Feb 23, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns shooting guard Goran Dragic (1) lines up for a free throw against the Houston Rockets during the second half at US Airways Center. The Houston Rockets won the game 115-112. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns: Should Goran Dragic Get Some MVP Love?

If you’re a Phoenix Suns fan, you’re probably nodding your head that Goran Dragic does indeed deserve some MVP love. If you’re anywhere else in the country, I’m sure you disagree, pointing toward the tremendous years by guys like Kevin Love, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

Just for some fun, let’s put those four players next to each other in a chart:

Rk Player G MP FG% 3P% FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Goran Dragic 53 1830 .508 .414 .765 1.0 2.6 3.6 6.4 1.5 0.3 3.0 2.7 21.1
2 Kevin Durant 57 2187 .510 .404 .875 0.7 6.6 7.2 5.3 1.4 0.7 3.4 2.2 29.6
3 LeBron James 52 1942 .577 .366 .747 1.0 5.8 6.8 6.2 1.5 0.3 3.4 1.6 25.9
4 Kevin Love 54 1959 .464 .380 .821 3.2 9.9 13.1 4.0 0.8 0.4 2.3 1.9 26.4
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/27/2014.

Judging by that chart, the answer would be obvious. Dragic doesn’t have numbers that hold up to any of those teams. A second major reason why “no” is the right answer would be how the public perceive value. If you’re on a middling team (Love) or a team that’s good, but not good enough (Dragic), then they’re not going to get behind you.

I have a different definition of value and it’s the reason I was in support of Steve Nash winning back-t0-back MVP awards. How would the team fare if said player disappeared and was replaced with a run-of-the-mill average player?

This is where Dragic and Love stand out. Without Durant (as long as Russell Westbrook was healthy), the Oklahoma City Thunder would still win a minimum of 45 games. Without James (as long as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were healthy), the Miami Heat would likely win 50.

Where would the Timberwolves be without Love? Let’s just close this part of the story by telling you that he’s never won more than 31 games in any season, whether he’s healthy or not. When the Wolves started hot a few years back, it was the loss of Ricky Rubio that hurt.

As far as Dragic is concerned, one needs to look no further than the last few games to see what would happen to that team without him. The offense is wholly dependent on him. He creates for himself, he creates for others and he draws more attention than anyone on the Suns roster.

Last night, the Suns lost 109-86 to the Utah Jazz. Their inability to be a threat offensively killed them, as the Jazz were able to back it in the paint over and over. With Dragic and his finishing ability on the court, teams have to think twice about racing to the front of the rim.

The Suns shot just 38.8 percent with a horrible 14 assists. True, the Suns don’t average many assists as it is, but for different reasons other than Ish Smith.

My definition of value? The difference between a winnable game with Dragic on the court and a 23-point thrashing at the hands of the lowly Jazz. That’s why Dragic deserves some MVP love. Should he win? Let’s not go that far….but we should at least get him in the discussion.


Tags: NBA Phoenix Suns

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