Okay, so I really just wanted to write something controversial to see if I could get people to comment. So, here's my argument for why Shawn Marion should be MVP (only as of right now, of course).
First off, he's the #1 player in Fantasy Basketball. That really should be the only argument needed.
But, in case you happen to care about real basketball as well as fantasy... his PER is higher than that of Steve Nash's (23.34 to 22.49), whom many say is the MVP so far. If one can be an MVP without being the best player on the team, then Marion certainly deserves consideration. [I don't even want to get into the whole semantics issue of whether MVP means "best player" or "player who most makes the team they play for better"]
Marion shoots 84.6% from the line. This should be evidence enough that he deserve the award over Shaq. I would argue that the Heat would as good as they are now with the same line-up they had last year simply due to the gained maturity and experience of Dwyane Wade. Shaq used to be much more valuable, but as Danny Fortson has shown, he can be shut down. His ability to make free-throws should also put Marion above others like Duncan, and even Amare (another MVP canidate). They are FREE throws guys. If you can't make them, you don't deserve to be MVP. If those other guys were shooting 85% from the stripe, they'd easily be MVP's and we wouldn't have to worry about someone like Steve Nash or Shawn Marion threatening the crown.
The Matrix shoots 48% from the field. Most players shooting at that high a rate are inside players. However, Marion also hits 1.4 threes per game. He has an inside/outside combo that no other MVP candidate can claim. Marion is also getting more rebounds than he did last year, despite the emergence of Amare Stoudemire (another MVP candidate). He is improved from last year in almost every category, despite the additions of Steve Nash and Quentin Richardson. Marion is 4% higher in FG%, up .6% in 3PT% while making .3 more per game, grabbing 1.3 more rebounds than last year, including .2 more OREBs, .7 less TO's per game, same number of steals (an impressive 2.1), .2 more blocks (1.5), .1 less fouls per game, and .3 more points per game (despite Amare imcreasing by nearly 5 ppg). He is only down in assists because Nash handles the ball for the Suns now.
Without Marion, Nash and Man-Child would be nothing more than a faster version of Wade and O'Neal. Marion has recognized where to fit in on the team, in addition to stepping his game up this year, while playing less time than last year. He is not only the best player in fantasy basketball, but he is one of the best players in basketball right now and his prescence and ability to adapt to fit within a team make him the most valuable player in the league.
The views expressed in this article are the sole opinion of the author, and are not representative of the Give Me the Rock corporation or any of its subsidiaries.