Blog Entry

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

Posted on: January 30, 2012 5:58 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 6:02 pm
Lebron James is very good at basketball, it turns out. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

The Baseline Awards hand out congratulations and criticism for performances in the last week and provide standings for the major awards. This week the Heat are flying again, Rubio's dishing, Kyrie Irving is ridiculous, and the Magic are a train wreck. 

Eastern Conference Player of the Week: Best Overall performance by Eastern Player

LeBron James

He jumped over a dude. Yes, the dude is short. No, it was not Vince Carter over Weiss. He still jumped over a dude on an oop. Oh, and he averaged 26.5 points (only drug down by a poor game vs. Cleveland), 6 assists, 7.5 rebounds, and one steal. So, yeah, that guy's pretty good at basketball.

Western Conference Player of the Week: Best Overall performance by Western Player

Ricky Rubio

Wins over the Spurs and Mavericks, averaging 12 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds. The wunderkind keeps impressing everyone from coast to coast. He's getting killed by Kyrie Irving in overall production and yet I'm betting a high number of people consider Rubio and Irving neck and neck in the rookie of the year race, that's how good Rubio has been.

Down on the Upside of the Week: Player with worst performance qualified for expectations

Raymond Felton

Felton's a better player than this. He really is. Felton is struggling from the field and finding teammates. He's not settled in, and seems unsure of his role. He hasn't established a chemistry with any of the Blazers' weapons. Andre Miller is flourishing in Denver, which only makes this worse.

DOMINATOR AWARD: Most dominant performance

Kyrie Irving

Irving's numbers are literally unheard of for a rookie. He's in rarefied air. Now, Tyreke Evans pulled this same trick and regressed, but after sinking the Celtics Sunday, Irving has put himself on the map. The kid is doing it all in every position. There's something special happening in Cleveland.

The "Titanic In 3-D: It's a disaster inside a disaster" award

Orlando Magic

This team was talked about as a sleep title contender (not by us, but "around") last week. This week they're a flaming pile of wreckage covered in sewage. Fifty-six points versus a struggling Celtics team, then a nice, comforting win over the Pacers... only to blow a 27-point lead at home to the Celtics on Thursday, followed by a shellacking by the Indiana Pacers. I would say this team is trying to force Dwight Howard to put them out of their misery, but that would be too easy on Howard who has also disappeared at key times. The Magic are taking on water right now in a season in which they have no margin of error.

The Puzzling Enigma Award: Strangest week from player or team

Memphis Grizzlies

Just when you think that team has it together, they get walloped by the Blazers on the third night of a back to back, and that was fine. But losing to Phoenix was an outright disaster. This team looked like it had found its footing, only to fall through the cracks. Three straight losses to end the week for the Grizzlies.

The Horde Award: Team you should fear

Milwaukee Bucks

We don't get it either. This team should, and probably will, fall apart without Andrew Bogut. But they miss Bogut with an injury and Stephen Jackson with a suspension, and go out and drop 100 points on the Lakers. Milwaukee's now won four of their last six and have scored 100 or more three times. Their offensive efficiency is up. No, we do not understand it, but we're starting to be concerned about the deer again.

Cub Scout Troop Award: Team you should not fear

Charlotte Bobcats. We thought they might not be so bad for a while there. Turns out, no, no, no, they are bad, bad, bad.

Searching For Bobby Fischer Award for Stratagem

Gregg Popovich for benching his starters and going solely to his bench unit vs. the Mavs. The young guns wound up scoring on 8 of 9 possessions in the fourth quarter and sparked a huge run that would have won them the game had it not been for Jason Terry's dramatics. There are only a handful of coaches that bold in this league, and Popovich is like, three of them.

Awkward Water Cooler Conversation Award for Coaching Struggle

Stan Van Gundy

We're not partial to the ridiculous superlatives or nicknames tossed out about SVG, who is truly one of the best coaches in the league. But it has not been a good week. His team has lacked discipline, composure, and effort. Things are unraveling in Orlando due to forces far beyond his control, but he's also unable to hold the reins this week.

Blog of the Week: 48 Minutes of Hell

This Spurs blog talks in nuanced terms about the silver and black, and features a video chat after each game. Interesting design as well.

MVP Rankings:

1. LeBron James: Again, he jumped over a dude.
2. Derrick Rose: Injuries are slowing him down and he's still doing this.
3. Dwight Howard: He's also LVP for sabotaging his team's season.
4. Kobe Bryant: By hook or by crook, Mamba will score 30.
5. Kevin Durant: Durant's a jumpshooter and he's shooting 51 percent. Think about that.
6. Chris Bosh: We know. We're stunned, too. But Bosh has honestly been the most consistent Heat player.
7. Russell Westbrook: On most any other team we're talking about how badly he deserves help.
8. Kyrie Irving: Oh, you think this is crazy You tell us how Cleveland's in the playoff picture.
9. Chris Paul: You get the feeling that if Paul wasn't saving himself for the playoffs he coul be right at the top with the Clippers.
10. LaMarcus Aldridge: Aldridge does everything for the Blazers and deserves a nod here.

Honorable Mention: Kevin Love

ROY Rankings:

1. Kyrie Irving: There has literally never been a rookie putting up the numbers Irving has, at least in the modern era of tracking stats. The fact that a horrid Cleveland team is competitive and Irving is taking over down the stretch should make traditional fans happy.
2. Ricky Rubio: You have never seen a player like this.
3. MarShon Brook: Brilliant scorer who scores.
4. Iman Shumpert: He is what he is.
5. Jon Leuer: Leuer has fallen off quite a bit and may not be listed next week.

6th Man of the Year Rankings:

1. James Harden: Just start him, Scott Brooks. You're ruining the curve.
2. Louis Williams: Louis' on fiyah.
3. Al Harrington: Still doing it all while Denver racks up wins, but a bad game against L.A. Sunday.
4. Jason Terry: Needs to go down as one of the best sixth men, ever.
5. Gary Neal: One of the most productive scorers off the bench in the league, who no one had heard of until last year.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2012 5:09 pm

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

BTW, Moore applied a child's logic to the statement about "no one has ever put up numbers like this before".  It's like picking a rookie baseball player who hits a lot of singles to left field or a guy who hits a great percentage from 12-15 feet from the right baseline and saying "no one has ever done this before".  It might be true, but it absolutely doesn't matter, and it's intentionally misleading to make the reader think the guy is doing something truly special, and he's not.  To put it in Moore's world, a writer who starts every sentence with the letter A might be doing something unprecedented, but it doesn't make him any better than the next guy.

Pick your stat that matters, from the traditional, points, assists, FG%, turnover rate, AST/TO ratio, and even the more wonky stats like PER and WS, and Kyrie Irving is doing nothing that others have done time and time again.  If you believe in Win Shares, that should be the most valuable stat since it proposes to be the biggest indicator of a player's value to the team, Irving gets smoked.  Irving's having a nice rookie season, and laughable statements like this actually detract from it.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2012 8:26 pm

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

Yeah, it's a dumb statement.  Irving's numbers are obviously precedented and surpassed.  You can't play the "what if" game and automatically give him more numbers than he's delivering.  Obviously his coach is protecting him and the other guys didn't need to be protected.  Not only were there numbers better, they deserve props for carrying their teams from the start.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2012 8:24 pm

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

JimF, you should really do a little research before posting.  Cannondale has a line of mountain bikes called Bad Boy and the King James is one of their models.  Nothing different than Air Jordans or the Durant KD shoes.

The last self-titling thing I can remember is Kobe Bryant naming himself the Black Mamba.

Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:37 pm

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

Read the posts!  Kyrie is averaging 10 less minutes per game than Jordan and James did their rookie seasons.  If Irving were to average 38 minutes per game rather than 28 his numbers would increase and possibly be better than LeChokes.

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:21 pm

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

I don't get why in this article he keeps saying how Kyrie Irving is putting up unprecedented numbers for a rookie. He is playing very well, but LeBron James' numbers were better during his rookie year, and so were Tyreke Evans'. Irving = 18.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.9 APG, 0.8 SPG and 51% FG. James rookie season = 20.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 5.9 APG, 1.6 SPG, and 41% FG. The only thing Irving is doing better is FG%. I think LeBron's rookie season is better. This is not even to mention Michael Jordan's rookie season, 28.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 5.9 APG, 2.4 SPG, and 51% FG, or Oscar Robertson's 30.5 PPG, 9.7 APG, and 47% FG (the other stats weren't recorded). Clearly Irving is good, but he is not putting up unprecedented numbers at all, I don't understand why Moore even says this in the article...

Since: Jan 31, 2012
Posted on: February 1, 2012 2:11 am

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

,he is good  ,he can do more  !!!! trust you  !!

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:42 am

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

I thought Lebron was making some progress in presenting himself as a more humble, unassuming star then I saw on his bike "King James". Seriously? He still doesn't get it. Accolades and titles come from others, you don't spew accolades and titles on yourself.

Since: Nov 18, 2011
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:07 pm

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

The most impressive thing I learned about Lebron is that he recently rode his bicycle to the arena.  Word.
Regarding your mention of only two Denver Nuggets: team basketball is not valued in the NB of A.  I'm pretty sure Carmelo Anthony will be sitting in the NY clubs sulking during playoff time.  But between now and then y'all won't be able to talk about him and his shitty team enough.  OH, I forgot -- it's big-market...

Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2012 6:31 pm

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

Thanks r1vera.  So basically Kyrie is doin some serious work for only averaging 28.4 minutes per game so far.  The article is still incorrect in saying that this has literally never been done before.

If Irving were to average 38 minutes per game as James and Jordan did then you would have to think his numbers would be around 21-22 points, 4-5 rebounds, 6-7 assists.  Byron Scott said he doesn't want him to be warn down with alot of minutes early in the season but you have to figure he will eventually start averaging closer to 35 minutes per game as the season goes on and when that happens Rubio will have a hard time matching his stats. 

Since: Jul 21, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2012 6:13 pm

Baseline Awards: 1.30.12: Jumping over dudes

To go along with your comment I pulled up the stats so everyone can decide for themselves:

Jordan: In 38.3 minutes - 28.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 5.9 apg, 2.4 stls
James: In 39.5 minutes - 20.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.6 stls
Irving: In 28.4 minutes - 17.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.8 apg, 0.8 stls

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