Latest News, NBA / Nov 15, 2010 / 12:00 pm

Deron Williams is the NBA’s MVP

Deron Williams (photo. Christian Kozowyck)

It’s too early. Obviously. Three weeks into the NBA season, no team has played more than 11 games. There’s still about 85 percent of the schedule left. It’s not even reasonable to start talking playoff matchups or gauging Lottery odds.

But it’s never too early to start compiling contenders for the league’s Most Valuable Player award. And while the early MVP debate has centered around Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol — and even Joakim Noah according to some national analysts — right now Deron Williams should be ahead of the pack.

The numbers are there. Deron is averaging 21.3 points (19th in the NBA, 3rd among point guards), 10.1 assists (4th in the NBA) and a career-high 4.7 rebounds. He’s notched two games of 30 points, and four of 14 or more assists.

But the MVP is never solely about numbers. You have to find the right mix of team success, memorable moments, and perhaps most important, exceeded expectations that put you in good standing with the voters.

The Jazz are 7-3 overall and riding a 5-game win streak. At the beginning of the streak, D-Will made a coast-to-coast layup in double-overtime to beat the Clippers. Then he spearheaded four second-half comebacks on the road against Miami, Orlando, Atlanta and Charlotte, including three games where he posted at least 20 points and 10 dimes. Deron capped the road trip with a buzzer-beating floater on Saturday to beat the Bobcats.

Now about the exceeded expectations. Going into this season, the Jazz weren’t seen as an elite team in the talent-depleted West. At best, they were expected to be playoff fodder (again) for the Lakers and a footnote in L.A.’s three-peat plans. After losing Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver to free agency during the summer, Utah’s significant roster additions included Al Jefferson — who had played on one above-.500 team in his six-year career — along with 20-year-old rookie Gordon Hayward, and 34-year-old Raja Bell. Plus starting center Mehmet Okur is sidelined with an Achilles injury until next month at least.

And yet, as Rondo threatens to break all-time records for assists and Paul has the Hornets undefeated, D-Will is holding on strong to whatever claim he may have as the best point guard in the world. His teammates have a combined two All-Star appearances between them, and Andrei Kirilenko is the only Utah All-Star actually playing right now. (Okur was an All-Star in 2007.) Deron is helping set Paul Millsap (21.9 ppg, 9.3 rpg) up for a career year, and may actually deliver Jerry Sloan his first-ever, long overdue NBA Coach of the Year award.

Is D-Will the best PG in the game? That’s an argument in which the answers change every day. But you don’t have to be the best to be the most valuable. So far this season, Williams is at least in the driver’s seat for that title.

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  • Dave

    I couldn’t agree more, D-Will is the man. 5 straight come from behind more than 10 point wins and he’s the catalyst behind all of it.
    Not only did he tell Stephen Jackson to bring it on twice before crossing him up and hitting the game winner, after he nailed it he turned to the camera and said “did you see that!”

  • CTP

    Also couldn’t agree more. He has stepped up his game even more this season, and is playing like a NBA first team superstar.

    Best pg. Most well rounded.

  • Dangertronix

    Thank you…

  • Hucklebuck

    FINALLY!
    Deron Williams, BEST PG in the game today.

  • http://dimemag.com JoshG

    Tough call…You can make a great case for D-Will. Others in the discussion are Rondo, CP3, Gasol and Dwight.

  • youright

    Respect D-Will. Personally think CP3 is doing what D-Will is doing, only better at the moment.

  • Trey bing bay

    Gotta agree with youright, CP3 has taken a more mediocre team and not lost. Can’t really argue against that.

  • sh!tfaced

    oh fuck yeah, d-will vs cp3… we’re all back to where it started… u gotta love this ish

  • chris

    i think deron is great,but whati want to see is the least valuable player..the player with the biggest suck differential, whose team plays much better (like 20 ppg better) when the player is NOT on the floor. through nov 11 games, as per 82games.com, these are your nba lvps (all playing at least 15 mpg, all 20 ppg or greater drags upon their team)
    blake griffin, eddie house, wayne ellington, travis outlaw, ray felton, spencer hawes, carl landry, james posey, paul george, aron afflalo, shawn marion, brendan haywood, juan barea and powell (atl).
    SO…how many of these players (besides blake griffin) will still be playing 15 minutes or more a game by january?

  • Jah

    (healthy) CP3 > Deron Williams, but Rajon Rondo for MVP.

  • Pierce

    D-Will and CP3 both great,but if C’s without Rondo,they just a team being sunset,and if Rondo can break that record,he will get the MVP trophy

  • sh!tfaced

    damn… rondo for mvp… almost forgot about him… but hell, when was the last time the mvp had a terrible jumper and sucked from the freethrow line?! wilt chamberlain? lol… sorry, man… i’m a big c’s fan but until rajon gets a resemblance of a jumper, mvp talk isn’t there right now…

  • sh!tfaced

    dammit, forgot about shaq and the like… rondo ain’t seven feet, btw… so there

  • JBaller

    It takes a great PG to make all those comebacks…an even better one wouldn’t have to, because he could control the game.

    D-Will is a winner, and if he can get his team out in front of a couple of games rather than playing from behind all the time, then he’d be an MVP contender. I actually like his game better than CP3, but he’s been driving that Hornets team to greater success than the Jazz.

  • Big E

    This is so funny. Everyone knows good and damn well Deron ain’t no MVP. LMAO. Makes for good conversation though I guess.

  • Big E

    @JBaller-”It takes a great PG to make all those comebacks…an even better one wouldn’t have to, because he could control the game.”

    That’s what the eff I’m talkin bout. LOL.

  • Big E

    BTW, I’ve been wondering why Dime hasn’t given Deron a cover yet. Is he not marketable enough for you guys? Surely if he’s the best he should be able to be a hot cover sell for you guys right? SMH. LOL.

  • BostonGuy

    Top MVP candidates are Rondo, CP3 Deron, Pau, Kobe (just cause people love to include him)and maybe Dwight.

    Deron, CP3 and Rondo in particular are all performing fabulous right now.

    Its really going to boil down to those guys teams records and how well they do, cause we all know that their going to keep performing well. If Rondo breaks the assist record, and Celtic win big that may put him over. But usually someone gets hurt on the Celtics and Rondo is required to score more and he ups his average. If this happens will he maintain his record assist pace (or will it even matter or actually help his case more)? We’ll see?

    Durant and Rose won’t be seriously considered, cause their teams won’t do well enough, especially OKC the way they’ve been such a disappointment so far. Chicago is 5-3, played most of their games at home and now are embarking on a 7 game road trip.

    @Shitfaced

    Rondo is hitting his jumper so far this year, and he still has time to improve his free throw shooting. But more importantly, the guy is doing the damn thing and totally controlling the Celtics games from an offensive and defensive stand point, while their a 8 -2 team. He deserves the consideration.

    And by the way, Moses Malone, Chamberlain, Shaq, Dr. J?, Magic Johnson, etc. all won MVP with out jump shots or free throw shooting. So just stop with that nonsense.

  • Mo

    “The numbers are there. Deron is averaging 21.3 points (19th in the NBA, 3rd among point guards), 10.1 assists (4th in the NBA) and a career-high 4.7 rebounds. He’s notched two games of 30 points, and four of 14 or more assists”….

    How are those turnovers looking this season? Those are currently at a career high too right?

  • Mo

    Currently most of Deron’s numbers are down(except scoring and rebounding, turnovers WAYYY up) and all of a sudden he’s MVP? GTFO. LOL! Dime knows how to get people talking, that’s for sure. LMAO.

  • Soopa

    So whens the last time the league had this many quality PGs? CP3, Dwill, Rondo, Nash, Curry, Jennings, Westbrook, Rose, Parker, Wall, Evans (maybe more of a SG).

    Its gonna be some good allstar games the next decade!

  • Wonil

    Deron > Chris Paul, healthy or not. The head to head matchups don’t lie. Deron has been owning Chris Paul since college. Deron also doesn’t punch people in the balls like Chris Paul did to Julius Hodge.

  • Mess

    As far as Rondo breaking stockton’s record goes, if your starting lineup had 4 future hall of famers, it would be hard for a decent point guard who is not asked to score to not average 14+ assists/game.

    Stockton’s starting lineup in his record setting year was something like: Malon, Eaton, Bobby Hansen and Blue Edwards/Thurl Bailey the year he set the record.
    Plus, Stockton shot 50+% from field, 41+% from 3, 82% free throws, and averaged 17ppg. Sad thing is Stockton finished 9th for MVP consideration that year.

    Rondo is good but overrated.

  • nizzio

    Kobe will be MVP at the end of the season. The Lakers will be the 1st seed team by the end of the year and you know it. Oh, and thanks for not including Kevin Durant in the MVP Convo. There are so many people that thought this would be his year smh

  • Spur-meister

    @baller.

    I see your point on Deron.

    Cause, of their shaky start and fabulous last 5 games. I gotta wonder what direction the team would be in the next 20-25 games and how they started so poorly in the first place. Agreed. The jury is still out on Utah.

    I think CP3, Rondo and Nash are all doing a masterful job right now (with Rondo, CP3, Pau and Kobe and Deron being the leading candidates).

    On the recent Spurs OKC game this weekend, Sean Elliot said about Russell Westbrook and OKC’s poor start “Russell’s scoring average is too high for a point guard. Maybe he needs to score less and get his team mates more involved, instead of him and Durant being the teams leading scorer”. Interesting words.

    It just reinforces the notion that a point guards role is not to lead his team scoring so much, but to more run the team, create scoring opportunities, create defensive1offensive pressure and win.

    That’s what these top point guards are doing now, and their teams are certainly winning.

  • Bostonguy

    @Shitfaced

    Rondo may not be a 7 footer. But he has the hands of some one 7’7″. That’s the problem/true story.

  • Dagger

    MVP candidates right now:

    1. Paul
    2. Williams
    3. Gasol
    4. Rondo
    5. Durant or Westbrook

    Can anyone deny this is the era of the point guard?

  • Spur-meister

    @Mess about Rondo and his now “4 HOF’s”

    That that so old now (like those HOF’s). Next!

    @Dagger

    Neither Durant or Westbrook would be MVP at this point, cause of their teams disappointing year so far, and the fact that they play on the same team. Remember, many people thought Dwayne WAde had a better year than Lebron in 2008-2009, and he still didn’t win MVP cause he played for a worse team. Unless they turn it around, OKC is a big disappointment right now.

    @Nizzio

    It’s no guarantee that LA will have the best record in the league. And even if they do or are close to it, Pau and Kobe may cancel each other out, while Deron, Chris, Rondo or Dwight alone could win it for themselves.

    We also don’t know if New Orleans, etc. can maintain their winning and if Miami will maintain it’s losing.

    It should be an exciting year and the stories continue to be written.

  • Claw

    I can’t remember having MVP discussions centering around so many guards, throw in Tyreke, Curry, and Monta and newbie Wall and the L is loaded.

    I do wonder, Where have all the big men gone?

    True Centers: DHow, Bogut….maybe Okafor, its the small man’s world.

  • J

    So…by the own argument of the author, a team beating expectations, how is Chris Paul not the MVP? Who had the Hornets undefeated at this point. Better yet, who had them with a winning record even?

    Utah was projected to be as high as 3 or low as 6. Them being 7-3 doesn’t really suprise anybody. Many people were assuming that the Hornets wouldn’t even make the playoffs, yet they are plaing great basketball and beating great teams (Miami, Denver, San Antonio).

    By that definition the Hornets have far surpassed expectation by a much larger factor than the Jazz.

  • cb4

    I don’t see how you can have anyone other than CP3 as the MVP of the league so far. His numbers are better than Williams across the board, with the exception of scoring. You also have to take team records into account. I would put Gasol ahead of Dwill at this point, probably even Rondo too.

    My list would look like,

    CP3
    Gasol
    Rondo
    Dwill
    Howard by default (although I don’t really think he can ever be a true MVP candidate until he shoots his FT’s better, stays out of foul and technical foul trouble, and scores a little more)

    I know everyone is sleeping on the Spurs, but they are 8-1 and Ginobili and Parker are playing great. If they keep this up one of those two should be a candidate as well.

    Also, as of now Durant can’t be in the MVP discussion, and in fact Westbrook is the MVP of the OKC. Until KD starts playing better, there is no way he should be in anyone’s MVP discussion over Westbrook. Since this summer when they anointed him next MVP Westbrook has been relegated to a sidekick role, even if hes actually playing better. NBA.com has everyone messed up with their biased rankings. No way is KD or Kobe in the MVP discussion.

  • B-BallMaven

    @cb4

    Actually the MVP rankings I’ve seen on NBA.com this week(I forgot the guys name), actually have Cp3, Dwill, I think Gasol and Rondo 1-4. Kobe and Durant are (properly) towards the bottom.

  • CTP

    People. Read the article. It has less to do with numbers than y’all are saying. 5 straight come from behind victories with 2 buzzer beaters.

    Jazz vs hornets next week. If they haven’t lost by then, the Jazz can give them their first loss.

  • karizmatic

    I can give you all that, but right now I got to put the race between Deron Williams and Rondo…and right now I think Rondo is the best pg in the league.

  • MC Welk

    Paraphrasing here, but McHale has said that Deron would have been dominant even before they changed the handcheck rules because of his physicality.

  • B-BallMaven

    @Karizmatic

    Ahh Man!

    I hope you just didn’t start the Rondo wars. Lol.

    It’s been a pleasant past two days here on dime.

    He’s definitely in the top 3-4 for MVP so far though.

    I’ll leave it at that.

    Nice games coming up tonight on League pass to.

  • hooper5013

    this isn’t even close to me. I love rondo and cp3 and curry but D. Will is the only one you can build your team around. He is GREAT. Like all time great when his career is done. Remember I picked it in the summer when they question was who is your mvp champion scoring leader and all that (they also through in who would win the world series) I picked D will as the NBA MVP. So I am right there with you on this article.

  • cb4

    @CTP

    He didn’t hit any buzzer beaters. That’s just the author exaggerating to support his argument.

    And I don’t think having to come from behind every game means your an MVP candidate. Wouldn’t the MVP have his team leading from the get-go. BTW, Millsap carried the team in one of those victories, and you have to give the rest of the Jazz team credit too.

  • aj

    @ cb4
    Isn’t 0.8 seconds left considered a buzzer-beater?

  • cb4

    Not even close, when you have guys like D fish hitting shots at 0.4

  • cb4

    Not even close, when you have guys like D fish hitting shots at 0.4.

    It’s a game winner, not a buzzer beater

  • Shot In Ya Face

    Sloan has never had a “Coach of the Year” award?!?!

    He’s probably the second best coach right behind Popovich.

    Towards the middle of the pack is Phil Jackson. LOL

  • T-Sizzle

    It beat the shot clock buzzer. There was 24.8 seconds left in the game at the beginning of the possession.

    Jerry Sloan for COY!

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    CP3 for MVP, I don’t care about those ocmebacks where was he when they were getting those huge ass leads? CP IS the Hornets while D-Will got Big Al and Milsap (my MIP vote).

    CP? D-West and a cast of role players. and he’s making it work.

    Hornets win 55+ games I say it goes to him.

    Gasol is cutting into Kobe’s votes BIG TIME, scary how good that Spaniard is.

    Lets calm down on the whole Rondo ish okay?

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    No argument here.

  • MSL

    Oh Ok Stunna.

    I think I see what you were talking about.

    Well, keep in mind NBA.com,Dime, etc. are talking about Rondo as MVP as well. Keep in mind, it’s early also.

    The reason why I included him, is cause The Celtic Offense and Defense Starts with him. As a matter of fact the offense totally flows through him; and it stagnates when he’s not involved. If you take Rondo off the Celtics, they may make the playoffs, but the Celtics wouldn’t be a title contender.

    Add the fact that the Celtics are 8-2, he’s averaging 15 assist, 5 rebounds and has so far shut down every opposing teams point guard and disrupted their teams offense and he definitely deserves to be in MVP consideration. Certainly.

    Yes!

    You know I wouldn’t bull shit you or gas this up!

    But a lot has to happen and be maintained first.

    Enjoy the season.

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    Why does everyone think I hate Rondo? Geez I love the kid but while he is running shit, CP is on a different level. They way he runs the Hornets is fantastic.

    One of the big 3 goes down and Rondo takes more shots and we can start talking.

  • MSL

    @Stunna

    You said “One of the big 3 goes down and Rondo takes more shots and we can start talking.”

    Ahhhh. Didn’t Rondo already do that last year and averaged almost 16-17 points a game when Garnett was out and maintained or increased his assist? He been there done Dat!

    I don’t think you dis-like Rondo; quite the contrary. You actually asked me and made reference to him and the early season MVP on another post, so I just followed up with you here

    Your boy Kdizzle The Laker Lover has his/her Purple Panties in a twizzle over my earlier comments though. Funny! I never said Kobe had a bad game (and his team did lose after all). I only critiqued his character when I saw displayed right in front of me.

    Oh well. He’ll calm down and get over it. I hope!

    Nice games/match ups tonight, right?

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    OKC coming back against the comeback kids is funny as hell. maybe Utah pull a double comeback?

    NO maybe losing their undefeated streak today? Melo grabbing 15 boards is also impressive.

    However watching Vick put on a show is taking up my Monday night. Dudes just special.

  • nobs6669

    dwill n cp3 are the best point guard in the nba with out a superstar player by their side. we should give rondo a credit for keeping the celtics together even though every year they add big time names( i say big time names coz every player they add for sure has been a high profile player (shaq, sheed, jermaine, kg, ray, sam …..) it could ruin their chemistry) he can neutralize all their talent( look at miami 2010, 2011 all the star power but there’s no single person on that line up could control the big 3)

  • !!

    so much for kevin durant…..

  • BostonGuy

    @!!Says

    Yeah! So much about Durant, huh?

  • jason bourne

    What no Miami Heat? That’s a joke son.

    As much as I like Rondo, I have to give it to CP3 right now.