Around the Hill: Who is Your Mid-Season MVP?

Maroon-News Staff

Question of the Week: As we approach the NBA All-Star Break, who is your Mid-Season MVP?


By David Josselsohn

Maroon-News Staff

If the NBA season ended today, James Harden would be my choice for MVP. It’s important to remember that this award does not necessarily go to the best player in basketball but to the most valuable player in basketball, as dictated by its name. Stephen Curry has been the best player this year, leading the Golden State Warriors to the best record in the NBA. He is a fantastic shooter, incredibly adept at getting to the hoop and yet still keeps his eyes open to find some of the other weapons that Golden State possesses. Unfortunately for Curry, it is because of these weapons that he is not the most valuable player this season. If Curry did not play for the Warriors, there is no doubt that they could still be a fantastic team with Klay Thompson leading the way, flanked by stars like Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and David Lee. The Warriors wouldn’t be that much worse without Stephen Curry.

I can’t say the same for the Houston Rockets and James Harden. The Rockets roster has seen a complete overhaul. They traded Omer Asik, lost Chandler Parsons in free agency, and have seen Dwight Howard struggle with injuries throughout the season. Harden has kept this team afloat, dominating the offense and showing a newfound proficiency on defense. Help for Harden has only come in the form of Patrick Beverly, Trevor Ariza and recently acquired Josh Smith. There is little doubt in my mind that without James Harden, the Houston Rockets would not be in playoff contention right now. By this metric, it is clear that Harden should be the MVP.



By Andrew Igler

Maroon-News Staff

The first half of the 2014-2015 NBA season has been highlighted by the dominance of the 37-8 Golden State Warriors. They have been the overall best team in the league throughout the season, only now having their supremacy legitimately challenged by the Eastern Conference Atlanta Hawks, who are coming off of a 19-game win streak. The Warriors’ success can be attributed to this season’s first half MVP, point guard Stephen Curry.

Curry has averaged 23.0 points per game, 8.1 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game. He leads the Warriors in all three categories, is eighth in the league in points scored, and top-five in assists and steals. The only reason he doesn’t score more points is because the success of the Warrior’s league-leading offense requires Curry to share scoring responsibilities with his partner in the backcourt, Klay Thompson.

Thompson averages 22.7 points per game, which is ninth in the league. While the two may have similar scoring statistics, as the point guard Curry is truly the leader and floor general of the team. Without his leadership, experience and outstanding production beyond just scoring, the Warriors would not be leading the league in winning percentage.

Curry’s value to the Warriors is quantifiable in a new ESPN statistic called the real plus-minus (RPM) that essentially calculates each team’s offensive versus defensive point differential while a certain player is on the floor. Curry currently leads the league with an RPM of 8.42, more than a full point better than James Harden’s 7.26, the second-best rating. Curry also leads the league in wins above replacement (WAR), another metric that measures a player’s contribution to his team’s win total. Curry has 10.81 WAR, while Harden has 10.57 WAR, also the second-best in the league.

Although Curry does not lead the league in any traditional statistics, he is the mid-season MVP because he is the most important reason that Golden State, the best team in the NBA, will highly contend for a championship this season.



By Greg White

Maroon-News Staff


The 2014-2015 NBA season has now crossed the midway point and one of the most polarizing questions on many NBA fans’ minds is, who should be MVP? When I was asked this question, the first person that came to mind was Monta Ellis. Now Ellis may not be the most dominant player in the entire league like Kevin Durant or Lebron James, but it is this current season that  Ellis has taken the league by storm. While being on a championship-caliber team this season, according to, Ellis is averaging a career-high 20.4 points per game, has a career-high field-goal percentage of 46.3 percent and is creating these statistics while playing two minutes less than his career-average minutes. 

Despite these statistics, Ellis was snubbed from the 2015 NBA All-Star Game when he rightfully should have taken Kobe Bryant’s place. According to, when comparing Monta Ellis to another prominent shooting guard in the Western Conference such as James Harden, Ellis has a higher field-goal percentage by 11 percent for the season and a higher career field-goal percentage by ten percent. With a better field-goal percentage across the board than potential MVP Harden, Ellis should rightfully be in the MVP conversation.

I have realized that the MVP award has become something like a popularity contest à la the NBA All-Star Game. I personally think that both accolades should be given to players who are making important contributions not only to their team’s success but also to their legacy as NBA players. The opposition would attempt to refute my sentiments by saying that both the All-Star Game and the MVP Award are solely based on individual performance. This refutation may be true, but I am tired of seeing the same players get the same nominations and praise that they may not deserve; because players like Anthony Davis, Brandon Knight and my mid-season MVP Ellis are having superb seasons compared to the most prominent names in the entire NBA.