Time to put Ray Allen in the MVP conversation
This is going to have to be a teaser post. I'm too tired to lay out the evidence right now, so I will give you the executive summary instead and finish up tomorrow evening.
Basically, the point I want to make is this: last season Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce carried the Celtics during the regular season. Ray Allen was good, but just above average. The former two were spectacular. Therefore, of course, lazy sportswriters assume that since the Celtics are doing well again this year, the same thing must be happening.
It isn't. Instead the roles have totally reversed. The junior partner in the Three Amigos, Walter Ray Allen, is carrying water for the entire trio. He is having a hellified season in terms of Win Production and on both ends of the basketball court... an absolute renaissance year for one of the smoothest players of all time. His numbers are astonishing, and I will lay them out tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Garnett's numbers have slid a bit, and Pierce's numbers are well down (in fact Andrew Bogut is currently having a more valuable impact on the Milwaukee Bucks than either of them are having on the Boston Celtics). That's not to say either player's numbers are "bad"... they just aren't what they were last season.
Yet, I look through all the "MVP Talk" and I don't see the name Ray Allen anywhere. If I were Allen, I would be getting a little pissed right now. This is not the first time he's been overlooked. He should have been the runaway MVP of the Finals last season, but somehow that award went to Paul Pierce.
And so, unbelievably, stories that should have been written about how Ray Allen is building upon his Finals MVP with a fast start to the 2008-09 season are being written about Pierce... when he should not have been the MVP, and is actually slumping out of the gate compared with his production last year!!
Anyway, more on this tomorrow. I intend to do my second piece taking apart the stupid NBA.com "Race to the MVP" listing.