Sunday , Jan , 06 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Your Early Season Eastern Conference MVP: Chauncey Billups, Kevin Garnett, Or Dwight Howard?

Since it is early January, I’d normally exercise restraint and avoid MVP posts. Thirty-five games isn’t a season, so projecting candidates and winners can be problematic-like the early stages of an election. This year, the Eastern Conference is different. I believe the early MVP candidates will warrant strong consideration at the end of the season …


Your Early Season Eastern Conference MVP: Chauncey Billups, Kevin Garnett, Or Dwight Howard?Since it is early January, I’d normally exercise restraint and avoid MVP posts. Thirty-five games isn’t a season, so projecting candidates and winners can be problematic-like the early stages of an election.

This year, the Eastern Conference is different. I believe the early MVP candidates will warrant strong consideration at the end of the season.

With no flash-in-the-pan candidate, I feel confident dropping my favorites for Eastern Conference MVP. As always, read the post, form an opinion, and get at us the comment box below.

In the next few days, I’ll drop a similar post for the Western Conference. We’ll tally your votes for the east and west and then pit the conference winners directly against each other.

Candidate: Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons.

  • Why: His team is 26-8. He posts excellent numbers: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists and 1 steal per game. Most importantly, Billups is the leader on a contending squad. Each game, he sets the tempo on both ends of the floor.
  • Why not: Billups’ case is weakened by the strong talent around him. Detroit has one of the best starting units in basketball; their team-first approach wins games, but limits his individual opportunities to shine.

 Candidate: Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics.

  • Why: Garnett’s your winner if you subscribe to the best player on the best team theory. The forward has been The Guy in Boston, dominating both ends of the floor. And the Celtics have been The Team in the NBA, sporting a league-best 29-3 record.

Garnett is also the feel-good candidate. After wasting away in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, he receives much goodwill and love throughout the NBA. His fan-favorite status could influence voters.

  • Why not: Garnett is part of Boston’s Big Three, which also features Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. He could lose votes to one or both of his Celtic teammates.

Candidate: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic. 

  • Why: 23 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 1 steal per game. That’s huge. And the man-child tag no longer applies to Howard. Instead, he’s simply a man amongst boys, dominating the paint with his freakish athleticism for the upstart Orlando Magic.
  • Why not: Howard has been inconsistent. And so has his team. MVPs should perform on a night-in, night-out basis.

Winner: Garnett.

  • Why: Garnett’s individual (19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals per night) and team success make him the most worthy candidate. Also, The Big Ticket dominates both ends of the floor and provides outstanding leadership.

Honorable Mention: Ray Allen, Lebron James, Paul Pierce.

Who is your early favorite for Eastern Conference MVP: Billups, Garnett, or Howard? Let us know in the comment box below or in our . Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA Blog.