This is the second bustasports 1 on 1 debate. The way that this will work is that a question will be posed, and two bustasports writers will pick two different answers to the question, and prove why their answer is the correct one. In this case the question is “Who is the NBA MVP?”
At the bottom of the article will be a poll, where the readers can vote on “who won the debate”. The poll will determine who won the debate, between the two writers. Please vote on the poll, and feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments section.
Written by: Tolulope Oladele
“Rondo is a basketball maestro,” Spoelstra said before Game 1. A deserving compliment for the Celtics’ floor general because just like a maestro, Rajon Rondo is the distinguished conductor of this Boston Celtics team.
A Celtics team with three future Hall of Famers but yet without Rondo’s leadership would have already “gone fishing” and that is why Rajon Rondo should be recognized as the MVP of the playoffs so far.
Rondo has conducted this hobbling Celtics team back into their Eastern Conference Finals showdown with a seemly unbeatable Miami Heat team. And he has done it by controlling the pace of the game.
In the NBA pace means everything. If you can control it you can execute your offense more efficiently and that’s what Rondo does. He controls the pace of the game to pick apart the opposing defense surgically with his exceptional passing.
How else can you explain how this bagged up Celtics team made it this far?
The Celtics Big Three are all at the tail end of their careers with growing concerns. Kevin Garnett (36) has logged heavy minutes at the center position (not his natural position) and one wonders how much of a toll it has taken on his body. Although Ray Allen is the all-time 3-point field goal leader, he has shot a lowly 30 percent so far in the playoffs. Paul Pierce, the Celtics’ primary go to scorer has fouled out in three of the last five games. Still Rondo’s historic play has masked these flaws and have the Celtics in prime position for another Finals berth.
Like any MVP Rondo has picked up his level of play to help his team win. After a lackluster performance in the Celtics’ Game 1 loss Rondo has since then answered averaging 26.7 points, 11.7 assists, and 6.3 rebounds. This three game stretch includes a historic game 2 performance–surely in the running for best playoff performance.
It was a game that had the best player in the world gushing, “Absolutely amazing,” said LeBron James of Rondo’s night. “The performance he put on will go down in the record books. He’s a unique player, an unbelievable player.”
In Game 2, Rondo scored a career and game high 44 points, dished out 10 assists, and grabbed 8 rebounds–truly sensational. Rondo’s arsenal was on full display and the Heat had no answer for him–a recurring theme. Despite throwing different defensive schemes including daring him to shoot from outside, Rondo stepped up took and made jumpers all night.
Simply put Rondo is the MVP of the playoffs because with him the Celtics a title threats and without their not. As polarizing and talented the Celtics Big Three are it is Rondo who opposing coaches are most afraid of. The Celtics are now Rondo’s team and he has them on string knowing their instincts which makes for flawless basketball. [/one_half]
Written by: Nathan Palcowski
Durant during the regular season averaged 28.0 points per game. In the playoffs, he is averaging 27.4 points per game. While also going up against some of the best defensive teams throughout the playoffs. (Mavericks, Lakers, Spurs) Significantly having a tougher road than Rajon Rondo (Hawks, Sixers, Heat).Miami Heat forward LeBron James may have been the regular seson MVP but in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, those honors have went to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant. Durant is the three-time defending scoring champion and though regular season numbers don’t mean anything in the playoffs (just ask LeBron), Durant surely has not slowed down from his regular season statistics in the playoffs.
Durant during this post-season has basically become un-guard able. Though he may not have the physical attributes of a LeBron James or a Kobe Bryant, many people underestimate that Durant is 6’10. He is always able to get his shot and it has shown in these playoffs.
The most important factor however is Durant’s meaning to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The word Most Valuable Player should mean what it truly means, not popularity. And if you are to look at the Thunder, the next best players are Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Both players are good, but without Durant, the Thunder are nowhere near the position that they are in.
On the other side of the debate you have Rajon Rondo. Though Rondo might be the spark plug that ignites the Boston offense and impacts the game in many different ways. To be an MVP, I believe you have to have the ability to pull your team out of a deficit, or make a game-winning shot.
I don’t think Rondo has that ability in him to make the game-winning shot or be able to single-handily pull his team out of a deficit. Let’s face it, Rondo’s perimeter jump shot game is nothing great and even when he is on, like in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals where he had 44 points, the Cetlics still lost. Plus, I have not seen Rajon Rondo hit a game-winning shot yet in these playoffs…not MVP material.
Durant meanwhile has hit game-winning shots against the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks and Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers. Just recently in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, Durant scored the final 16 points of the fourth quarter to keep the Spurs from coming back and taking a demanding 3-1 series lead.
Anyway you look at it, what it all comes down to is that Kevin Durant is a better scorer and more valuable player to his team than Rajon Rondo.
Therefore, Kevin Durant is the 2012 NBA Playoffs MVP. [/one_half_last]