This will be a pretty short series of end-of-season awards. MVP and Most Improved are logical but most other mainstream awards don't really make much sense. Rookie of the Year? (Walker almost by default) Coach of the Year? (there's just one head coach - though you could debate Thibodeau vs. Clifford Ray if you like) So lets forget the rest and go with the MVP. (Feel free to offer suggestions of alternative awards if you like)
There should be some debate on this if only because there's always a debate on what you think "most valuable" means. Most dominant? Most crucial to victory? Best numbers? Effect on teamates? Best overall impact? Pick your arguement.
Here are the candidates:
Kevin Garnett: Right now his absence is acutely felt by everyone in the organization. The team is a pedestrian 14-7 since he went down on Feb. 22. Last year's Defensive Player of the Year and emotional ballast is surely missed. His numbers don't jump out at you, but his central role on this team is unquestioned.
Paul Pierce: Speaking of numbers, Paul is the leading scorer on this team and is 2nd in assists. He's also an excellent rebounder for his position and has become one of the better defenders in the league. Oh yeah, and sometimes he wears a cape and simply takes over games when the team needs it most.
Ray Allen: Take a moment to look at this man's game logs. He's played in 76 games this year and scored in single digits just 6 times. He's hit 95% of his free throws. I don't even know how many game winning shots he's hit, but it feels like 50. This man is a machine. He brings it every night.
Rajon Rondo: Time to start calling it the Big 4. Ask the players and they'll tell you. When Rondo plays well, this team can't be beat. That sounds pretty valuable. For more praise, just look at the voting and comments on the Most Improved award.
So who is your MVP? What criteria did you use to choose?