Tag Archives: paul millsap

Dorell’s MIP Case

Nope, Dorell Wright didn’t get a minor in possession. He’s 25 years old, so there’s no way he could even get one at this point. Dorell isn’t a household name, and unless you were a Heat or Warriors fan you still might not know that he even exists. The Warriors acquired him over the offseason for the next three years at a fairly cheap $11M. I had no idea what we got when we signed him, and have been in many a texting frenzies with the blog mates on how awesome he is for many of the Dubs games this year. I thought he was more of a defensive guy since all the reports that I read said that’s all he really was at the time the Warriors acquired him. Somehow, some way, he’s morphed into a knock down shooter (in best Mark Jackson voice). He currently leads the NBA in three pointers made (85), and is making up for the scoring punch to ab offense that lost Morrow, Azubuike, and Maggette this past season. So far this season, Dorell has gone up in every major category making him my hometown bias pick for, the most improved player. As his minutes went from 20 to nearly 39 per game he has doubled up in his averages in every major category. His points have more than doubled (7.1 to 15.7). His rebounds have nearly doubled from (3.3 to 6.2). His assists have more than doubled going from (1.3 to 3.1). His steals have gone up from (0.7 to 1.4). People might knock his field goal % dropping 5 points, but my reasoning for that is he’s taking a ton of threes (averaging 6 per game), which would lower anyone’s percentages a little. With all those threes he’s taking, he is 27th in the league in 3PT percentage, which makes me not care that his FG% overall has taken a little dip. There’s no signs of him slowing down since the W’s have no bench. Another reason to hand the award to Dorell is that he came out of nowhere to relevance this season. All the other guys I’m about to mention were all at least relatively known at the beginning of the year.

I guess there are some other candidates out there, but in my eyes none of them have improved from last season to this season as much as Dorell, but here are some that I think are in the running. Kevin Love is a beast that should be considered for the award, but at the same time we saw some of what he’s doing this year towards the end of last year, so does that really count as improved now that he’s getting the minutes and already showed us that he could do this? I say no, but it’s arguable. Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose are on the same plane in my book. Rose has had an amazing season, and shown that he is indeed fantasy relevant instead of just a good player he has been boosting his stats in nearly every area. Westbrook developed a jumper this summer and is scoring more, but both of these guys were stars already, and I commend them for their improvement, but it just isn’t significant enough of an improvement to earn the MIP award. I’d put Raymond Felton slightly above them, because he is improving tremendously in every category much like Dorell, but being in D’antoni’s system jumpstarted that more than anything. We all knew that Felton was solid, just not this good. An honorable mention for a guy on the radar is Paul Millsap. He started off the first month of the season like he was going to win the award, but has fallen back to earth a little now that Al Jefferson has figured out the Utah offense, and mans the post keeping Paul away from this award. Michael Beasley also made the honorable mention list. He was a bust in Miami, and now is a main cog in Minnesota and hasn’t had any legal troubles thus far. If he keeps it up he should be on the list with his teammate.

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Thanksgiving Games of the Day

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions, 9:30am PST

Sentiment for dropping the Lions from the annual Thursday docket has reached an all-time high this year, but personally, I think the Lions are a Thanksgiving Day tradition. They are the tryptophan to my NFL turkey. It’s just too bad they always play the FIRST game. At any rate, today’s game should be somewhat interesting, as Matthew Stafford will take to a national stage against a division rival. Today we’ll see if the Lions are headed in the right direction, or simply mired in another aimless so-called rebuilding phase. If only they had Mel Gray!

Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys, 1:15pm PST

Many are predicting this game to be an equally bad trouncing as the first game. However, the Raiders placed a little bit of hope in NFL fans’ minds with last weekend’s upset over the Bengals. Oakland is out to prove they are a new team with Bruce Gradkowski at the helm. Meanwhile, Dallas is out to prove, yet again, that they are a legitimate contender this season. Either way, today we’ll find out exactly who these two teams are.

New York Giants @ Denver Broncos, 5:20pm PST

About a month ago, it looked like we’d have a rare big game on Thanksgiving Day. Thanks to the Broncos, losers of four straight, this is no longer true. Instead, the Giants and Broncos will play with a large part of their season on the line. The winner will remain in the playoff hunt, while the loser, presumably Denver, will suffer a devastating loss that would likely kill any hopes for momentum down the stretch run of the season.

Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks, 5pm PST

Atlanta owns the best record in the East, thanks to the spectacular play of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Jamal Crawford. Orlando has had an equally impressive start while adjusting to the reinsertion of Rashard Lewis into the lineup. Three of the five best teams in the East reside in this Southeast Division, so tonight’s game will be a key step forward for the winner of this game in controlling the division – for the time being.

Chicago Bulls @ Utah Jazz, 7:30pm PST

Chicago and Utah are two teams sort of teetering on the balance between good teams and contenders. They both feature superstar point guards in Derrick Rose and Deron Williams, along with rising stars down low in Joakim Noah and Paul Millsap. With the Bulls sitting at 6-7 and the Jazz an even .500 at 7-7, both teams will be fighting hard to pull this win out and stay above the .500 mark.

Portland University @ UCLA, 7:30pm PST

There’s plenty of college hoops action today, but given our West Coast bias, this is the game of the day. Portland has become an unlikely threat to challenge Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference. On the other side, UCLA is unranked, due in part to a season opening loss to Cal State Fullerton. They rebounded with wins over Cal State Bakersfield and Pepperdine. Tonight will be UCLA’s final tuneup before a showdown with #1 Kansas two Sundays from now.