Mike McGraw polls national writers on Rose's MVP chances + Watson has Plantar Fasciitis

Per Mike McGraw on twitter:

Luol Deng (thigh bruise), Taj Gibson (turf toe), C.J. Watson (plantar
fasciitis) skipped Bulls practice, but all likely to play vs. MEM

McGraw also wrote an interesting piece here about what national writers (guys with votes) actually think about Rose for MVP.

Doesn't sound so open and shut.

All I can say on Watson is that I hope it's not serious and thankfully we aren't reliant on Watson for big minutes.   It's a lot easier to play through PF in a couple of limited bursts than to hope a guy can play through it for 35 minutes a night.   The Bulls obviously have very little depth behind Rose.  After Watson you're staring Pargo and Lucas in the face, and quite frankly, I don't want either of those guys to ever step on the floor with less than a 30 point lead.

McGraw's piece on Rose's MVP odds is interesting as well.  Basically every writer he polled said they were considering Dwight Howard among other people, and none seemed dead set on Rose just yet.   Of course, guys probably aren't going to commit to someone on the record three weeks prior to the end of the season, so it's hard to say how much to read into it.

I don't think Dwight Howard can win it while being the 8th best team in the NBA even if Stan hates it.   You'd only do that if your guy was doing something legendary or if there were no viable candidates on the top 2-3 teams in the league, and Howard simply isn't playing at a legendary level while there are viable candidates from the top teams.

The writer who said Kobe has a good shot is right, but what I find amusing about it is the idea that Kobe deserves multiple MVPs for his career.  The championships he won as a sidekick have really made Kobe out to be better than he is.   It seems like people have an awfully short memory in terms of who was batman on those first three titles.

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  • I agree on the Kobe thing. And correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't you say that Rose's season this year compares pretty favorably to a lot of the seasons that Kobe's played? I know he hasn't been as good as Kobe in one of his one or two absolute best years, but he's close if you compare most of the others. Plus, Rose is only 22.

  • Kobe was robbed of an MVP for political reasons in the past...that is most likely what the beat writer was referring to.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Really? Which year do you think Kobe was robbed of the MVP?

    If anyone was robbed of the MVP multiple times, Shaq is the guy who comes to mind. It's criminal that he has one MVP.

    What season do you feel Kobe was robbed of the MVP?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Looking back historically, I think Kobe deserved the MVP in exactly one season, and he won it that year.

    I think this year is the closest he's been to deserving the MVP in his career outside of 07/08, but there's no way he deserved it in any of his other seasons IMO.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, you're obsessed with all this MVP talk. Who cares about the MVP? It's an individual award. As Bulls fans, the only award that really matters is the Larry O'Brien trophy.

  • In reply to RichG:

    Good point..That's why a lot of people have a tough time even remembering who won the MVP in the past years and how many...The only thing which helps in winning the MVP for me is the reputation with the refs in getting the iffy calls during crucial times in the playoffs. If Rose is the MVP and if there is a foul against him by Rondo in the ECF, that MVP will help.
    BTW, going back to the original post, Kobe has won one championship as the primary force(his first three was definitely due to Shaq)and he almost screwed it up last year if not for Gasol and Artest against Boston.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I know MVP is for the regular season. But, I agree with Doug about Kobe. What I meant is when Shaq was around, Kobe had no chance of even being in the top 5 for MVP

  • In reply to RichG:

    I don't really care that much about the MVP talk, but there's only so much back patting you can do with the team, and there isn't too much else interesting to talk about on a day to day basis at times.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You read someone like Bill Simmons, and he chronicles pretty well the misguided voting for MVP in certain seasons. I'm sure people would simply say look at Derrick's numbers compared to LeBron. MVP's either are ranked on what the name says which is "valuable" or not. Is Derrick more valuable to his team at No.1 in the East compared to where Miami would be with just Wade and Posh?

    I think I'd rather see Derrick win for two reasons. 1) He wants it, and he's played awesome basketball. 2) If he didn't win after all the reporting that he will win/is a lock then it would set up some "outrage" that could be a distraction, and actually motivate the competition to disprove the outrage/work against him. Plus, Derrick's game has reached a plateau which to me is special. So recognition of that may really be appropriate i.e maybe he really does deserve it. The only thing missing right now from his game is the ability to can last second/game winning shots as often as some other big time players. These playoffs may afford him the opportunity to rectify that. I just hope he embraces those moments full fury, and clears himself enough room to have a chance to make the shots.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I'd say Rose has been as good as anyone in the league THIS year in the last few minutes of games. Sure he bricked a free throw and has missed a buzzer beater or two, but he also won two handfuls of games in the closing seconds/minutes

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    "The closing seconds/minutes." Dude, you can't just slip those two things in together with a forward slash. Last few minutes and last second/game winning shots are two different things albeit within the same realm of a winner. Come on SG. Derrick is awesome, and I'm a big of a fan of him as anyone. His play at Miami and New Jersey was Jordanesque. His hangtime and ability to finish incredible shots around the basket remind me of Michael. And I don't think that's over praise or because they both played for the Bulls. That's just who those qualities compare to to me. Michael was the best hang time player I have ever seen to this day. I'm not saying the highest leaper ala Vince Carter in his prime. I'm talking hangtime where you can wait for the defenders to drop back to earth, and then makke your shots i.e invincbility. But if you think Derrick has hit last second shots anywhere near what you expect from a top five player then I'd simply have to disagree. I'm not talking final minutes. I'm talking game winning/last second shots. Objectively, come on, he's just not displayed that element of his game as of yet. It's not a bad thing that he still has hills to climb/things to prove. It's a good thing, and why following a great career/growth of a player like D-Rose is a journey.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    But, honestly RW...How many of these MVP type candidates have been successfull in hitting that game winning/last second shots. I don't remember many from LeBron,Wade,Howard and even Kobe for all his reputation. That is a shot when they are sometimes triple-teamed on defense...so it is better to pass it to a decent shooting teammate.
    I feel a clutch player is someone who can make multiple shots during the last 2/3 minutes of a tight/playoff game. I don't have any stats but I think most of the last second shots are taken by players like Paxson, Kerr, Horry or Okafor(yesterday's game) and I would even say half of them are lucky shots.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Guys seriously, you don't remember Wade hitting many game winning shots or Kobe? OK let's just move on. Derrick's a great closer it just takes a rare breed to hit the game winners, and I think he can do it this year/in the playoffs, but it is yet to be done/proven.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    The numbers have been broken down on that statistically, and Kobe was like 30% in those situations. I'm not sure what Wade was off the top of my head, but Kobe might have been the worst superstar in the group.

    I do remember Carmelo was the best.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The lakers run a ridiculously good offense the entire game. During the end of the game situations/final 8 minutes, the lakers a terrible/inefficient offense. Why is that? The triangle is a good offensive scheme. Also, Kobe time is a piss poor offensive scheme.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Percentage. So that's 30% he won that other guys simply haven't had the balls to take. So at 30% don't shoot them let someone else take it..? I doubt most guys shoot even close to 30% in game on the line shots. Don't you agree? And Wade is known as a game winning/clutch guy without doubt no matter if he's at 30% etc. And I'm no Wade fan as everyone who's read my comments knows.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/24200/the-truth-about-kobe-bryant-in-crunch-time

    Here's the article. Relative to other top players, Kobe is very poor in the final seconds of a game.

    I'm not sure what you mean about 'balls' to take the last shot, I think almost all players would love to take the last shot, it's the coach who puts the ball in the hands of one player or the other most times.

    With guys who have a minimum of 30 attempts, Kobe was 25th out of 30 players. At best, it shows that Kobe is nothing special whatsoever in these situations, since virtually every other player in the league who has had lots of opportunities has performed better.

    I'm not really comfortable with saying 'clutch' has been accurately defined by this metric, and I think some guys (kobe is perhaps one) can do a crapload of work down in the final 5 minutes of a game to completely carry a team.

    However, if we are speaking of ultra clutch, kobe is simply nothing special. His success is due to tremendous amount of attempts breeding enough successes to make us remember those and forget the failures.

    I'd love to have this stat on Jordan. I know at one point he had that commercial saying he missed 26 times, not sure how many years he had after that, but I would suspect that Jordan's numbers would be mindblowingly good.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Sure everybody says they would love to take the last shot, but if you're saying they are really capable of taking those shots then I have to disagree. It's a rare breed. And deep down those guys know it. And they in the end don't want their teams to lose. I suspect that 30% for on the line with the volume of last second shots Kobe has taken would not be that bad. If you're telling me these other top 25 guys have the same volume then fine. And believe me I'm know Kobe fan. I was smply pointing out that Kobe has canned what 25 or something game winning shots compared to Derrick with..? And I know he's young, but still he just hasn't hit the last second shots yet. And I certainly think this year's playoffs could be the time where he shows he can and will have to.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    What is every one talking about, Kobe was totally Batman on all the Laker Championship teams! It's just that he played behind Superman (Shaq not D.Howard) for the first three.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    RE: "So that's 30% he won that other guys simply haven't had the balls to take."

    No, it's 1% over the league average , made up of all the "other guys."

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    Thanks for the chime in. Let's face it Kobe has made a lot of game winning shots that if you gave a lot of other guys the same opps that weren't top ten players they'd probably have less success. Last second shots are for the few. Not the many. Show me volume, and then tell me guys that could even hit 30% with that many games on the line. There are just not that many guys that can handle it let's be real.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    This whole Kobe is the MVP because he only has 1 is nonsense. This shouldn't be the case. That case was made when he got his first, and Chris Paul was more deserving, but since Kobe hadn't won one, the argument was "CP3 is young, he'll win one eventually." That looks doubtful, especially in a league that appears to have a bias against point guards for MVP. I'm a Chicago fan, obviously... But I respect basketball. I respect what both Kobe and Dwight have done this year. I think the Lakers would be a playoff team without Kobe. As far as Dwight, if they hadn't traded Gortat away, they would probably be a playoff team too. As far as Rose, if we were without him we'd have problems. Consider that he is responsible for scoring and assisting on a good amount of our possessions. Without having him our offense looks completely different and we don't have that creator or finisher. The reality is Rose deserves it if he plays this well for the rest of the year...

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    WOW AN UPDATE ON THE PLAYOFF ODDS!!!

    http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/playoffodds

    They went insane since the last time I looked at them!! Also in Hollingers rankings Bulls are first and Nuggets are second lol thats crazy

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Denver is actually 5th, though that's still crazy.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Nevermind, saw you were looking at rating, not championship odds.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    DO you remember what chances his odds gave the Lakers and Celtics last year?

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Nope, I don't think I saw the page until this year.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    The problem with saying that Derrick has to improve in those last second situations is that, if my memory serves me correctly, there haven't been more than a handful of them all season so far. I may be forgetting some, but I can only think of 3. He hit the 3 at the buzzer against Houston to send it to overtime and then win it. He missed the free throw against the LA Blakers. He made the 3 free throws against Indiana to send it to OT, but lost in OT. If you look at that strictly from a Win or Lose standpoint, he's 1-2. I think he's really 2-1 because he came through in the clutch moment to either win or send it to OT. It we're just talking about being clutch in the closing seconds, I think he came through 2 out of 3 times.

    There may be more situations this season that I'm not remembering and feel free to add them if anyone can think of any.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I think if Rose failed to win the MVP, it would motivate him more in the playoffs rather than motivate the competition.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    same point i made yesterday on the Stan van story. If he doesent win it will definitely motivate him in the playoffs.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerrankings

    I dunno it says 2nd right there it must be an error!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I was looking at the wrong page, my bad.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I want derrick to win pretty bad because i think it would be awesome for that to happen to him. My wife graduated with him (from simeon) and the stories she tells of State championships and going to games KNOWING your team was going to win is pretty awesome. He has without a doubt become my favorite player,and besides that I believe he deserves to win. You have to take into account that he was without boozer for what 23 games? They went 4-1 in the last stretch without him. And without JO they stayed the course and continued to win ball games. Even beating MIA twice without him. His numbers have been the best of his career and Currently they are the 1 seed. Hopefully he wins..

  • In reply to StephanH:

    If the Bulls finish as the #1 seed, then it will be hard to argue against him.

    If the Bulls finish ahead of the Lakers, then I think it will become virtually impossible.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Agreed

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You'd think, but so many things do seem hyped with D-Rose. Not that he hasn't ended up being worthy of it in the end(and more), but certainly that's been the pattern with him. I'm just thinking that if he lost after all the projections of him winning there would be a lot of media clamoring/turbulence over how he should have won. That to me would arm the competition more then anything would. And there's already some resentment towards Derrick by ither players due to what many felt was overhype(though now he's shown it was basically true). So I would not want to see him lose it. And plus I want to see him happy, and he does want it Mr. Team aside yes he does. And good for him. he wants to dominate and be the best. And it will help at least a little with foul calls in the playoffs if his game and team's record haven't done that already.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Even if one accepts the criterion that kobe played at an mvp rate during the years that the lakers sucked, Kobe helped create a situation in which his team sucked! Can some1 really argue that Kobe we can't penalize Kobe for playing on a crappy team?

    I'd argue we should! He made that crappy team! That's an entirely different situation than the one howard is in.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Obviously, this is just a "sampling" but it still bodes well for Rose. Those who consider Howard also seem to recognize the difference between the teams' records as a deciding factor. Kobe is also a deserving candidate, but I only hear his name brought up as a writer's first choice pretty rarely.

  • I don't think Dwight Howard can win MVP while missing games because he was suspended for getting too many technicals. How does that demonstrate maturity, responsibility, or leadership?

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I was thinking the same thing bullshooter!
    Howard is a awesome and a beast at Center and deserving,etc but his amount of technicals fouls, also didn't he get some flagarent ejections along the way? This should be a major detrement for him being the MVP! Without Rose we are where we were last year and would be happy with being the 8th seed or really fighting for it! Rose has improved so much from last year, that alone should help him get it. He leads the team but is a very reserved leader but knows when to step it up and when to facilitate to get his teamates going! He knows he is good but he doesn't have the big head of Jordan, Lebron, Wade, etc that in this free agent fiasco of guys not GMs deciding who plays together and forms a super friends team...bodes well for a humble super star in Rose to win NBA MVP! GO BULLS and GO DERRICK ROSE!

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