Is the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player award for the most outstanding player or the most important player? If it’s the latter, is it more important to turn a playoff team into a championship contender than it is to turn a Lottery team into a playoff team?
Where would the Bobcats be without Al Jefferson? The Raptors without Kyle Lowry? How about the Mavs without Dirk Nowitzki? None of those three guys are in the top 10 of our MVP Ladder as of last Friday.
如果山貓沒有Al Jefferson會怎麼樣? 暴龍少了Kyle Lowry呢? 或是小牛失去Dirk Nowitzki? 可是這三個傢伙在上星期五的MVP排行榜上都擠不進前10名。(註：這星期五的最新排行榜Jefferson排進第7名。)
In reality, MVP voting is typically a combination of three things…
Team success – Each of the last 25 MVPs played for a 1 (20) or 2 (five) seed in their conference. The last MVP not on one of the top two teams in his conference was Michael Jordan in 1988.
Production – Each of those 25 MVPs have averaged at least 36.8 points + rebounds + assists per game, with 20 of the 25 averaging at least 40.
Importance – This can lead to a narrative creeping into the conscience of a voter (see Derrick Rose in 2011), but it’s something that advanced stats can help quantify.
球隊戰績 - 過去25年來每位MVP的球隊至少都是分區的第一(20位)或第二(5位)種子，上一個沒有身處分區前兩名球隊的MVP是1988年Michael Jordan。
數據 - 過去25位MVP平均得分、籃板和助攻的總合至少在36.8以上，其中有20位在40以上。
重要性 - 憑一己之力率領球隊的情節很容易感染到投票者的內心(看看2011年的Derrick Rose)，但是這種東西其實可以透過進階數據來幫忙量化評估。
Obviously, in terms of production, Kevin Durant and LeBron James lead the pack. They rank first and second in our PIE statistic. And through Thursday, their teams each rank second in their conference.
All stats are through Wednesday, April 9.
But can we tell which guy has been more important to their team’s success? If you look at team numbers with each on and off the floor, they’re both in the same ball park.
顯然從數據來看，Kevin Durant和LeBron James領先其他競爭者，他們分別在PIE統計上排行第1和第2，而且到星期四為止，他們的球隊各自在分區中排名第二。
|On floor||Off floor||Difference|
The Thunder have been 8.7 points per 100 possessions better offensively and 4.2 points per 100 possessions worse defensively with Durant on the floor. The Heat have been 8.1 points per 100 possessions better offensively and 3.3 points per 100 possessions worse defensively with James on the floor.
Those numbers are influenced by who Durant and James are playing with and against. Both have All-Star teammates that have missed big chunks of the season. Russell Westbrook has missed 35 games for the Thunder, while Dwyane Wade has missed 27 games for the Heat. Durant (43 percent) and James (41 percent) have each played less than half of their minutes with their costars on the floor.
But Serge Ibaka and Chris Bosh are both really good too. And both have missed just one game all season.
James has played more minutes without either Wade or Bosh than Durant has played without either Westbrook or Ibaka. But the Thunder’s only-Durant minutes have been much more successful than the Heat’s only-James minutes.
這些數據其實會受到和Durant以及James一起上場的隊友和隊手影響，他們的全明星隊友本季都缺席了大半時間，Russell Westbrook休息了35場比賽，而Dwyane Wade缺賽了27場，Durant(43%)及James(41%)和他們的明星搭檔一起上場的時間比例都不到50%。
不過Serge Ibaka和Chris Bosh都表現的很好，而且整季下來也都只缺席一場比賽。
|Durant + Ibaka + Westbrook||1,128||110.1||103.9||+6.2||+143|
|Durant + Ibaka, no Westbrook||1,195||107.0||100.7||+6.3||+162|
|Durant + Westbrook, no Ibaka||146||113.3||98.2||+15.1||+43|
|Durant, no Ibaka or Westbrook||492||114.7||99.6||+15.1||+153|
|James + Bosh + Wade||1,022||109.5||101.4||+8.1||+156|
|James + Bosh, no Wade||1,113||115.4||101.6||+13.8||+270|
|James + Wade, no Bosh||127||107.8||107.8||-0.0||+2|
|James, no Bosh or Wade||568||109.0||109.9||-1.0||-18
James and Bosh have been a better tandem, but Durant has been, by far, the better solo act. Those 568 minutes are just 20 percent of James’ total playing time, but the numbers make it clear that Bosh has been a critical component to the Heat’s defense. His presence on the floor has been more important for the Heat than Ibaka’s has been for the Thunder.
These guys are never playing by themselves, of course. Beyond each team’s big three, the Thunder have gotten more consistent production from their role players. Nick Collison has the best on-off-court differential of OKC regulars.
But Collison has played less than 1,300 minutes and Durant’s on-court numbers appear to have been less influenced by the other stars on his team. The Thunder have the better record overall (57-21 vs. 53-25) and the better record when star No. 2 is out (35-10 vs. 27-10).
If James is going to be the fourth player to win five or more MVP awards, it probably won’t happen this year.