You may or may not have heard of Kevin Pelton. He's a numbers guy. The easiest way to explain it is that everyone know John Hollinger. Hollinger is at ESPN and is a numbers guy. Pelton is harder to find because he's at a smaller place. Hollinger is the Charles Barkley to Pelton's Karl Malone when it comes to numbers vs. visibility. Or something like that.
Some of Pelton's end of season award winners logically follow from an eye-ball test, all the way into the advanced metrics analysis. There's going to be a lot of Suns / Jazz stuff on the site today, so I thought I'd post this to cleanse the palette. You can read the entire post here (for free), but here's just a short list of who he picks... of course after the jump.
- ROY: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 6th Man: James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder
- MIP: Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves
- COY: Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs (Tyrone Corbin, Utah Jazz #3)
- Executive of the year: R.C. Buford, San Antonio Spurs
All NBA Teams:
- 1st Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
- 1st Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
- 1st Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
- 1st LeBron James, Miami Heat
- 1st Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
- 2nd Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
- 2nd Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
- 2nd Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers
- 2nd Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
- 2nd Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
- 3rd Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
- 3rd James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder
- 3rd Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
- 3rd Ryan Anderson, Orlando Magic
- 3rd Andrew Bynum, L.A. Lakers
The Jazz are mentioned a number of times in his justifications after each award. I think it's likely that the Jazz will get ZERO award winners this year. And, also curious, as to the All-NBA teams (the Top 15 that I seem to mention) -- most of those guys are big name players who take their team to the playoffs. It is the correlation/causation argument again? Do the best players end up winning the most, or is it the ones who win the most who end up being regarded as the best players? LeBron's been hyped up as one of the best since high school, even before he won anything in the NBA -- for me I def think that it's talent that matters first. The Utah Jazz were never going to go to the NBA finals if it was Stockton to A.C. Green all those years.
Oh, and in Pelton's All-NBA teams, only 2 or 3 of those guys were guys who were All-NBA as free agents. The vast majority were guys who were guy, who were drafted to be good, and played good for the team they were drafted by. Shocking, I know.
Ha ha. On to all the Jazz / Suns info . . .