Sunday, January 4, 2009

Who Will Be NBL MVP?

Two thirds of the NBL season is in the books and the time to race for a playoff spot is upon us. It is also that time of the year when people begin to toss around who they feel will be the league’s MVP.

Now I have done a little searching to see who the buzz is around and my search turned up very little so I had to ask myself the question of “why?” and this is what I have come up with.

In most previous NBL seasons, the list of MVP contenders would have already narrowed itself down to two or three players with a real chance with a handful of dark horses lurking around the outskirts. This year that does not appear to be the case. There is no clear favourite or small group of favourites to date. It would seem that it will come down to how a top player performs during that final third portion of the year.

Nevertheless, this is my group of guys that I feel have to be in the running:

Chris Anstey is always the favourite in my book. Whether you like him as a player or not, when Chris decides to play there is little you can do to stop his impact on a game.

Reports have Anstey with a mystery illness which is affecting his play to date. If the Tigers can find a cure quickly and they can have a strong finish to the season, he will be well on his way to collecting another MVP trophy.

If Anstey remains unable to perform at his best and the Tigers finish the season in first or second place, look for teammate Ebi Ere to hold the MVP trophy for the first time.

Ere has been the bridesmaid on a few occasions for this award, will this year be his time?

Adelaide’s import Julius Hodge has come in and turned it around for Scott Ninnis and the Adelaide 36ers.

Hodge is putting up impressive numbers (25ppg, 9rpg and 7apg) AND his team is winning. This is a good combination when I’m looking to crown someone MVP.

Hodge was impressive in his time with the Sixers last season but did not play enough games to come into contention for individual awards. This year he will have played enough games to be in the running for MVP, but will the 36ers win enough to help Hodge’s cause?

New Zealand Breakers Kirk Penney got his season off to a flyer but I feel the contributions from team mates CJ Bruton, Tony Ronaldson and Phill Jones will have a bearing on Penney’s fate.

This Breakers team compliments each other very well which often makes it difficult to say that one is better without the efforts of those surrounding him.

Last but not least I think Mark Worthington’s name will be on the list of finalists. He is the most consistent player on the top ranked South Dragons team, which has to get you at least a look.

What may hurt Worthington is the fact that their team is consistent as a whole and votes may be spread throughout the roster. Also, if new import Dante Smith is the all round player that he has been touted to be, he may detract from Worthington’s cause for this individual accolade.

Now I have been known to be wrong a time or two, but I will be surprised if an MVP award is given to anyone not mentioned in my list. As I mentioned previously, there are always those darkhorses lurking just outside that may just sneak into the spotlight if their team goes on a tear on the tail end of the season.

Look for the race to heat up over the next two to three weeks.

3 comments:

DJ Rod said...

Penney
Hodge
Anstey

smokeys: Williams or Hinson

The problem with these guys is they have great players on their teams that will be taking points off them...

Bruton, Rickert
Ballinger
Ere, Grizz
Ellis, Rillie :)
Redhage, Victor

It will be very close but Penney gets it for me.

Anonymous said...

I think we shouldn't underestimated the impact Daniel Joyce has had this year, he should definitely be placed amongst the likes of Penney, Hodge & Anstey.

He's an amazing talent for a nineteen year old kid.

Anonymous said...

I think Kirk Penney will get the award...