Derrick Rose drives against LeBron James at the United Center on February 24. The Bulls defeated the Heat 93-89.
Stan Van Gundy believes Derrick Rose is a lock to win the MVP. Then again, when has Stan Van Gundy been right about anything?
Rose should be the MVP, of course. He kept the Bulls moving forward when Boozer and Noah spent a ton of time riding the bench with injuries. This team has talent, but Rose was the only all-star. Miami and Boston had three each.
Problem is, MVP voters fall into three camps.
1) Vote for the best player. Is Rose the best player in the league? Maybe. Probably not.
2) Vote for the best player on the best team. San Antonio has a better record. The Lakers are basically even with the Bulls. Boston is right behind. And there's the argument that it's harder to win in the West than the East. But some voters adhere religiously to this philosophy and that wouldn't necessarily bounce Rose's way.
3) Take the award literally and vote for the most valuable player. Tony Kornheiser feels this means LeBron is the MVP. Cleveland won 61 with him last year. Without him, they've managed just 13 victories. Is one man worth 50 games or so? Maybe. How many games would the Bulls win without Rose? Probably more than 13.
But Rose is, as they say, the straw that stirs the drink in Chicago. He's become a night-in, night-out force. And the Bulls wouldn't be where they are without him.
In the end, who really cares about the MVP award? Let's get that ring.