April 22, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) steals the ball from New Orleans Hornets power forward Jason Smith (14) and takes in down court in the second half of the game at the Staples Center. Clippers won 107-98. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Paul A Legit MVP Candidate

Chris Paul will probably not win the Most Valuable Player Award this year, but it is my belief that he is just as deserving as the other candidates. If I had a vote, then my top 4 MVP candidates would go as follows: 1. Chris Paul 2. LeBron James 3. Tony Parker 4. Kevin Durant

One of the problems with MVP voting is that every voter has a different definition of what the award actually is. Should it be given to the best player on the team with the best record? Which could end up being Tony Parker by the way, if the Spurs edge out the Bulls for home-field advantage. Is it the player who was statistically the most dominant and consistent for the entire year? The answer to that one would most definitely be LeBron.

To me, the MVP should be a player who the team he was playing for would be completely lost and not in contention for a championship without him. He literally has the most VAlUE to his team. Chris Paul is my answer here for several reasons. Firstly, the Clippers were not even a Playoff team last year and have been undergoing a culture of losing for almost their entire existence. They had only two winning seasons in their last 34 years. Chris Paul changed all of that in a year, and the Clippers are now on the brink of clinching home-field advantage in the Playoffs. To me, if the Heat lost LeBron or the Thunder lost Durant, the Heat and Thunder would still be playoff teams, but the Clippers without Paul? They would be lucky to win a third of their games.

Secondly, for three quarters of the game, Chris Paul completely devotes himself to getting his teammates going, and then takes the game over in the 4th quarter. He has been one of the best 4th quarter players all season. He has the third most points, most assists, and has shot 28-29 from the free-throw line in the game’s last 5 minutes. In the game’s last minute? Paul has scored 41 points, which is 10 more than anybody else in the league. The Clippers last game against the Horney was a perfect example; the Clippers’ overall effort level the whole game was lacking, but Paul kept getting his teammates involved for three quarters and racked up 13 assists for the game. The Clippers were losing at the start of the 4th, but then Chris Paul went into 4th quarter-mode, scoring 13 points and leading his team to victory.

Paul has had a tremendous effect on not just the players on the court, but on the entire organization. “The way he carries himself and the way he treats everybody in the organization just makes people want to go the extra mile for him and I think that’s what’s been special,” Vice President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey said. “He’s brought that air of family which we’ve been trying to develop here.”

There are plenty of other logical and statistical reasons Chris Paul is worthy as well. He leads the league in steals(2.4 per game), is third in assists(9.0), and scores 19.3 points per game, while also averaging his career low in turnovers(2.1). But sometimes you have to lead with your gut and go with what you see on the court rather than statistics. And Chris Paul passes the eye-test.

Tags: Chris Paul Kevin Durant Lebron James

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