Three reasons why Rajon Rondo will win the 2012-13 NBA MVP award:
Voters are sick of LeBron
Voter fatigue in MVP races are always a factor in sports and in the NBA there is a track record for this sort of thing.
Unlike baseball, where a new batch of MVP candidates pop up almost every season, basketball has a set list of five or six guys year-in and year-out who are eligible in the minds of voters. In today’s era, it’s LeBron and a handful of other superstars at the start of every season when talking MVP options.
For the first time, Rondo is one of those other options.
Michael Jordan was famously denied MVP three-peats in 1993 (to Charles Barkley) and 1997 (to Karl Malone) because most voters were tired of bowing at the altar of No. 23. James has won three MVP awards in four seasons (Derrick Rose won in 2011) and any sort of slippage in team or individual numbers this year will yield to voters looking elsewhere.
Rondo is unique
Like it or not, in the NBA, flash counts for something.
Rondo will be able to get out in transition like never before this season with young guns like Avery Bradley (when he returns from injury), Courtney Lee and Jeff Green filling the lanes and heading straight to the rim. As we saw at times last year, Chris Wilcox is another player who can finish off Rondo alley-oops.
Fellow point guard Steve Nash won back-to-back MVPs in the middle part of the last decade, first because he was that good (11.0 assists per game, 17.1 points per game in those years). Second, because he was such a damn joy to watch.
Basketball purists will drool over what Rondo will do this season if any of these glowing preseason stories about his improvement come to fruition.
Regular season wonders
The Celtics are built to win 60 games in this regular season.
Whether or not a team that can go 12-deep will be able to thrive in the playoffs, when benches shorten dramatically, remains to be seen.
But typically, the best player on the team that wins the most regular season games has a great shot at the award.
- Rose won in 2011 with 62 wins.
- LeBron guided Cleveland to 61 wins in 2010.
- Kobe Bryant won in 2008 as he guided the Lakers to the best record in the West with 57 wins.
Getting to or around 60 wins seems to be the key and unlike previous years, the Celtics are poised for 82 games of success as opposed to just winning when it truly counts in the spring.