Editors Tennyson May and Trevor Rechnitz talk MVPs, Giants, and College Before the NBA

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R. Lahser/MCT

Trevyson Maechnitz, Online Sports EIC

“half the editor…twice the facial hair.”

MVP: Kevin Durant v. Lebron James

Trevor: The NBA MVP is an award different from any other. While other sports focus on raw stats, the NBA gives their most prestigious award to the player that contributes most to his team’s success. That’s why Kobe Bryant didn’t win the award in 2006 despite averaging 35 points per game, and why Dwayne Wade didn’t win it in 2009 despite averaging 30. Based on this criteria, LeBron James will take home the MVP hands down. While Durant edges out James in the most overrated stat in the NBA, points per game, James tops Durant in assists, rebounds, steals and shooting percentage. James has been double-teamed his whole career. Those double-teams free up a player, and James will find that open man. James taking up attention in the post is an important aspect of the Heat offense which allows perimeter players and cutters to get freed up, which explains James’s seven assists per game average. Although last year James tossed out the idea of an MVP, claiming that it would be impossible while playing side by side with Wade, James is performing like, if not better than, his hay days in Cleveland. In addition to these well-rounded stats, the Heat are 43-17, and second in the competitive Eastern Conference. James is central to the Heat’s success, and when the Heat win, so will LBJ. The King will have his ring.

Tennyson: I hate LeBron, but I do think he’s an amazing player. However, I believe Kevin Durant deserves MVP honors. Both players are having statistically amazing seasons on two of the best teams in the league. Despite losing their second game against the Heat, I believe that the first Heat-Thunder match up, which resulted in a lopsided Thunder victory, was a better showing of who the true MVP is. Durant and the Thunder cooled down the Heat in a 103-87 win, while Durant completely outplayed LeBron. The Durantula had 28 points, eight assists, nine rebounds, two steals, and held LeBron to eight for 18 shooting. In the end both Durant and LeBron are ridiculously talented players, and the final MVP vote will go to whoever can carry their team further. At this point OKC trails behind the Spurs in the stronger Western Conference and the Heat are sitting behind the Bulls in the Eastern Conference. When you throw in Durant’s likeable personality and humble demeanor versus LeBron’s giant ego and the Thunder’s overall record, Durant should take home the MVP trophy this year.

Giants Baseball

Trevor: How should Giants fans feel about this upcoming season? Optimistic! First, in order to understand why we can be successful in 2012, we need to understand why we failed in 2011. In short, the Giants failed due to a severe lack of offensive production. The G-Men finished last in the National League in runs scored and on-base percentage, and allowed eight more runs than they scored. If the Giants are to rebound and be a serious contender in 2012, they need to score runs. A lot more runs. Hopefully the off-season moves by GM Brian Sabean will be enough to combat the dreaded three and out that defined the 2011 season. While no one can know for sure, I feel optimistic. Arguably, Sabean’s most substantial move was to trade starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez and prospect Ryan Verdugo for Kansas City outfielder Melky Cabrera. Cabrera had a career year in 2011, and his stock is high, and still on the rise. Even if Cabrera can’t maintain his .305 batting average and 18 homeruns, his consistent offensive production will fill a gaping hole in the Giants’ meager offensive lineup. If Cabrera had a clone in the MLB, it would be in new teammate Angel Pagan. Both speedy, switch-hitting centerfielders with irregular track records of offensive production, these two hitters, if they get hot, can bolster the Giants’ lineup and send them deep into October. To compliment our new bats, a healthy Buster Posey, Freddy Sanchez and Pablo Sandoval will carry the Giants’ offensive production. Prospects Brett Pill and Hector Sanchez, and potential mid season call-ups, bode well for the black and orange for not only 2012, but in future years as well.

Tennyson: I refuse to write about the Giants. Go Dodgers.

College Basketball Before the NBA

Trevyson Maechnitz: While we agree that there are players who are certainly talented enough to go straight to the pros, players should play at least one year in college. College gives players an opportunity to learn and develop into better players before reaching the NBA. Gerald Green is a perfect example of someone that this rule would have benefited. Green, who won the 2007 Dunk Contest, was incredibly athletic. Despite showing flashes of talent in his early career, he lacked a real sense of the game and basketball intelligence. Because of this he’s spent a majority of his career as a bench warmer or in the D-League. The rule not only helps the NBA, but also NCAA basketball. If more players played through college, we would see better, more experienced teams in March Madness. A player leaving after their freshman year makes college basketball seem like a joke, and it’s great to watch a player play and grow with his teammates through four years. Also, everyone loves to see the emotion that seniors play with during their final college season. If more players went through college, it would increase the literacy levels among professional basketball and make interviews more interesting… we’re looking at you Monta.