (#8), ESPN RPM (#12)

7x All-Star, 3x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 Top 5 MVP finishes; having just turned 27 on March 11th. It seems like the lack of playoff success and inconsistent health has people feeling somewhat disappointed in AD’s career trajectory to this point. Yes, it’s a little weird to see a guy like Giannis come from nowhere to clearly surpass him on the NBA totem pole, but that doesn’t mean Davis still isn’t one of the very best players in the league and arguably the one with the most complete skillset.

One of the best scorers in the game, as well as one of the best defenders. His ability to create for others has improved but is still lacking some and his shot selection is a little annoying with all the falling backwards mid-range jumpers he takes. But the Lakers are a title contender because of their two-headed monster, and Davis could really climb up this list in my eyes if the Lakers win it all and he has a strong playoffs. The RAPM number is a little puzzling, but I have no issue putting Davis firmly in the Top 10 for his performance so far this year.

8. Paul (18/5/7 on .609 TS% -- 40-23 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#6), PIPM (#6), RAPTOR (#25), ESPN RPM (#9)

CP3 is just proving once again what a truly special player he is. People expected the OKC trade to be the equivalent of shipping him off to the Siberian tundra to never be heard from again. The OKC o/u at the start of the year was 32.5 wins and I’d guess that the pre-season Chris Paul o/u on games played was around 60 (61, 58, and 58 games played the previous 3 years). Well, he’s played in 63/64 games so far and is leading OKC to a 40-24 record with a shot at 1st round HCA. The fact that his impact numbers have remained extremely high at the tail end of his prime on 3 completely different squads over 4 seasons is just insane. He doesn’t have the juice to go all-out for 35 MPG like he used to, he lost that ability a while ago. But he really picks it up when it matters.

The OKC scoring is split between 4 players; SGA (19.3 PPG - .566 TS%), Gallo (19.2 PPG - .611 TS%), Schroder (19.0 PPG - .573 TS%), and Paul (17.7 PPG - .609 TS%). So CP3 is actually the 4th leading scorer on his own team. But OKC has been the best “Clutch” team in the league this year by a mile (#1 in Clutch Minutes, #1 in Clutch Net-Rating) and CP3 has been by far the main reason why.

OKC Top 4 Scorers in Clutch situations (per 75 possessions)
Paul -------- 31.2 PP/75 -- .678 TS%
Gallo ------– 20.9 PP/75 -- .635 TS%
SGA –-------- 19.3 PP/75 –- .673 TS%
Schroder --– 18.9 PP/75 -- .660 TS%

Just absurd numbers in the clutch for all 4 players, which is why OKC is destroying it in those situations this year. But as you can see, CP3 becomes the clear go-to scorer in these situations averaging over 30 per 75 possessions whereas the other 3 aren’t anywhere close to him. One of the best PGs of all-time and he’s adding a very cool chapter to his career with this surprise run in OKC.

9. Gobert (15/14/2 on .700 TS% -- 40-22 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#46), PIPM (#8), RAPTOR (#7), ESPN RPM (#26)

This guy’s 2020 season is clearly going to be remembered first for off-the-court stuff. I’ve definitely lost some respect for him simply because I thought he was smarter than that, but clearly it was just a matter of time and he may have actually saved hundreds of lives since he forced the NBA to act quickly.

On the court, he remains the best rim protector in the league and has improved his defense when he’s switched out onto the perimeter. That weakness has been exposed in the past, especially in the playoffs. Will be interesting to see if he has improved enough at that aspect of defense. That question mark is why I can see arguments for Giannis and Davis as better overall defenders. Like I said above, I’d vote Giannis as DPOY but Gobert clearly has an argument. Is he a limited offensive player? Yes. But let’s not ignore the fact that he’s averaged 15.1 PPG on a silly .700 TS%. Dominant interior rim protection + extremely impressive efficiency/good scoring volume for the team with the 7th best record in the league? He belongs in the Top 10.

10. Tatum (24/7/3 on .562 TS% -- 41-18 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#4), PIPM (#9), RAPTOR (#12), ESPN RPM (#18)

This guy has truly taken “The Leap” this year. We all saw flashes of this potential during his rookie season but a slightly disappointing sophomore season hurt his stock in the eyes of some. He showed improved defense to start the year which had people impressed, but it wasn’t until around the turn of the New Year that Tatum’s offensive game exploded and he hit a scary level.

Tatum thru 12/31: 21.3 PPG on .424/.366/.842 shooting (31 games)
Tatum since 01/01: 26.0 PPG on .473/.430/.780 shooting (28 games)

And if you just look at his stats since February 1st, he’s at a sizzling 29 PPG with 48/47/75 shooting splits. The OT game he had vs. Kawhi really stands out, he outplayed Kawhi when it mattered and sent a loud message that he’s coming. Just like Kawhi, Tatum projects as a Top 5 scorer in the league who is also an All-NBA caliber defender. I don’t think he’ll ever be Spurs Kawhi on D, but he’s very good on that end already and is just going to get better. As far as I’m concerned Luka/Zion/Tatum are ahead of everyone else in their age group and the real options of the “Who do you draft to start a Franchise?” question, and Tatum has the most well-rounded game of the trio by a mile at the moment. He should be in discussions like these for a while.

11. Butler (20/7/6 on .583 TS% -- 36-18 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#36), PIPM (#16), RAPTOR (#9), ESPN RPM (#19)

Spoiler:
Similar to Chris Paul, he has now played on 4 different teams over 4 years and had a very impressive impact on all of those teams. Even in Minny where he caused some chaos on his way out, he led that team to its best season since the 2004 Wolves led by KG during his incredible MVP season. In Philly where he butted heads with coaching and management, he was one of the main reasons that team was basically the Champion Toronto Raptors’ equal over a 7 game series and may have won it all if Kawhi didn’t hit “that shot”.

This guy is just a very good 2-way player who plays with a ton of heart and can positively impact games when he scores 10 or 25 points. His outside shot is what keeps him stuck in the 10-20 mix of best players and never in the Top 5 discussion. The Heat’s success this year has to do with more than just Jimmy, but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think his ability and tenacity on and off the court isn’t the main reason for their success. The fact that the Heat are having a better season than the Sixers right now is just incredible and something very few predicted, Jimmy deserves some serious credit for that. Really hope we get a Sixers vs. Heat series in the playoffs if/when the season resumes.


12. Lillard (29/4/8 on .619 TS% -- 27-31 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#62), PIPM (#23), RAPTOR (#11), ESPN RPM (#17)

Spoiler:
It sucks to see the Blazers have such a disappointing season but I think we all know it’s not because Dame is letting them down. Once again, the guy is just a scoring maniac and one of the scariest offensive players in the game when he has it going. But as impressive as Dame is, it seems like it’s the same story every year. A multi-week/month long scorching hot stretch where he plays at a ridiculously high level and looks like a hybrid Curry/Harden type of monster, surrounded by the rest of the season where he’s only about the 15th or so best player in the game.

He averaged 45/10/6 on 53/53/88 (.714 TS%) shooting during a 2-week span from 01/17 to 02/01 this year, just ridiculous. There are very few players as impressive as Dame when he’s feeling it, but he’s a bit hot/cold offensively and always bad defensively so it’s hard to place him any higher than this range on the POY list. Dame is fun to watch and has carved out an impressive legacy as a cold blooded killer. The OKC buzzer beater last year cemented his place as one of the most dangerous offensive players of this era. Hopefully the rest of his prime isn’t wasted on mediocre teams as he enters his 30s.


13. Middleton (21/6/4 on .619 TS% -- 44-11 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#13), PIPM (#10), RAPTOR (#13), ESPN RPM (#25)

Spoiler:
The Bucks are more than just Giannis. Obviously Giannis is playing at a superstar MVP level but the Bucks are playing fantastic even when he’s not on the floor. Budenholzer + a team with great depth and players who know their roles. Brook has been an underrated rim protector this year and might actually be the best argument as to why Giannis isn’t the DPOY over Davis/Gobert, but I think it’s fairly clear that Middleton is the 2nd best player on this team.

50/42/91 shooting splits while averaging 21.1 PPG. Capable of scoring off the ball while also being excellent at get his own shot in the half court. He can also create for others as his 4 APG shows. He’s also a solid defender, not All-NBA caliber like he used to be but still good on that end. He’s just an extremely well rounded player who has been scoring out of his mind this year, the Bucks will need him to keep it up in the playoffs if they want to win it all.


14. Lowry (20/5/8 on .589 TS% -- 36-16 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#59), PIPM (#26), RAPTOR (#22), ESPN RPM (#11)

Spoiler:
I was having some trouble figuring out who I thought deserved #1 Raptor honors between him and Siakam. I think in order for the Raptors to get to an NBA Finals, they’ll need Siakam to grab the reins and become the unquestioned #1 in Toronto kind of like how Tatum did in Boston. But I don’t think Siakam is there yet, and I feel like Lowry has been the MVP of this team so far. Once again Lowry is leading them with his bulldog mentality on both ends. He’s similar in a lot of ways to Chris Paul, although I’d still say he’s not quite the same level of player as CP3.

He is 3rd in the league in Minutes per Game at the age of 33. LeBron, PJ Tucker, Aldridge, Melo, CP3 and Horford are the only other players 33 or older to be playing 30+ MPG. Basically, only LeBron and CP3 are Lowry’s age and better in the entire league. He’s really carved out an incredibly successful career after a slow start. He has always been a player who impacted the game more than the box-score stats would indicate, and I’m glad he got his ring last year. He remains the heart and soul of the Raptors. Wouldn’t be the most shocking thing to see them in the Finals again.


15. Siakam (24/8/4 on .559 TS% -- 40-13 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#12), PIPM (#22), RAPTOR (#80), ESPN RPM (#15)

Spoiler:
The basic numbers and some advanced metrics seem to suggest that he doesn’t belong this high. But both the On/Off metrics and the eye test say something else, they show a player whose all-around presence just stands out on the court. It’s kind of a cop-out for me to put him only 1 spot below Lowry, and I considered having him lower on this list. I do think Lowry is the MVP of the Raptors (although Siakam has the better W/L record and raw On/Off data) and they are a deep team, but Siakam is the x-factor in the group with his all-around skillset. He’s the prototype for the modern NBA forward, being able to impact the game on several levels while also leading his team in scoring.

Maybe he doesn’t belong in the Top 15, I mean does he really deserve to be here when Brandon Ingram is probably about 15 spots lower on my list? But compared to Ingram, I feel like Siakam is a clearly superior defender who you’d feel comfortable with guarding the elite wings in this game and that makes a big difference. He has continued to improve as an overall player even after winning MIP last year. He was a tricky one to place but I feel around this spot makes sense and he has an argument over Lowry.


16. Adebayo (16/11/5 on .606 TS% -- 41-24 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#68), PIPM (#27), RAPTOR (#73), ESPN RPM (#67)

Spoiler:
It gets very hard for me to rate players around this spot on the list. I feel like it’s possible that Bam is a player that I may be overrating a little bit. Do I really think the Miami Heat have two of the 16 best players in the league this year, especially since they have good depth too? Am I underestimating Duncan Robinson’s brilliant shooting, especially when his on/off metrics are superior to Bam’s? Fair questions, but I feel like Bam belongs in this discussion. The Heat’s surprising season is due to a lot of factors, but Bam has to be considered one of the main ones. He’s leading the team in minutes, field goals, field goal percentage, rebounds, blocks, AND assists.

His offensive AND defensive versatility is why I think so highly of him. He’s not quite a DPOY caliber player yet, but he’s an elite defender in this league imo and matchup-proof. He’s one of the few players literally capable of guarding everyone on the court. He was one of the few defenders who was capable of at least giving Giannis a challenge this year. And on offense, his combination of being able to set others up + finish at a high level is really impressive. Just a really unique player with a highly valuable skillset that is conducive to winning games.


17. Westbrook (28/8/7 on .539 TS% -- 34-19 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#116), PIPM (#100), RAPTOR (#140), ESPN RPM (#8)
Spoiler:
This is truly a tale of two seasons for Westbrook when it comes to his scoring, let’s start with the beginning part of this year.

Westbrook thru 12/31: 24.2 PPG on .454 eFG% and .502 TS% (30 games)

That’s just bad. Combine that terrible scoring efficiency with his more flash than substance defense, and you have a player who has no business being anywhere near this list. You could argue he was actually hurting his team by shooting so much at such a terrible rate. The trade was really looking dreadful for the Rockets and the only thing masking it was Harden’s brilliance before the new year. But it’s been a different story for Russ since that time.

Westbrook since 1/1: 31.7 PPG on .542 eFG% and .576 TS% (23 games)

He’s been unbelievable ever since he adapted his playstyle to keep attacking the rim. This is his best sustained stretch of play since his ’17 MVP stretch run when he overtook Harden in the race and played out of his mind. But the difference between the two runs is that the ’17 MVP stretch run saw him making 3+ threes a game on 36% shooting. Those are numbers that he has never come close to approaching during any other season of his career. Whereas his current run isn’t about hot shooting but rather a fundamental change in the way he attacks defenses. It just feels far more sustainable, especially for a playoff run. His season is very hard to rank due to how bad he was earlier in the year, you could argue for a handful of guys over him.


18. Sabonis (19/12/5 on .586 TS% -- 37-25 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#51), PIPM (#38), RAPTOR (#73), ESPN RPM (#165)

Spoiler:
I don’t even know if I truly have him ranked #18, after Lowry at #14 it’s just become so hard to try and rank players. But I’m very high on Sabonis and think this is a player who really deserves more love for what he’s been able to do in Indiana. He is an extremely impressive young big, he just bullies people inside. He’s not an absolute tank like his father, but he clearly inherited some of that raw power from him. He’s so damn smooth when it comes to using his body in the post, he just moves people. His ability to score/pass as a big as well as play solid defense makes him a very valuable young piece on the Pacers.

Giannis, Jokic, Bam, Sabonis. Those are the only players in the league to average 10+ RPG and 5+ APG, one of the big things that I’ve come to really value over the years is passing by bigs. Just like Sabonis inherited some of that raw strength from his dad, he also inherited the passing gene. He’s really picked up on the playmaking as the year has gone on as well (6.1 APG in 30 games since 1/1 vs. 4.0 APG in 32 games through 12/31). He’s also an excellent screener averaging 7.0 Screen Assists per Game, tied with Gobert for 1st in the league. No one else is even close to those two as Bam Adebayo is 3rd in the league with 5.2 per game.

Combine the strong screening and passing with his impressive interior scoring and we’re talking about a really good and versatile offensive player. His defense is nothing special but I consider him above-average on that end. I don’t think he’ll become Jokic-level as an overall player, but I do think he has more potential as an interior scorer and has the potential to become a regular in the Top 20 with a couple of seasons where he sneaks into the Top 10.
There are other players that I feel could’ve snuck onto this list. Once it got to around the #16 spot, it became really tough. I can see a lot of people not liking the Westbrook pick, the on/off metrics and the season-long shooting splits certainly don’t support it. But I was just so impressed at the one of a kind way he was pressuring defenses from the guard spot. But still, I understand that maybe I’m not valuing his 1st half of the season enough when he was pretty damn bad. And Sabonis is a guy who I personally like, maybe I have him rated too high at #18 but I’m really a fan of his offensive game.

I feel I might be being too hard on the Young/Beal/Booker trio of offensive monsters. But at the same time they are all absolutely terrible defensive players and it’s hard to truly measure their offensive impact in their situations. There are other players in the mix too but I feel pretty good about my list.

Crazy year, hopefully we get to finish this season. Hope all of you guys and your families are safe.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#125 » by Colbinii » Wed Apr 8, 2020 8:22 pm

Spoiler:
O_6 wrote:I've been stuck working from home like most of you, but with no social life at the moment I decided to go all-in with my POY list with write-ups for all the players and my reasoning for their rank. Started with just a Top 10, but ended up with a Top 18 just because. I put a spoilers tag on the write-ups for players 11-18 just to make it look cleaner.

See below for the links I used to find the following stats...

RAPM: http://nbashotcharts.com/rapm?id=1109440799
PIPM: https://www.bball-index.com/current-pipm/
RAPTOR: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-nba-player-ratings/
ESPN RPM: http://www.espn.com/nba/statistics/rpm


1. Giannis (30/14/6 on .608 TS% -- 48-9 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#1), PIPM (#1), RAPTOR (#3), ESPN RPM (#1)

He has been nothing short of dominant this year. As much as I respect what LeBron has done this year, there is no question that Giannis is the clear MVP of the league at this point. He brings incredible intensity on both ends almost every game, and he just overwhelms opposing teams with his ridiculous athletic ability. His ability to cover ground is just different from anyone I've ever seen and he has added some "counter" moves to his power moves. He is a capable 3pt shooter + has developed a respectable and potentially scary mid-post fadeaway recently. As a Hakeem Olajuwon fan, I was kind of rooting against him to win MVP/DPOY last year and thought Gobert/Embiid deserved it but this year I've learned to stop being a hater and personally I would vote Giannis as both MVP and DPOY.

He IS the best 82-game regular season player in the league. I'm still not sure if he's the best 20-game multiple series post-season player, he still has to prove that. I would honestly take LeBron and Kawhi over Giannis for a post-season run which is why I could still see Giannis drop from this #1 spot if/when the playoffs occur, but Giannis is a clear #1 to me at this point in the season and he could end up having one of the best seasons in recent history if he dominates the playoffs and leads the Bucks to a title.

2. LeBron (26/8/11 on .582 TS% -- 47-13 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#3), PIPM (#3), RAPTOR (#4), ESPN RPM (#2)

What an impressive bounce-back season this has been. He has the 3rd most career minutes in NBA history (playoffs included), there was no guarantee that LeBron would return to this level of play. His defense has been very impressive and he has been brilliant as the lead orchestrator of the Lakers' offensive attack. Even on a team with an in-his-prime Anthony Davis, there really isn't a question as to who the best and most valuable player on the team is which says a lot. I love seeing how much his post-game has grown, he is just impossible to guard in those situations due to his power and passing. His passing has always been excellent but now that he’s focusing more on setting others up, it’s been even more impressive to watch.

Giannis is a pretty clear #1 in my eyes but LeBron is within striking distance and I still feel like he is the best player in this sport when it matters. He did send a monster message in that performance vs. the Bucks where he clearly outplayed Giannis and owned the 1v1 moments. The fact that he overpowered Giannis in the post on both ends barely makes sense, he is something else. If LeBron proves to be the best player in the playoffs once again and leads the Lakers to a title (especially if he goes through LAC/MIL), it'll be hard for me to choose anyone else.

3. Kawhi (27/7/5 on .585 TS% -- 38-13 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#2), PIPM (#2), RAPTOR (#2), ESPN RPM (#4)

Kawhi is just sublime. I feel like Giannis/LeBron/Kawhi are the 3 players who truly have an argument for the "Best in the League" crown due to their multi-dimensional impact on the game. Kawhi is no longer the best defensive player in the game due to a loss in quickness but he has absolutely stepped up and returned to a very high level on that end. He has made up for that loss in quickness with added strength, which really shows up on offense where he can get to his mid-range spots at will. Kawhi's mid-range game is the scariest offensive force in the game right now imo. I know the mid-range isn't the highest quality shot area, but Kawhi is just so money from there on top of being very good at the rim and behind the 3pt line. There isn't a scorer I fear more in a playoff setting than Kawhi right now, plus he can give you 8 boards 5 assists and great defense on top of that.

When he plays, I have him on a similar level to '08-'10 Kobe and '97-'98 MJ. Only reason he's "clearly" behind LeBron in the POY race for me at this point is because of his lack of games played due to load management. He proved to be the best "20 games in the playoffs" player in the league last year, and he could do it again. If he repeats last year's Raptors run with the Clippers (especially if he goes through LAL/MIL), how could you not take him #1?

4. Harden (34/6/7 on .616 TS% -- 39-22 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#9), PIPM (#4), RAPTOR (#1), ESPN RPM (#3)

Harden is such a unique offensive force in this game's history. He has been so dominant for so long as a scorer/passer that I feel like we take him for granted because we're still waiting for him to carry that over to the playoffs. I have him at #4 and even though I said that I consider the Giannis/LeBron/Kawhi trio as the only real challengers for the crown, Harden isn't far behind and clearly has arguments to support him. I was very close to putting him ahead of Kawhi due to minutes played, but I just couldn't put him over Kawhi since I feel like Kawhi is simply the better and more likely player to make a run at the #1 spot.

To me, I had Harden as tied with Giannis for the #1 spot at the turn of the New Year. But he has simply not been the same player since the new year.

Harden thru 12/31: 38.2 PPG on .461/.383/.860 shooting (33 games)
Harden since 01/01: 29.8 PPG on .400/.310/.862 shooting (28 games)

Harden was averaging borderline 40 PPG on a .640 TS%, just stupid stupid numbers. But his shooting has fallen off the map since that period of time and although 30 PPG on a .580 TS% is still impressive, the drop in play is enough to have him as #4 on my list. Harden has improved defensively, no question about it. But he still isn't anywhere near the 3 players ahead of him in terms of defensive impact and when his outside shot isn't falling, his offensive impact declines to a higher degree than the others. I could still see Harden take the #1 spot if he has the type of run we've all been waiting for in the playoffs, but it's just harder to see it happen than with the Top 3. He's still clearly ahead of anyone else imo.


5. Luka (29/9/9 on .584 TS% -- 34-20 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#50), PIPM (#5), RAPTOR (#5), ESPN RPM (#5)

This guy was born in 1999… mind boggling how good he is already. Luka suffered a bad ankle injury against the Heat during the team’s 25th game of the year on 12/14/19 that saw him miss the following 4 games. He’s still been impressive since that point, but those first 24 games gave us a glimpse of his potential and it was glorious. He was right there with Giannis/Harden in terms of having the most impressive year. The “Next LeBron” hype was everywhere at this point, even Jerry West said that Doncic had the ability to be on a completely different level than Dirk (an arguable Top 20 player ever).

Since returning from that injury in the Heat game, the hype has calmed down some as his level of play has (expectedly) dropped from “future GOAT” levels. There are some clear flaws in his game that he’ll need to improve in the future to reach his potential. His defense isn’t terrible but it’s clearly below average. His durability is something to keep an eye on, he’s on the path to becoming a LeBron/Harden type of offensive dominator who carries a monster offensive workload. Those guys are tanks, can Luka replicate that same kind of durability while playing the same type of style? The final question is his shooting, he’s shooting .318/.745 from 3 and the FT line this year (.309/.708 since the injury vs. the Heat). He’ll need to improve the shot if he wants to reach his full potential.

Despite the flaws which are to be expected for a 20 year old and a regression in play since his hot start to the season, I still have him as a fairly clear #5 because he was so damn good early in the year and is still the hands down MVP of the team with the best offense and 5th best SRS in the league. I expect Luka to be in the POY mix for a long time.

6. Jokic (20/10/7 on .604 TS% -- 43-22 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#61), PIPM (#14), RAPTOR (#13), ESPN RPM (#7)

Big Honey is one of a kind. He has established himself as the best passing Center ever imo, at the very least he is the best passing big in the league today and a uniquely effective offensive force. His box score numbers of 20 PPG and 7 APG underestimate the kind of unique offensive impact that he provides.

#1 in the NBA in touches per game. #58 in the NBA in time of possession per game.

The offense constantly runs through him as he leads the team in both PPG and APG, yet he is the opposite of a ball hog as he makes quick decisions that often lead to good looks from his teammates or himself. I don't know what's more impressive, his ball-handling or his passing. His 20 PPG also shortchanges his scoring ability. When he needs to be score, he ranks 3rd in the NBA in scoring in clutch situations. He averages 30.5 Points per 75 possessions during these situations on a .597 TS%, a massive increase in volume when it matters. He also ranks 4th in the league in assists during Clutch situations, so he still maintains his great passing even when he’s more in more of score-first mode.

This guy was 1st team All-NBA and 4th in the MVP voting last year and kicked some serious ass in the playoffs, and he’s basically playing on that same level again this year. He’s only 24, just a really underappreciated player who is still getting better.

7. Davis (27/9/3 on .614 TS% -- 43-12 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#121), PIPM (#7), RAPTOR (#8), ESPN RPM (#12)

7x All-Star, 3x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 Top 5 MVP finishes; having just turned 27 on March 11th. It seems like the lack of playoff success and inconsistent health has people feeling somewhat disappointed in AD’s career trajectory to this point. Yes, it’s a little weird to see a guy like Giannis come from nowhere to clearly surpass him on the NBA totem pole, but that doesn’t mean Davis still isn’t one of the very best players in the league and arguably the one with the most complete skillset.

One of the best scorers in the game, as well as one of the best defenders. His ability to create for others has improved but is still lacking some and his shot selection is a little annoying with all the falling backwards mid-range jumpers he takes. But the Lakers are a title contender because of their two-headed monster, and Davis could really climb up this list in my eyes if the Lakers win it all and he has a strong playoffs. The RAPM number is a little puzzling, but I have no issue putting Davis firmly in the Top 10 for his performance so far this year.

8. Paul (18/5/7 on .609 TS% -- 40-23 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#6), PIPM (#6), RAPTOR (#25), ESPN RPM (#9)

CP3 is just proving once again what a truly special player he is. People expected the OKC trade to be the equivalent of shipping him off to the Siberian tundra to never be heard from again. The OKC o/u at the start of the year was 32.5 wins and I’d guess that the pre-season Chris Paul o/u on games played was around 60 (61, 58, and 58 games played the previous 3 years). Well, he’s played in 63/64 games so far and is leading OKC to a 40-24 record with a shot at 1st round HCA. The fact that his impact numbers have remained extremely high at the tail end of his prime on 3 completely different squads over 4 seasons is just insane. He doesn’t have the juice to go all-out for 35 MPG like he used to, he lost that ability a while ago. But he really picks it up when it matters.

The OKC scoring is split between 4 players; SGA (19.3 PPG - .566 TS%), Gallo (19.2 PPG - .611 TS%), Schroder (19.0 PPG - .573 TS%), and Paul (17.7 PPG - .609 TS%). So CP3 is actually the 4th leading scorer on his own team. But OKC has been the best “Clutch” team in the league this year by a mile (#1 in Clutch Minutes, #1 in Clutch Net-Rating) and CP3 has been by far the main reason why.

OKC Top 4 Scorers in Clutch situations (per 75 possessions)
Paul -------- 31.2 PP/75 -- .678 TS%
Gallo ------– 20.9 PP/75 -- .635 TS%
SGA –-------- 19.3 PP/75 –- .673 TS%
Schroder --– 18.9 PP/75 -- .660 TS%

Just absurd numbers in the clutch for all 4 players, which is why OKC is destroying it in those situations this year. But as you can see, CP3 becomes the clear go-to scorer in these situations averaging over 30 per 75 possessions whereas the other 3 aren’t anywhere close to him. One of the best PGs of all-time and he’s adding a very cool chapter to his career with this surprise run in OKC.

9. Gobert (15/14/2 on .700 TS% -- 40-22 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#46), PIPM (#8), RAPTOR (#7), ESPN RPM (#26)

This guy’s 2020 season is clearly going to be remembered first for off-the-court stuff. I’ve definitely lost some respect for him simply because I thought he was smarter than that, but clearly it was just a matter of time and he may have actually saved hundreds of lives since he forced the NBA to act quickly.

On the court, he remains the best rim protector in the league and has improved his defense when he’s switched out onto the perimeter. That weakness has been exposed in the past, especially in the playoffs. Will be interesting to see if he has improved enough at that aspect of defense. That question mark is why I can see arguments for Giannis and Davis as better overall defenders. Like I said above, I’d vote Giannis as DPOY but Gobert clearly has an argument. Is he a limited offensive player? Yes. But let’s not ignore the fact that he’s averaged 15.1 PPG on a silly .700 TS%. Dominant interior rim protection + extremely impressive efficiency/good scoring volume for the team with the 7th best record in the league? He belongs in the Top 10.

10. Tatum (24/7/3 on .562 TS% -- 41-18 record)
On/Off Metric Rankings: RAPM (#4), PIPM (#9), RAPTOR (#12), ESPN RPM (#18)

This guy has truly taken “The Leap” this year. We all saw flashes of this potential during his rookie season but a slightly disappointing sophomore season hurt his stock in the eyes of some. He showed improved defense to start the year which had people impressed, but it wasn’t until around the turn of the New Year that Tatum’s offensive game exploded and he hit a scary level.

Tatum thru 12/31: 21.3 PPG on .424/.366/.842 shooting (31 games)
Tatum since 01/01: 26.0 PPG on .473/.430/.780 shooting (28 games)

And if you just look at his stats since February 1st, he’s at a sizzling 29 PPG with 48/47/75 shooting splits. The OT game he had vs. Kawhi really stands out, he outplayed Kawhi when it mattered and sent a loud message that he’s coming. Just like Kawhi, Tatum projects as a Top 5 scorer in the league who is also an All-NBA caliber defender. I don’t think he’ll ever be Spurs Kawhi on D, but he’s very good on that end already and is just going to get better. As far as I’m concerned Luka/Zion/Tatum are ahead of everyone else in their age group and the real options of the “Who do you draft to start a Franchise?” question, and Tatum has the most well-rounded game of the trio by a mile at the moment. He should be in discussions like these for a while.


Nice list and thank you for putting forth the effort in this post for all of us to enjoy and reminisce about during these...weird times.

RE: Doncic

I just can't buy into him being this good yet and maybe that is me just being naive at this point. He is this weird Larry Bird/Paul Pierce-Hybrid who has a major weakness in his game [defense] and a couple attributes he needs to improve on [notably shot selection], but I can't avoid watching his game tape from time to time due to his elite vision, passing, all-around play-making and craftiness with the ball. His BBIQ is off the charts and his feel for the game at this age (20) hasn't been seen since LeBron James.

Ultimately I still put him below The Joker and Anthony Davis [he needs a better nickname that The Unibrow] but I like him above the likes of Tatum, Gobert, Butler and Lillard. Chris Paul is the player I have the most time with deciding between Doncic [and by that I mean Doncic/Paul to me are the closest players out of the top 10 players--interchangeable for me].

RE: Post-season

It is a shame we don't get to see the post-season. Is LeBron reclaiming his throne? Can Kawhi lead the Clippers to a championship and can George stay healthy? Can Paul spring a first round upset? Can Harden win without facing the Curry/KD Warriors? Can anyone stop Joker in the post-season after his all-time great run last year?

...And those are just the Western Conference story lines :o
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#126 » by limbo » Wed Apr 8, 2020 10:23 pm



Watching some MJ highlights. Some of these layups and jumpers are ridiculous. Dude looks 10x better than everyone else.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#127 » by Doctor MJ » Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:51 pm

GSP wrote:I dont see the point in having a Poy this year if the season doesnt continue. I was reading some of the past Poys at least of recent years, and the playoffs had such a large influence on the rankings for most posters.


I do understand that perspective, but I would tend to see this as a question of either capturing people's perception of the year, or not.

I also understand a perspective that says this is just an MVP conversation now and hence redundant...but this collection of voters isn't going to get to vote for the actual MVP aware or other awards, and any alignment or divergence would be interesting to see I think.

One thing though:

I think it's interesting to look at Kawhi in an MVP vs POY mindset this year. I think we can largely agree that the there appeared to be 3 serious contenders this year led by the 3 best (healthy) players in the game, yet I could certainly imagine Kawhi being considerably lower than 3rd on many people's ballots in the name of his missed time.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#128 » by eminence » Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:47 pm

I think this would be my vote if the season was declared over:

1. Giannis
2. LeBron
3. Kawhi
4. Harden
5. Jokic
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#129 » by Texas Chuck » Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:44 pm

Feels like such a super clear 1 in Giannis, a super clear 2 in Lebron and then pretty clear 3 in Kawhi. After that it gets tricky, Harden had a longer than you'd think bad spell where Westbrook kinda kept the Rockets afloat. Jokic was so bad to start the year--obviously he ramped it way up, but that factors in. Luka missed a number of games and still has the holes you'd expect a young player to have. Dame was stupid good but his team was stupid bad with no wings to start the year and then the bigs got hurt. Paul was so good and his team was really good. Gobert had an odd year. I've never been sold on AD and the DPOY hype was so out of way and shows the power of being a Laker.

I think if we get no more games I'm here:

1. Giannis
2. Lebron
3. Kawhi
4. Paul
5. Harden

With my biggest apologies to Jokic, Dame, Luka, and AD in that order.(I think)
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#130 » by bondom34 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:29 am

Think I'd stick with my 5 from my longer post on the last page, admitting Kawhi at 5 seems odd but the minutes gap is so big I'm struggling to bump him much higher. He played about 75% of the minute total of either Harden or Jokic.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#131 » by Colbinii » Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:22 pm

I still put forth a strong argument for LeBron at numero uno.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#132 » by Doctor MJ » Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:43 pm

Texas Chuck wrote:Feels like such a super clear 1 in Giannis, a super clear 2 in Lebron and then pretty clear 3 in Kawhi. After that it gets tricky, Harden had a longer than you'd think bad spell where Westbrook kinda kept the Rockets afloat. Jokic was so bad to start the year--obviously he ramped it way up, but that factors in. Luka missed a number of games and still has the holes you'd expect a young player to have. Dame was stupid good but his team was stupid bad with no wings to start the year and then the bigs got hurt. Paul was so good and his team was really good. Gobert had an odd year. I've never been sold on AD and the DPOY hype was so out of way and shows the power of being a Laker.

I think if we get no more games I'm here:

1. Giannis
2. Lebron
3. Kawhi
4. Paul
5. Harden

With my biggest apologies to Jokic, Dame, Luka, and AD in that order.(I think)


You and I see things similarly even on something most don't:

That Paul over Harden needs to be seriously considered.

I know that it being a team game means not picking whoever happened to have the better team, and I also know that OKC's SRS was low, but speaking as a guy who was quite critical of Paul last year for not finding a way to get along with the alpha he chose to come play with, it's pretty sweet revenge that Paul took a seemingly lottery bound Thunder and led them to a higher finish than Harden's new and improved "contender".

Here's my list for the moment:

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo - given where the season ended, I see no arguments for anyone other than Giannis. Understandable if you think LeBron & Kawhi would be better in the playoffs, but the RS belonged to Giannis.
2. LeBron James - an MVP worthy performance, simple as that.
3. Kawhi Leonard - if you're a Bill Simmons fan, this was a performance worthy of retaining the title belt.

big drop off

4. Nikola Jokic - just missed my Top 5 last year, but even with walkabout times, Jokic is a guy you have to put at least on a tier with everyone healthy who isn't one of the above 3 and he led his team again to a high seed.
5. Chris Paul - I can't see anyone else and think they really proved themselves more capable this year.

Honorable Mention:
* James Harden - has to be on the list even though his team now seems destined to be something less than a true contender due to his choices.
* Luke Doncic - Benefit of the doubt went to the guys above him, but had a case for as high as 4th.
* Anthony Davis - the way his presence has galvanized LeBron has to be taken seriously, even if I'm actually a bit underwhelmed. To watch him play with old man LeBron is to think "Wow, how old will LeBron have to be before he's worse than AD's best?"
* Jayson Tatum - Took that next leap forward.
* Damian Lillard

I'm really torn on the last spot. I was considering Lillard, Jimmy Butler, and Rudy Gobert.

Butler had a year that was rather like Paul's. Kicked out of Philly, he goes to a new team, his new team gets better, old team worse, and he ends up higher in the standings. That's awesome, but Miami was already on an upward trajectory and Butler missed some time. In the end, I had Lillard ranked higher before the season and I haven't really changed my mind, Lillard played more, is a better leader, and he's dealing with some bad luck and bad choices on the part of Blazers' management.

Gobert is different. I'll fully admit that I'm factoring in off-court stuff here, and I understand disagreements both in specific assessment and in general principle.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#133 » by Doctor MJ » Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:52 pm

bondom34 wrote:Think I'd stick with my 5 from my longer post on the last page, admitting Kawhi at 5 seems odd but the minutes gap is so big I'm struggling to bump him much higher. He played about 75% of the minute total of either Harden or Jokic.


Totally understandable, let me point something out indirectly:

Some folks see Giannis not playing more as a negative against him. Even if he didn't need to play, they say "Well he must not be that valuable then."

But when you look at raw +/- numbers, Giannis stands at +648 and no one else in the league is above +500. We're talking about drastically higher dominance when Giannis is on the court than anyone else, all with best-in-game stats, so why would we not want to honor that?

Kawhi is sitting at +398 this year, by contrast to Harden and Jokic in the +200s. That too, is a stark difference.

One factor for me with regards to Harden is that I just feel he doesn't get to complain about having weaker teammates any more. He's done everything he could to get guys in and get guys out to be decide what his team should be. Now he is where he is, on a team that looks like a pseudo-contender even before you factor in that things get tougher for Harden in the playoffs. Harden just doesn't feel all that relevant any more compared to Kawhi.

Jokic can't be compared the same way and what I'll acknowledge is that as a Jokic fan, his playoff run did a lot to make me see him as playoff-legit, but he's yet to do enough to make me feel like he belongs in the conversation with the very top tier the way I have Kawhi now, and how I've previously had Harden.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#134 » by Colbinii » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:18 am

Texas Chuck wrote:
Spoiler:
Feels like such a super clear 1 in Giannis, a super clear 2 in Lebron and then pretty clear 3 in Kawhi. After that it gets tricky, Harden had a longer than you'd think bad spell where Westbrook kinda kept the Rockets afloat. Jokic was so bad to start the year--obviously he ramped it way up, but that factors in. Luka missed a number of games and still has the holes you'd expect a young player to have. Dame was stupid good but his team was stupid bad with no wings to start the year and then the bigs got hurt. Paul was so good and his team was really good. Gobert had an odd year. I've never been sold on AD and the DPOY hype was so out of way and shows the power of being a Laker.

I think if we get no more games I'm here:

1. Giannis
2. Lebron
3. Kawhi
4. Paul
5. Harden

With my biggest apologies to Jokic, Dame, Luka, and AD in that order.(I think)


Doctor MJ wrote:You and I see things similarly even on something most don't:

That Paul over Harden needs to be seriously considered.

I know that it being a team game means not picking whoever happened to have the better team, and I also know that OKC's SRS was low, but speaking as a guy who was quite critical of Paul last year for not finding a way to get along with the alpha he chose to come play with, it's pretty sweet revenge that Paul took a seemingly lottery bound Thunder and led them to a higher finish than Harden's new and improved "contender".


I believe with SRS we [people who use it; myself included] need to do a better job of applying some context to the number we are citing.

At face value OKC's SRS is relatively low at a good [not great] 2.79.
On the other hand, Houston's SRS is 36% higher at 3.78.

But this doesn't mean Houston was a better team--not even looking at Win Total here--and doesn't paint the picture as to why Chris Paul was more valuable [and very arguably had a better season than Harden].

1. Both Paul and Harden had the same on-court rating, +5.6 per 100 possessions, but Paul tops Harden in On/Off [+10.1 to +6.4].

One could argue that Harden had a better supporting cast, thus a lower On/Off is expected, but he also had the luxury of playing in a system built for him over the years. Harden has benefited from playing with a coach who has chosen to Maximize Harden's skill-set, in hopes of maximizing the team, for 3 years and counting. Paul went to a roster with an imbalance [3 Solid PG's in himself, SGA and Schroder] while Schroder is having a career year next to Paul, something he never approached next to Westbrook/George. Paul is on a team with 5 of its top 10 players in minutes [excluding Paul] being 21 or younger.

2. Paul's numbers have always exceeded his box-score numbers. I have always been fascinated by Paul's ability to execute on the court. His way of managing the game is in the same category as Magic, Nash and Stockton [Sorry West and Oscar, didn't watch you all that much :) ] and this ability to manage a game is becoming seemingly portable given Paul's history of thriving in impact statistics in 4 stops now [New Orleans, Los Angeles, Houston and Oklahoma City].

3. Paul has been able to utilize Steven Adams in a way Westbrook never could. Look at Adams' assists numbers this season [Career AST% pre-2020 is 5.5%, this year 13.5% [150% increase :o ] without raising his Turnovers. Adams is also having his best year defensively in his career [not all credit can be given to Paul here, but some certainly should].

Now, I hate to turn this into a Westbrook vs Paul discussion but it really makes me wonder if Westbrook was ever better than Paul.

4. In the Clutch :o

It really is unbelievable how good Oklahoma City is in the clutch.

Chris Paul: 42 games with "Clutch Play", 3.8 Minutes per game, ~160 total minutes.
Net Rating: +28.8, 58.7 eFG%, 68.1 TS%, 31.0 USG%

This ended up turning into a Chris Paul love-affair more than a comparison but I think that is okay for the time being.

Here's my list for the moment:

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo - given where the season ended, I see no arguments for anyone other than Giannis. Understandable if you think LeBron & Kawhi would be better in the playoffs, but the RS belonged to Giannis.
2. LeBron James - an MVP worthy performance, simple as that.
3. Kawhi Leonard - if you're a Bill Simmons fan, this was a performance worthy of retaining the title belt.

big drop off

4. Nikola Jokic - just missed my Top 5 last year, but even with walkabout times, Jokic is a guy you have to put at least on a tier with everyone healthy who isn't one of the above 3 and he led his team again to a high seed.
5. Chris Paul - I can't see anyone else and think they really proved themselves more capable this year.

Honorable Mention:
* James Harden - has to be on the list even though his team now seems destined to be something less than a true contender due to his choices.
* Luke Doncic - Benefit of the doubt went to the guys above him, but had a case for as high as 4th.
* Anthony Davis - the way his presence has galvanized LeBron has to be taken seriously, even if I'm actually a bit underwhelmed. To watch him play with old man LeBron is to think "Wow, how old will LeBron have to be before he's worse than AD's best?"
* Jayson Tatum - Took that next leap forward.
* Damian Lillard


I think Harden is clearly ahead of Doncic, Davis, Tatum and Lillard, fwiw.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#135 » by bondom34 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:01 am

Doctor MJ wrote:
bondom34 wrote:Think I'd stick with my 5 from my longer post on the last page, admitting Kawhi at 5 seems odd but the minutes gap is so big I'm struggling to bump him much higher. He played about 75% of the minute total of either Harden or Jokic.


Totally understandable, let me point something out indirectly:

Some folks see Giannis not playing more as a negative against him. Even if he didn't need to play, they say "Well he must not be that valuable then."

But when you look at raw +/- numbers, Giannis stands at +648 and no one else in the league is above +500. We're talking about drastically higher dominance when Giannis is on the court than anyone else, all with best-in-game stats, so why would we not want to honor that?

Kawhi is sitting at +398 this year, by contrast to Harden and Jokic in the +200s. That too, is a stark difference.

One factor for me with regards to Harden is that I just feel he doesn't get to complain about having weaker teammates any more. He's done everything he could to get guys in and get guys out to be decide what his team should be. Now he is where he is, on a team that looks like a pseudo-contender even before you factor in that things get tougher for Harden in the playoffs. Harden just doesn't feel all that relevant any more compared to Kawhi.

Jokic can't be compared the same way and what I'll acknowledge is that as a Jokic fan, his playoff run did a lot to make me see him as playoff-legit, but he's yet to do enough to make me feel like he belongs in the conversation with the very top tier the way I have Kawhi now, and how I've previously had Harden.

I think there's a bit of a difference in pointing out why these players are playing fewer minutes. Giannis is playing fewer largely because his team is winning blowouts he's participating in. Kawhi is playing fewer because he's sitting full games. At this point I'm not evaluating anything as who's able to do anything in the postseason, as we don't have a postseason to judge. I'm a little lower on Harden than some but just the pure advantage in minutes and availability in games has bumped him up for me. Or, I'd rather have 60 games of Harden than 50 of Kawhi.

Edit: Actually I had an edit here but it's not totally POY related and I kind of just might make it it's own thread. If you're interested I'd like to know your thoughts there too on Kawhi. I tend to push back against some of his reputation but at the same time know he's absolutely one of the best handful of players in the NBA, I sort of spun off into something on looking at his career if you're interested.
FoundANewSlant wrote:it's really fundamental defensive flaws exhibited here by Westbrook, PG, and Adams that put Melo into vulnerable positions here yet you can't recognize or explain it.

So Paul George is the reason Carmelo Anthony struggled on defense all these years...
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#136 » by The-Power » Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:51 pm

Great new video by ElGee/Ben Taylor on one of my favorite topics: off-ball movement.

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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#137 » by Doctor MJ » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:41 pm

The-Power wrote:Great new video by ElGee/Ben Taylor on one of my favorite topics: off-ball movement.



Glad you posted this.

What Curry's been doing off-ball represents what the next paradigm shift the NBA will hopefully be making use of across the board by 2030. It's a form of impact that the other top offensive players in the game today are still basically not even seriously attempting and scales incredibly.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#138 » by freethedevil » Thu May 21, 2020 8:02 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
GSP wrote:


Not directly related but, do you have the updated list for --career-- poy shares?
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#139 » by Doctor MJ » Thu May 21, 2020 8:17 pm

freethedevil wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
GSP wrote:


Not directly related but, do you have the updated list for --career-- poy shares?


I've switched machines and can't find the spreadsheet I made.

If someone want's to re-create, this archived version of semi-sentient's old site will give the data from the '50s to '11:

https://web.archive.org/web/20120703030935/http://rpoy.dolem.com/

Grabbing '12 through '19 will take some leg work, but you can find through the stickied links on this board.
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Re: 2019-2020 Player of the Year Discussion Thread 

Post#140 » by Texas Chuck » Thu May 21, 2020 8:52 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
The-Power wrote:Great new video by ElGee/Ben Taylor on one of my favorite topics: off-ball movement.



Glad you posted this.

What Curry's been doing off-ball represents what the next paradigm shift the NBA will hopefully be making use of across the board by 2030. It's a form of impact that the other top offensive players in the game today are still basically not even seriously attempting and scales incredibly.


Part of that is Curry's unique skillset, but mostly that's most teams can't afford to have their best player off the ball that much. It just wouldn't make sense to play that way.

I'm much more encouraged by what the Heat did with Duncan Robinson both in terms of how they used him on the court but also the steps they took trying to get him ready to do that. I think that's far more replicable(sp) than anything like Steph and it essentially takes the old Kyle Korver in Atlanta impact and pushes it further.

I mean even other elite shooters like Dirk or Durant or Kawhi are just so much more valuable to their teams on-ball. I think Curry's biggest influence is going to be the changing of geometry by pushing his range out so far beyond the line. We now see Dame and others following suit and their willingness and ability to hit these shots just opens so much up. Heck even KP who wasn't very consistent this year played a notable role in Dallas' league-leading offense because of how far out he took opposing bigs--especially after Powell went down and he played exclusively as a center.
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