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4.04.2008

The Lastest in the MVP Soap Opera

Like sands through an hour glass, so runs the Days of our Lives...

According to the Boston Herald, KG is running fourth among four candidates for the 2008 NBA MVP award. I'm not sure how they tabulated the vote, but, for now, let's just take it at face value.

I'm probably not as plugged in as the Herald, but what I am hearing doesn't follow suit.

Initially, Kobe and LeBron were the sexy choices, taking turns scoring 40 and 50 points per game in February. Then Gasol got injured, the Lakers started losing games by the fist full. Meanwhile, LeBron had a couple of sub-par performances in Cavalier losses, and opponents were bragging about having "shut down the king."

Lately the attention of writers and broadcasters seems to have shifted.

Hubie Brown recently opined that the MVP race currently has two front runners, Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett, and some votes may hang in the balance until the following questions get answered:

1. Will the Hornets end up with the best record in the West?
2. Will the Celtics win 65-67 games?

The MVP debate may also be influenced by the Defensive Player of the Year Award discussions. Right now, it looks like Garnett will win that vote in a landslide. If so, it makes you wonder how winning that honor will influence the votes cast in the MVP race, since the Celtics defense is the number one reason they are the best team in basketball.

The fact that the Celtics won their 61st game of the season without any of their stars on the floor was not interpreted as a sign that they didn't need their stars to win, as was the case when they won games in KG's absence. Instead, it was interpreted to mean that the supporting cast was simply playing with the same toughness and intensity that KG has demanded from them all season.

Well, now.

Several media outlets are also taking notice of Garnett's accomplishments on the other side of the ball. In a recent LA Times column, the writer observed:

No one brings more attitude on the court than the Celtics, following the lead of Kevin Garnett, who has a chip on his shoulder the size of a redwood. It's a big reason they play so well in big games, as when Garnett outscored Detroit's Rasheed Wallace, 31-23, in the March 5 victory that gave Boston their season series.

Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon have both echoed these sentiments, saying it was on KG to prove he was the best player on the floor when the Celtics matched-up against the league's elite this year, and going 13-2 against those teams tells us he accomplished that objective.

So their is a shift underway, however imperceptible it may be, and it's a shift that favors KG. Whether it will be enough to bring home the MVP honors remains anyone's guess.

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