It just seems like yesterday that we all were enjoying the NBA lockout and all of the sudden - poof - we are already a quarter of the way through the NBA season. To mark the occasion, The Hoops Manifesto has gathered together the best basketball minds at Bloguin to vote on the early season leaders for MVP, Rookie of the Year and All-NBA honors. The envelopes, please.
Voting Panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, Lives from Knicks Fanatics, College Wolf and Bonk from TWolves Blog, Andre from The Fantasy Dudes, Mookie Schiralli from A Stern Warning, Philip Rossman-Reich from Orlando Magic Daily, Don from With Malice, Sean François from Hoops Head North, Keith Petrower from Sons of Roto, and Ezra Poe from The Purple and Gold Blog.
LeBron James - Miami (7 votes out of 11)
28.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 7.1 apg, 2.1 spg
Bash him all you want, but you can't deny that LeBron James is bringing it this year for Miami. Despite (because of?) Dwyane Wade's extended absence this year, James has the Heat up there in the standings with the elite.
Others receiving votes: Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant
Rookie of the Year:
Ricky Rubio - Minnesota (7 votes out of 11)
10.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 8.5 apg, 2.5 spg
While his shooting touch has gotten back to normal as of late (i.e. - not very good), Ricky Rubio has been better than expected during his debut NBA campaign, currently leading the league in steals and placing fourth in assists. He also ranks first in cheeks most desired to be pinched by grandmas the world over.
Others receiving votes: Kyrie Irving, MarShon Brooks
(voting scoring system: 15 points for 1st Team vote, 10 for 2nd Team, 5 for 3rd Team)
First Team All-NBA
Kobe Bryant- Lakers (160 points)
30.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.6 apg
Derrick Rose - Chicago (150 points)
20.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 8.6 apg
LeBron James - Miami (160 points)
28.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 7.1 apg, 2.1 spg
Kevin Durant - Oklahoma City (160 points)
25.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.2 apg
Dwight Howard - Orlando (165 points)
19.7 ppg, 15.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.2 bpg
Synopsis: How dare you question Kobe Bryant's abilities heading into this season, critics. Kobe showed you, I guess. If this is Dwight Howard's last year in Orlando, he is making it count - he was the only unanimous selection to our First Team All-NBA (James, Bryant and Durant all had one Second Team vote; Rose was left completely off of one ballot). The reigning MVP, Derrick Rose, is actually having a better season this year, if you are a believer in Win Shares. Kevin Durant solidified last season that he is an elite player, so he should be a constant on the First Team All-NBA for years (decades?) to come.
Second Team All-NBA
Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City (70 points)
20.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.6 apg, 1.6 spg
Dwyane Wade - Miami (52.5 points)
19.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.4 apg, 2.0 spg, 1.7 bpg
Kevin Love - Minnesota (110 points)
24.9 ppg, 13.9 rpg, 34-87 3Pts
LaMarcus Aldridge - Portland (90 points)
22.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.7 apg
Andrew Bynum- Lakers (100 points)
15.9 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Synopsis: The voting panel must have given Dwyane Wade some kind of lifetime achievement consideration, because despite missing almost half of the Heat's games thus far he still garnered enough votes to earn Second Team honors. While he might have had a rocky start to the season, Russell Westbrook is back playing at an elite level. Anyone thinking Kevin Love's 2010/11 season was a fluke have been proven wrong this year by Mr. Love. Portland might be devastated by injuries, like usual, but LaMarcus Aldridge has stepped up and is truly one of the league's top big men now. We always heard how great Andrew Bynum could be if he stayed healthy - this year he's finally showing it.
Third Team All-NBA
Steve Nash - Phoenix (40 points)
14.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 10.4 apg
Chris Paul - Clippers (47.5 points)
18.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 8.4 apg, 2.8 spg
Carmelo Anthony - New York (55 points)
24.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 4.2 apg
Blake Griffin - Clippers (65 points)
21.0 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 2.9 apg
Marc Gasol - Memphis (45 points)
14.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.4 bpg
Synopsis: Guess someone forget to tell Steve Nash that 38-year-olds aren't allowed to lead the NBA in assists. Chris Paul must have gotten the Dwyane Wade treatment from voters - he's missed more than a third of the Clippers' games this year yet still finds himself on our All-NBA Team. Carmelo Anthony might be putting up some gaudy numbers, but he's shooting under 40% and is turning the ball over too much. Blake Griffin continues to evolve and get better - a scary thought for the rest of the NBA. And who would have thought that one day the only Gasol on an All-NBA Team would be Marc, not big brother Pau?