Why Kevin Durant Is The MVP: By @ProfessorCorria

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How can we describe value? What’s valuable to one individual might hold no significance to another party. However, value theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how, why and to what degree people value things; whether the thing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. Everyone with two eyes can discern that LeBron James is the best and most complete basketball player in the world, he’s earned that distinction. Does this make him the MVP? Paul George and LaMarcus Aldridge have put together fine seasons thus far, but team success is only one variable to the MVP quotient. Nevertheless using the eye-test and melding it with advanced statistics, Kevin Durant has risen to the top of the sport for the season thus far. Shouldering a huge load with his running mate Russell Westbrook having missed 16 games, Durant has pushed his game to another level, culminating with a cruelly efficient 54-point demolition of the Golden State Warriors. His transformation from wide-eyed, sweet humble kid into a sneering, brutally efficient scoring machine has been a joy to watch.

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                Kevin Durant has been extraordinary this season, and although I feel that LeBron James is the best player on the planet, but Durant has been the most valuable to his team. Is he the most valuable player in the NBA in relation to his team? That’s very hard to quantify, but Durant is on an elite team, so he gets that distinction as being the MVP of the league. Kevin Durant’s “traditional” stats are very good, averages of 30.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 5.1 APG. Durant is shooting 50.2% from the field, 41.1% on 3’s and 88.1% from the charity stripe.  Something that amazed me is that a player who is 6-11 is the most efficient player in the league at scoring on the pick & roll(Per Synergy Sports), where he is used as the primary ball handler. If you take a look at Durant’s “advanced” statistics you can really start to get a closer look at the monster season that Durant is having. Durant is leading the league in Player Efficiency Rating, Win Shares, 3rd in offensive Win Shares, 7th in Defensive Win Shares, and win shares Per 48 minutes(Per Basketball-Reference).

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                KD is the MVP and as he keeps ascending, his game keeps on expanding, he is slowly going to morph in the best player in the league and carry that mantle of “standard bearer” for the NBA. It won’t happen this year but it is coming in the near future and it isn’t a veiled shot at LeBron James, but KD is on the come up. Durant has shown up and shown out this year, while LeBron has sort of coasted, averaging the same name number of blocks per game as Stephen Curry and giving up 46% shooting when isolated on defense which is a great deal higher than anyone on his team and way above the league average(Per Hoop Data). Durant has been incredible this season and I think he will win the MVP trophy, which might be accompanied by another big trophy in June….

Images Courtesy SB Nation and Bleacher report

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20 NBA Playoff thoughts with @ProfessorCorria

1.)    LeBron James is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the basketball universe. It’s not even close, it’s not up for debate, and if you think there is a better player you need to put the Molly water down.

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2.)    Kevin Durant is the second best player in the world, but he got a small taste of how heavy your head can be when you wear the crown, and it wasn’t pleasant.  He shouldn’t worry about being 2nd for right now, enjoy the journey and your time will come.

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3.)    The phrase “du jour” this postseason has been “Rim protection”. If I here Tim Legler or Colin Cowherd say, “Rim Protection”  one more time I’m going to lose my composure.

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4.)    Speaking of rim protection, Roy Hibbert has really been a force in the 2013 playoffs, just ask Melo. His presence and basketball IQ have been the difference throughout the playoffs for the Pacers. I urge you to watch him on defense, don’t follow the ball, but just watch Hibbert work on defense off the ball.

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5.)   Don’t the playoffs lose a little bit of luster without the Lakers, Bulls and Celtics making deep playoff runs? Kobe, Westbrook, Rondo, Rose and the myriad of injuries that haunted teams in this year’s playoffs have also harmed the product. Yes the NBA is a product for all you “for the love of the game guys” out there.

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6.)    This year’s playoffs have reaffirmed for me the notion that Tim Duncan has had a better career and a better player than Shaquille O’Neal. Yes Shaq had a better prime, but Duncan is in year 17 anchoring a team that just won the Western Conference.  He’s never missed the playoffs, never beefed with his co-star and didn’t fall in love with eating sandwiches and get out of shape. Can’t say the same for O’Neal.

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7.)    Dwight Howard in LA has been an unmitigated disaster. He needs to leave Los Angeles, and go play for the Houston Rockets. The roster in Houston is similar to the 2009 Orlando Magic, except James Harden is A LOT better than anyone that was on that team.

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8.)    Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins especially are stealing money from the Oklahoma City Thunder. $9 million a year for Kendrick Perkins and $12 million a year from Serge Ibaka, dear lord. Perkins is stealing money with no ski mask, gloves or pistol. He sucks so bad that he is the 1st player in the history of the NBA playoffs to have a negative PER.

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9.)    Stephen Curry established himself as top 5 PG in the NBA. He had flames coming off his hands during the playoffs and he has a very favorable contract going forward, 4 years $43 million. $5 million less than Serge Ibaka if your keeping score at home.

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10.)  We found out the true value of Russell Westbrook, not only his ability, but also his toughness. The Thunder missed his nasty streak and we found out who the true Alpha Male on the Thunder is.

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11.) Dwayne Wade………………. Whoa. 14.3PPG? I know LeBron must be giving him the side eye in the Locker Room. He must be thinking to himself, “I came here to play with you and if we lose I’m going to get all the blame and this is how you’re gonna play?”   A note to all D-Wade fan boys: This is who he is now, he might heal from his injury, but you think that a 31 year old 6-4 injury prone shooting guard, who relies heavily on his athletic ability is going to suddenly become who he was in 2011, never mind 2006? OKAY, el oh el.

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12.) Paul George is better than Carmelo Anthony. Especially if you count defense, which is 50% of playing basketball right? Never mind that Melo is on a 4 year $85 million dollar deal and Paul George is still on his rookie deal and will soon receive a 4 year $58 million dollar deal. Who would you rather have?

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13.) The Memphis Grizzlies front line of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol did everything but turn Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan upside down and turn their pockets inside out. Z-Bo gave Blake the Rikers Island “treatment” and Griffin just turtled. Blake Griffin is the most overrated player currently in the NBA, a smaller and softer version of Shawn Kemp.

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14.) Greg Popavich is LAWD. Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies are STILL trying to figure out what the hell happened in the Western Conference Finals. Popavich happened.

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15.) The undermanned Chicago Bulls played with a ferocity that made for great theatre in the first two rounds, especially in Game 1 Vs. the Miami Heat. Salute to them, you were a treat to watch.

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16.) Tony Parker is better than Chris Paul. Parker killed Paul head-to-head and he showed he has an extra gear that Chris Paul doesn’t have. Not to mention that he can get to the rim, which is EVERYTHING in the playoffs.

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17.) Did I mention that Dwayne Wade is washed up? Oh, and he’s a dirty player.

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18.) Ricardo Ledo will get drafted in the first round and is one of the most NBA ready players in the draft because he can shoot. Look for the Spurs to role the dice.

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19.) For several different reasons the Miami Heat will not make the 2014 NBA finals, so they better win the championship this year.

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20.) I don’t know why, but I really like watching Lance Stephenson play. Did I mention he’s from Brooklyn?

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21.) Kendrick Perkins REALLY REALLY REALLY……..REALLY SUCKS.

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TTO x S4TB: The Basketball Talk (Parts 1 & 2)

Recently Professor Corria and I teamed up with the talented gentlemen over at Sorry 4 The Blog to touch upon the numerous story-lines of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, and what’s ahead for NBA hopeful Ricky Ledo. Both parts 1 and 2 have already dropped and can be seen below, and be sure to keep an eye out for remaining videos in the series.

#TTO All-NBA and Season Awards by @ProfessorCorria

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We here at The Triangle Offense would like to present to you our All-NBA teams and season awards. These Picks were made with careful consideration and a great deal of thought. We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section, or you can find us on twitter: @ProfessorCorria and @yeahflanny . Enjoy and discuss these selections and lets all gear up for the start of this years NBA Playoffs!!

ALL NBA 1ST TEAM:

C- Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

F- LeBron James, Miami Heat

F- Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

G- Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

G- Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

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ALL NBA 2ND TEAM

C- Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

F- Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

F- LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trailblazers

G- James Harden, Houston Rockets

G- Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

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ALL NBA 3RD TEAM

C- Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers

F- Paul George, Indiana Pacers

F- David Lee, Golden State Warriors

G- Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

G- Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

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ALL NBA DEFENSIVE 1ST TEAM

C- Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

F- LeBron James, Miami Heat

F- Paul George, Indiana Pacers

G- Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies

G- Jrue Holliday, Philadelphia 76ers

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ALL NBA DEFENSIVE 2ND TEAM

C- Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

F- Loul Deng, Chicago Bulls

F- Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder

G- Andre Iguodala, Denver Nuggets

G- Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors

ALL NBA ROOKIE TEAM

G- Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers

G- Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers

F- Anthony Davis, New Orleans hornets

F- Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors

C- Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons

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NBA MVP- LeBron James, Miami Heat

Defensive Player of the year- Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

Rookie of The Year- Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers

Most Improved Player – James Harden, Houston Rockets

6th Man of The Year – J.R. Smith, New York Knicks

Coach of The Year- Frank Vogel, Indian Pacers

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