Golden State Warriors

Magic Johnson disagrees with Mark Jackson on who should win NBA MVP

Magic Johnson has been known to post some inane and painfully obvious comments on Twitter, but his tweets today about who should win NBA MVP were lucid and logical.

OK, a four-way tie for third is a little silly. But these words coming from Johnson — universally regarded as one of the best point guards of all time — carry some weight considering Curry is also a point guard and Johnson referenced how Curry made his teammates better (which is true). Another solid note in Curry’s favor, one that fans and analysts around here (some might call them “homers”) have been saying for weeks, is that Curry’s counting stats aren’t as high as the other candidates (although he’s 10 threes away from breaking his own NBA record) because he has lifted his team to such a high level that playing in the fourth quarter often hasn’t been necessary.

Johnson probably appreciates Curry’s game for aesthetic reasons, too. No one in the league attempts and completes more no-look and behind-the-back passes than Curry, and Johnson’s game was quite similar in that regard. Johnson’s outside shot got better as his career progressed, but even the Magic man never added a “no-look three” to his arsenal, however.

Johnson’s opinion is in sharp contrast to Mark Jackson, whose 10,334 assists puts him fourth on the NBA’s all-time list (Jackson is 193 ahead of Johnson, who’s in fifth). Jackson not only said he’d vote for Harden, but he lumped Curry in with Westbrook and James instead of explicitly stating that he’d put Curry in second. To be fair, Jackson did mention Curry before he brought up Westbrook and James in his recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, so maybe he’d place Curry in the same category that Johnson did with Harden.

Bovada’s most recent odds showed Curry as a 1/4 favorite to win the award, followed by Harden at 3/1. So unless something weird happens between now and Wednesday, Curry is probably going to be the Warriors’ first MVP since the franchise moved to California. Ethan Sherwood Strauss asked if the MVP race is already a done deal, especially in light of poll figures taken from his colleagues at ESPN.

When asked this question — “Who WILL win the MVP?” — 80.5 percent of respondents voted for Curry, 18.3 percent voted for Harden and 1.2 percent for Westbrook. Harden garnered more support on the question of “Who SHOULD win the MVP?” — getting 32.9 percent of the vote to Curry’s 52.4 percent. It appears that many of those who believe Harden to be deserving, even after his 51-point performance against Sacramento on Wednesday night, also believe that Curry will win anyway.

With the Rockets 10 games behind the Warriors but still in second in the Western Conference, many seem to believe Harden deserves to win because Houston was without Dwight Howard for 40 games. But Harden’s greatness seems to lift his squad only against the dregs of the NBA. The Rockets (32-4) have actually been a little better against teams under .500 than the Warriors (32-5). But the Warriors are a staggering 31-9 against teams that are .500 and above, while the Rockets are 21-20 against such teams … including an 0-4 record against Curry’s Warriors.

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