Tag Archive: basketball

Stan Van Gundy: The Media has Already Decided that Rose is MVP

Derek Rose RARE

Stan Van Gundy believes the MVP race is already over, and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls is going to win it.

“I don’t think it’s wide open. The media seems to have made their decision, and they’re the ones that vote. So I think it’s over,” Van Gundy said Wednesday night as his Orlando Magic prepared to play the New York Knicks. “I mean, I just listen and read. I think it’s over. Derrick Rose has it. I haven’t really read or heard a media guy who is going another way at this point. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t win it.”

Votes from selected sportswriters and broadcasters are due back at the league office on Thursday, April 14 — the day after the regular season ends. The award is announced at some point during the playoffs. Last year, LeBron James received 116 of 123 first-place votes.

Van Gundy has openly campaigned for Dwight Howard, who is scoring 23.0 points per game — 1.9 fewer points than Rose. Howard is also second in the league in rebounding (14.3 per game), field goal percent (60 percent) and blocks (2.43).

The Magic began the night with a record of 45-26, only five fewer victories than they had after 71 games last season.

Howard himself acknowledged Wednesday night that Rose is indeed the favorite to win the award, having led the Bulls into first place in the Eastern Conference. Rose is averaging 24.9 points (seventh in the NBA) and 7.8 assists (10th) for a team that has had success despite missing Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah for long stretches of the season. Also, Rose has become a much better 3-point shooter, making 112 shots from long range this season after making just 32 total over his first two NBA seasons.

“Look, and I’ve said this before, to me, with his rebounding his scoring and his defense, I don’t think there’s anybody that impacts as many possessions in a game as Dwight does,” Van Gundy said. “I think Derrick Rose has been great. I’ll have no problem at all if Derrick Rose wins the MVP. They’ve got the best record in the East, he’s been clearly their leader. You can make a great case for him.

“I think it’s a hard choice to make, he’s been great. But, I still don’t think anyone impacts as many possessions a game as Dwight does.

Magic assistant coach Patrick Ewing seconded Van Gundy’s opinion: “Everyone’s talking about Derrick Rose. Not to take anything away from him; he’s having a fantastic year, too. But they need to start putting Dwight Howard’s name in the mix. Without him, who knows where we would be?”

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Box Score from the Looney Tunes vs Monstars Game in Space Jam

themonstars RARE

Andrew Mooney | HSAC — This is Regressing, a numbers-minded column by our clever friends at the Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective. Over the next few days, they’ll be applying rigorous statistical analysis to some of the finest basketball movies in the history of cinema (and also Hoosiers). Today: Space Jam by the numbers.

By now, we’re all familiar with the story: In 1994, an alien spacecraft lands in a minor league ballpark in rural Alabama, delivering Birmingham Barons outfielder Michael Jordan just in time for the first pitch. Though team officials are initially upset about the booster-jet inflicted damage to the field, their shock melts away when the magnitude of what Jordan accomplished during his brief disappearance becomes apparent — the salvation of the Looney Tunes universe via basketball game, as documented in the 1996 film Space Jam.
Our concern here is with the game itself, which pitted Jordan and his cartoon friends against a team of alien invaders who’d stolen the abilities of Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, and — don’t ask me why — Shawn Bradley. Freedom was on the line. A Monstars victory would mean a life of servitude for the Tunes in Moron Mountain, the theme park on the Monstars’ home planet.

You can watch every possession in the video above; the box score is below. A quick recap: The Monstars, behind a vicious defense and a quick-strike transition offense featuring the unprecedented three-point-line dunk, seize early control and take a 66-18 lead into the half. Pound (Barkley) and Bupkus (Ewing) are dominant. Things look grim for MJ, Bugs, and crew.

But the Tunes uncork a 48-2 run in the second half to pull within two points late in the fourth quarter. The dearth of offensive production by the Monstars during this stretch is puzzling. Turnovers? Did they abandon the three-point-line dunk? The answer no doubt lies on the cutting-room floor. There’s an equally confusing run at the end of the game. As paramedics inflate Jordan’s assistant Stan Podolak following his lone bucket, the scoreboard clearly shows the Monstars ahead 77-67 with 10 seconds remaining. Yet following his treatment and the surprise entrance of Bill Murray, the score has changed to 77-76 with no time having elapsed. Perhaps Marvin the Martian, the head official, got fed up with the Monstars’ rugged defense—they injured all but four of the players on the original Tunes roster—and issued a slew of technical fouls. We’ll never know. All we know is that the game ends on Jordan’s dramatic, half-court arm-stretching dunk as time expires. How about that: The team with the widest appeal and most marketable superstar wins the big game by some mysterious contrivance. You might say this is ridiculous. I call it verisimilitude.

Now, the box score (I’ve extrapolated the totals over 48 minutes):


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