Stephen Curry STILL should be MVP over LeBron


Add JR Smith to the number of people who view someone other than Stephen Curry as the MVP. In fairness to JR, he does play with LeBron James. If he didn’t say James was the MVP then we would all have a bigger story to talk about. So what exactly did Smith say about it?

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Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported an interview that Smith gave after the Cavs beat the Pistons.

“In actuality, if you really wanted to, you could give it to him every year…I mean, the numbers, what he does for teams. You see one year removed from a team like Miami — and they probably won’t even make the playoffs — to a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since he left and then, all of the sudden, we’re a 52-win team. So I don’t think you can do that with anybody else that’s in our league right now.”

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  • Smith is right that LeBron is an MVP candidate every year. This particular year though, LeBron does not have the numbers to beat out Stephen Curry. Also Smith ignores that more happened to the Heat and the Cavs than simply LeBron switching addresses. The Cavs brought in Kevin Love, Smith, and Iman Shumpert too. The Heat have been missing Chris Bosh badly since his injury or they would be a playoff team at this point.

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    When we utilized the impact/min formula earlier to compare James and Curry, Curry ended up with the superior number. It was close at 1.395 to 1.313, but Curry edged out ahead. For the sake of completeness, let’s redo the calculation to represent where the numbers are today.

    Impact = Points + 2(Assists + DReb + Blocks + Steals) – 2 (Turnovers)

    James = 1743 + 2 (510 + 366 + 49 + 109) – 2 (272)
    James = 3267 (Total Impact)
    Curry = 1890 + 2 (612 + 284 + 16 + 158) – 2(247)
    Curry = 3536 (Total Impact)

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  • Now remember total impact just reflects seasonal totals. To get a true measure we need to divide by the minutes played to see how much a player has on the court when he steps on it.

    James = 3267/2460 = 1.328
    Curry = 3536/2554 = 1.384

    You can see it is narrow margin, but any margin is good enough to say that Curry should be the MVP over LeBron. Sorry JR.