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liny195
24.08.2018, 04:32
The argument happens most every year. Who is the NBA MVP?

LeBron James has been the best player for most of his 15 years in the league Authentic Will Middlebrooks Jersey (http://www.philadelphiaphilliesteamshop.com/authentic-will-middlebrooks-jersey) , and he’s won the award only four times. Russell Westbrook won it last year, buoyed by averaging a triple-double, yet seems to not even be in the conversation this season with very similar numbers. James Harden was a popular pick last season, saw his assist and rebound numbers dip this season, yet is generally considered the runaway favorite.

Part of the issue is this: There’s no clarity on how the MVP is defined.

No one knows the criteria. The award ballot sent to MVP voters simply says ”The winner of this award receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, named after the first Commissioner of the NBA.”

Is it the player most valuable to his team?

Is it the player most valuable to the game?

Is it the best player?

Those are only some of the many gray areas.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers has said many times over the years that James would win annually, if not for voters getting tired of selecting him (though Rivers is also on record this year saying Harden will be MVP). Michael Jordan might have dealt with the same voter-fatigue issue. And it’s still baffling that Oscar Robertson, who had some of the most statistically ridiculous seasons in NBA history, won it only once.

Debate will probably always surround the MVP race, a notable exception being two years ago when Stephen Curry was the first unanimous winner.

This year’s answer will come June 25, when the NBA announces the winner. It’ll likely be Harden. There will be reasonable points made in support of that. There will be reasonable points made for James as well.

Here now, the picks for certain awards by AP Basketball Writers Brian Mahoney and Tim Reynolds, as well as a look at what we think will happen in the playoffs:

MVP

Mahoney: James Harden http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-leighton-vander-esch-jersey , Houston. Mastered a new position last season. Masterfully shared it this one. His stats, team’s record, make a worthy winner.

Reynolds: LeBron James, Cleveland. Made this same pick last year, making it again this year, because the Cavs would be horrid without him.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

Mahoney: Clint Capela, Rockets. Blocks shots, rebounds, and the NBA’s leading shooter doesn’t miss much when he gets the ball.

Reynolds: Victor Oladipo, Indiana. He was absolutely fantastic in his first Indiana season, leading the Pacers to the No. 5 seed in the East.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Mahoney: Brad Stevens, Celtics. Won it in November with response to losing Gordon Hayward. Re-won it in March with response to losing Kyrie Irving.

Reynolds: Many great candidates – like Dwane Casey, Gregg Popovich Youth Denver Broncos Jerseys (http://www.broncoscheapauthenticstore.com) , Brad Stevens, Brett Brown and Terry Stotts. But Utah’s Quin Snyder is the pick.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Mahoney: Donovan Mitchell, Utah. Hard to believe he was barely a lottery pick last year after watching him carry Utah like an All-Star.

Reynolds: Utah’s Donovan Mitchell gets the call, not in an anti-Ben Simmons vote, but because he led the Jazz like a savvy, seasoned pro.

EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION

Mahoney: Cleveland still has the best player and too much firepower around him to lose four times to an East team.

Reynolds: LeBron James is as good as ever, and is always an incredibly tough out. Toronto can defeat Cleveland, but the Cavs rate a tiny edge.

WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION

Mahoney: Golden State, but less sure of that than at any time during the Warriors‘ run. Houston is that good.

Reynolds: Until proven otherwise, and this assumes that Stephen Curry comes back healthy from his knee issue, the pick is Golden State – again.

NBA CHAMPIONS

Mahoney: Warriors in 5.

Reynolds: Warriors in 5.

BOLD OFFSEASON PREDICTIONS

Mahoney: Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Paul George Authentic Terrelle Pryor Sr. Jersey (http://www.jetscheapshops.com/cheap-authentic-terrelle-pryor-sr.-jersey) , Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler were all traded last summer. Is there anything that would surprise you?

Reynolds: LeBron James leaves Cleveland, Spurs trade Kawhi Leonard, Wizards break up Bradley Beal and John Wall, and Rihanna DMs Joel Embiid.



Brian Mahoney is the AP Basketball Writer based in New York. Tim Reynolds is the AP Basketball Writer based in Miami.

Coach Jason Garrett saw all he needed out of quarterback Dak Prescott on just one drive.

Prescott made the most of his brief appearance in the preseason opener for Dallas by throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to rookie Michael Gallup on his only drive before the San Francisco 49ers rallied with two late touchdowns to beat the Cowboys 24-21 Thursday night.

"I thought it was a good drive by our offense, a good mix of run and pass," Garrett said. "Dak made some good decisions. He made a really nice run too keep the drive alive. We got the one-on-one opportunity down the sideline. Michael made a really good release and it was a good throw and catch."

Nick Mullens threw a 7-yard TD pass to Richie James Jr. with 18 seconds left to cap the comeback. Jeremy McNichols scored on a 1-yard run with 4:24 to go for San Francisco.

San Francisco's Jimmy Garoppolo didn't fare as well as Prescott in his first game action since signing a $137.5 million, five-year contract this offseason. Garoppolo completed 3 of 6 passes on his one drive.

"We're trying to do something different things and see what works and what doesn't," Garoppolo said. "We haven't been in that situation in a year and you try to get things rolling."

More concerning for the 49ers was the fact that six players left with injuries in the first half with the most concerning ones being shoulder injuries to tight end George Kittle and running back Matt Breida that could sideline them for "some time," according to coach Kyle Shanahan.

"It's what you scares you about training camp, it's what scares you about the preseason," Shanahan said. "You just want the game to end."

Prescott sat out the first exhibition game last season but got one series of action against the 49ers this year and looked sharp. He completed all three of pass attempts and converted a third-and-9 with a 12-yard scramble.

He capped his night with the deep ball to Gallup, who beat Jimmie Ward down the sideline. Ward got the start at cornerback in place of Richard Sherman, who is nursing a hamstring injury.

With the release of three-time Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant and the retirement of 15-year tight end Jason Witten http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-rasheem-green-jersey , the Cowboys are searching for receiving threats this preseason. Gallup, a third-round pick out of Colorado State, has been impressive so far in camp.

"That's a good feeling," Gallup said. "Especially for me being so young and being a rookie and everything, I needed that boost of confidence. It was a good feeling."

NATIONAL ANTHEM

No players on either team kneeled during the national anthem, although 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin did raise his right fist throughout the song. The Niners have been at the center of the protests during national anthem ever since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling two years ago. Eric Reid protested last year but both players are no longer with the team. Linebacker Eli Harrold also kneeled during the anthem the past two years but stood to start this season.

INJURIES

The Niners had a parade of injuries early, starting with LB Malcolm Smith limping off with a hamstring issue on the opening drive. TE George Kittle and backup RB Matt Breida left with shoulder injuries. Thomas and backup tackle Garry Gilliam were sidelined by concussions and Harrold had a lower leg injury.

Cowboys OL Marcus Martin limped off the field in the second half with a toe injury, S Marqueston Huff left with a groin injury, and WR Marchie Murdock had an ankle injury.

NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES

Joe Thomas got the start at linebacker for Dallas in place of Sean Lee and delivered an interception against C.J. Beathard on a tipped pass by Kavon Frazier. ... Cowboys rookie RB Bo Scarbrough had a 28-yard run and scored a 1-yard TD in the second quarter. ... James had four catches for 46 yards and fellow rookie Dante Pettis caught a 53-yard pass .

HELMET FOUL

There was one penalty under the new rule prohibiting players from leading with their helmets. San Francisco LB Elijah Lee was called for the infraction on a tackle against Scarbrough in the third quarter.

NEXT UP

Cowboys: Host Cincinnati on Aug. 18.

49ers: Visit Houston on Aug. 18.

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